Best Job in the World?

You might remember that was the publicity campaign undertaken back in 2009 by the Australian state of Queensland, when it opened applications for that “best job” of working as a blogging “caretaker” of an island on the Great Barrier Reef for six months, at a hefty salary.

How hefty? Hey: 53 thousand zlotys per month!

OK, he wasn’t actually paid in zlotys, probably in Australian dollars. But that’s simply the figure given in this treatment today by the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita:

Najlepsza praca świata: Poszukiwany kandydat do opieki nad rajską wyspą w Australii. Do obowiązków należeć będ…


My calculations show that that is just less than the equivalent of €13,000 per month – pretty good! But there was trouble in paradise. Agata Każmierska’s article also tells of how the winner (who beat out 34,000 other applicants), the Briton Ben Southall, was stung by a “un-large, but uncommonly dangerous jellyfish” just days before his “best job” gig was to end. As he recounted on his blog, at first he tried to tough it out with the increasingly severe symptoms he experienced – feeling light-headed, but then fever, rising blood pressure – but finally called a doctor onto the island, who saved him from a heart-attack just in time.

That Rzeczpospolita tweet actually reads like a job announcement (“Wanted: Candidate for a paradise island in Australia”), as if “The Best Job in the World” is set to go again. It’s a bit strange: Ms. Każmierska merely hints that that might be the case, and does so inaccurately, when she writes as the first sentence after her lede, “Unfortunately, the work is only for candidates from Great Britain and Ireland.”

In fact, “The Best Job in the World” is in fact on again, but for details you need to switch to a piece provided by AFP in the Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique. Here’s what this says about eligibility:

The competition is open to young people of between 18 and 30 years who are eligible for a provisional Australian work visa, notably from the US, Great Britain, France, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

Hmmm, “notably from” (originaires notamment de): does that mean only from those countries, or those countries are preferred, or merely that those countries are given as examples? I’m only asking for the benefit of my dear readers (Hi Mom! Sorry, you’re too old!), for I’m afraid I’m somewhat over the upper age-limit myself.

The good thing is that, this time, the “Best Job” campaign has expanded beyond just Queensland, and from one such job to six of them! And of course they’re all different! Here’s what they are according to LibreBelg:

  1. OK, this one is by now “traditional”: you are caretaker of a wild beach on the Queensland coast;
  2. You are caretaker of kangaroos and dolphins (?!), somewhere;
  3. You work as a “lifestyle” photographer in Melbourne, Australia’s “Second City”;
  4. You are “Chief Funster” in Sydney (Australia’s First City, of course), meaning that your duties involve extensive participation in the festivals and nightlife there, tweeting about it all the while;
  5. You are “Taste Master” along the continent’s west coast (hint: it’s by far the less populated one, only Perth is really there as a major city), meaning you are a roving restaurant/bar reviewer;
  6. Finally, your task is to “roam” the famous Australian Outback, presumably meeting and staying with the friendly aboriginal natives along the way – and, as usual, presumably letting the world know about it via social media.

Now, obviously some of these “best jobs” will appeal to you more than others, according to your taste; maybe some of them even don’t particularly appeal so powerfully as true “best jobs in the world.” But remember that one part of this deal held over from last time is the excellent remuneration for the six-month period they all last, which this LibrBelg article lists as “100.000 dollars” (and they must be talking here about USD, given the parallel euro quote).

As for quotes, Ben Southall makes it clear that the experience, jellyfish and all, changed his life. Of course it did, and he meant for the better; and of course it will change the life of any of you out there lucky enough to get one of these jobs.

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