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People today often work hard to pursue a career path that will provide them with stability and longevity.
But, before the rise of technology and globalization, certain jobs used to stand out among the rest.
These professions had a unique sense of purpose, one that was respected by society and provided an honorable source of proud earnings for those who joined their ranks.
Unfortunately, many such vocations have all but gone extinct in our modern-day world, no longer remembered or recognized due to advancements in technology or changing cultural norms.
It’s time to take a look back at 16 forgotten job roles from around the globe, some long-gone relics of days past that were once essential parts of communities everywhere!
A lamplighter was a person responsible for lighting and maintaining oil lamps or gas lamps, which were used to illuminate roadways before the advent of electric streetlights.
In some cases, lamplighters also functioned as a sort of night watchman, keeping an eye out for fires or other potential dangers.
Although largely replaced by electric street lighting in the late 19th century, lamplighters can still be found in certain parts of the world today.
#2. Milk Man
The Milk Man was a person responsible for delivering milk to people’s homes in the days before supermarkets and commercial dairy processing.
Milk men would often bring fresh dairy products directly from local farms, allowing families to purchase quality, freshly-made goods without having to leave their homes.
Although the role of the Milk Man has been largely replaced by modern retail establishments, you can still find Milk Men in some rural areas today.
#3. Radio DJs
Remember the radio?
Radio DJs used to wield a lot of power, informing the public what music was hot and engaging in a wide variety of public shout-outs and contests.
Because music has primarily shifted to streaming services, very few people pay attention to who is a DJ these days.
#4. Furniture Makers
Making furniture used to be something that meant something and made an impact on interior design.
Now, a lot of furniture is cheap and can be ordered with the press of a button.
Furniture makers still have a place in society, but the people turning to them are likely only those who can afford it, making them less of a household name.
#5. Travel Agents
Travel agents used to be a big deal when people needed to get accommodations, get deals, and otherwise navigate travel without having to do anything themselves.
These agents might still be a big deal in some circles, like those needing corporate travel, but most people can do the basic online research needed to travel or just use a website that has slowly replaced these professionals over the years.
#6. Flight Attendants
Flight attendants used to be well-respected and known for their attractiveness, which almost became a selling point for flying.
That’s not to say that flight attendants are any different today, but the aviation industry has gone downhill for several reasons.
Add to that the public’s inability to behave, and it’s no surprise why flight attendants are no longer considered prestigious or respected.
#7. Local News Anchors
Like newspaper columnists, getting your news has changed drastically.
Whereas people used to rely more on the TV and newspapers to get their information, you have a device you can check at any time to get news updates.
As a result, no one pays as much attention to local news or the local news anchors on them.
#8. Freight Conductors/Engineers
Freight conductors and engineers once played an essential role in making sure that things got to where they needed to be.
But if you’re up-to-date on things like the railway industry, you know how much of a mess it is.
Failing infrastructure, organizations looking to cut corners, low pay, and other undesirable factors have turned people off to these positions and made it so that nobody wants to work in this area.
Investment banking is still prestigious and sought after in today’s world.
But retail banking? Not nearly as much.
Retail banking has lost a lot of prestige over the years, and a retail banking job is worth a lot less than it used to be.
#10. Land Surveyors
As long as construction is being done, people will need land surveyors.
But a land surveyor gig used to be a lot more exciting than it was previously.
This is mainly due to the colonial nature of land surveyors and how they were able to get a lot more for their jobs.
It’s still important, but not nearly as well-regarded as it used to be.
#11. Newspaper Columnists
Who reads the paper anymore?
Not many people.
Once upon a time, newspaper columnists used to have a touch of celebrity and were looked up to by those around them.
Now, they don’t get nearly as much recognition or admiration.
Yes, things were manually printed once upon a time.
This was a necessary job that helped to get information out to the public.
However, modern technology has made it so that printers are no longer needed.
#13. Letter Carriers
The mail system has been and always will be important.
But that doesn’t mean letter carriers are as prestigious as they once were.
Today, many letter carriers feel they’re no longer that important, primarily delivering things like junk mail and Amazon packages to people in the area.
Blacksmiths used to be essential for everything townspeople relied on, which made them highly prestigious professionals and someone who was always in demand.
Now, the bulk of blacksmiths are hobbyists who are interested in what these people used to do.
However, some of the job responsibilities just went on to become more prominent in different career paths.
Ever considered a career in academia?
If you did before, you might be disillusioned now.
The waning quality of education as a whole, job insecurity in this field, and other factors have eroded the meaning and quality of working in academia, which has had a major impact on current and prospective professors.
Unfortunately, this is a change that will likely have repercussions both now as well as in the future.
Photography used to be a creative career choice that meant something, especially when your work could be put into magazines and other mediums.
That’s not to say that photographers aren’t still here, but changes in how this type of art is displayed, the ability for anyone to learn how to snap a good photo, and new challenges like the advent of AI have greatly toppled this once prestigious career choice.
Don’t let it get in the way of your dreams, but don’t think you’ll be able to reach the same level of acclaim that photographers who came before you did.
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This thread inspired this article.
I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
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