Mark Hammer

Here’s an example of a document that my government has produced several times: http://www.itsmyday-cestmajournee.gc.ca/1008/images/PDF/nov2008_en.pdf

It doesn’t include ALL jobs, but provides a nice cross-section, and is often surprising with respect to the sorts of jobs it includes, though I think that’s largely the point. This is the sort of thing we should all be doing more of.

There are a LOT of things that the federal public service does that people are simply unaware of. F’rinstance, let’s say you work for a manufacturer and your job involves spraying or applying, or otherwise using, some industrial compound. There will be an MSDS ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Material_safety_data_sheet ) for it. My wife’s job is to review MSDS sheets, and verify that they contain sufficient, accurate, and up-to-date information about all known health hazards and risks. They scour the relevant medical literature every month to update what is known, so as to assure that people working with industrial chemicals can observe all necessary steps and precautions to work safely. That not only keeps workers safe, but assures that manufacturers are not liable for information they did not provide.

A student graduating with a degree in chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, environmental studies, or a pre-med program, may wonder what they can do with that degree, and have no idea that the public service is tasked with assuring simple workplace safety within the context of jobs like this.

There is a universe of interesting jobs and special-interest issues that new grads can attach themselves to…if only they knew.