We know the routine. Show up to the interview with a resume. Have prepared answers to interview questions.

Blah blah blah.

But there are things nobody ever tells you about—the things you need to be successful that nobody is really talking about.

But everybody seems to have them or know they don't have them.

And if you don't have them, it could spell the end of your career.

Redditor stuartwolf asked:

"What's the 'unwritten qualification' needed to succeed in your profession?"

Here were some of the answers.

The Screens In Front


"You have to be able to focus on incredibly tedious stuff for often long hours and deal with incredibly annoying stupid bull made worse by the fact that either you caused the stupid bull, or you are being forced to fix someone else's stupid bull"

"If you fancy having to essentially write complicated, excruciatingly atomic step-by-step instructions for the world's stupidest toddler who will do exactly everything you tell it to do completely literally, you might be good at programming"


Stomach Of Steel

"Zookeeper: An extremely strong, 10/10 iron-cast stomach."

"Not only do you need years of unpaid internships and a college degree - you can't be squeamish about smelly things. It's actually the number one reason why we have to let new zookeepers go, who severely underestimating the stench."

"It gets tiring telling interns and new hires 'Yes, you actually do have to clean up the otter poop...yes I know it's sloppy and you can smell the fish in it, that is how otters work.' 'No...you can't go disappear to the bathroom for half an hour because you slipped in cheetah diarrhea, throw some water on it and keep working...'"


Now Or Not At All

"Nurse (I'm NICU but any nurse needs to be able to do the general idea of this). Have a spine to stand up to people."

"Nope you can't do the kid's x-ray right now. Their blood sugar is 20 and I need to get a line first. Yes, I know you're busy but too bad, wait."

"I know you want a picture of your first grandchild but right now she can't breathe so this mask I'm holding in her face is more important."

"Yep, you don't want to get out of your call bed at 4am to come see this kid, but they're deteriorating and we need to do something about it and it can't wait until 6am."


You Know Nothing Jon Snow

"Software Engineer"

"You have to be able to look your superiors in the eye and say 'No. You're wrong and I'm not going to do what you're asking me to do.' in a way that they'll hear as 'yes boss', but then will still let you actually do your job without interfering."


This Exists In Real Space

"Spatial awareness and mechanical knowhow."

"You'd be surprised how many engineers have never put their hands on an object or built something. Some are very difficult to separate from the perfect model and see the real world. Drives me bonkers."


The Pain Of Pharmacy

"Pharmacy requires you to have the ability to manipulate the fabric time and space. Somehow you need to fill 200 scripts, dispense 200, deal with insurance, following up with prescribers, give out 20 flu shots, and manage a retail space with exactly 30% of the manpower and man-hours you need and with one pharmacist essentially locked inside the building for 12 hours. Also do all of this without pummeling the irate, irrational customers, corporate, and the regular store customers."

"Everyone hates you and also you're not doing a good enough job."


Buff And Corn Fed

"Farming (Market gardener in my case) -> Physical strength and endurance"

"I got hired in a farm recently after they've been looking for new employees. When I arrived for my 3 hours test drive, they made a point of asking me if I knew this job would entail physical work and if I was ready for it. I already had experience in this field and assured them it was one of the reason I got into this line of work."

"The reason they particularly stressed this aspect is because the two people that came as a test that morning couldn't handle the strenuous activity. One gave up after 2 hours, and the other started crying after 1 hour... Yikes."


The Problem With Bad Situations

"What doesn't get talked about a lot in Human Resources is the amount of emotional labor that is part of the job. I've definitely carried some of the bad situations home with me."


Not An Exact Science

"People often think research scientists must just be in love with science, and though success usually does require a deep sense of dedication to research, you can't go far in the field unless you give up your worshipful adoration of science. Once you become a professional and start generating original research, your role becomes to view all science, including your own, with a critical eye and healthy dose of skepticism."


The Days At The Ambulance

"Paramedic here, and here are some that immediately spring to mind:"

  • Being able to talk to people. This is harder for a lot of paramedics than it sounds. If you can ditch all the medical speak and just get down on their level and talk to them like you would talk to someone at a barbecue they will tell you anything you want to know.
  • Having a good nose for bull, because people will try to lie to you. Not often, but it happens.
  • Just because you can, doesn't mean you should

More Work

"As a librarian I have found that I also work the following jobs: Tech support, researcher, babysitter, teacher, social worker, 411 operator, library security (rarely)... the list goes on. Most of those I expected, some I absolutely did not."


Getting Mechanical

"Our university makes us do machine workshop courses - I’ve just finished making a tap wrench (in a very not time efficient manner so we have to use every bit of equipment) and am now making a fully metal hammer because I finished early."

– [deleted]

Art On A Screen

"I did some programming work for a company that made CNC machines and head units and while I was learning about their current code I got to play around in their machine shop (which was a legit busy job shop that mostly served a local state university). I became friends with the old, handlebar-mustaches, seen-it-all;done-it-all, forgot-more-than-you’ll-ever-know guru shop manager and machinist."

"He showed me some of the jobs that came in from the graduate industrial design students and it was honestly shocking. The best was a job that had this incredibly intricate mill work that looked absolutely beautiful on the CAM display and the guy showed me how much time and effort the student put into these paths (I think they were fluid channels for cooling something). Then he zooms out, and not only was this intricate maze of channels like probably only 2cm square, it was inside a large, football-sized piece that only had one opening that ran parallel to the face where the channels were. So this student spent what had to be hours or days coming up with this perfect set of channels and then painstakingly figuring out the tool path, all to have it rejected because it made absolutely zero sense when you weren’t zoomed in 100x with invisible exterior edges on CATIA."

"Being the true pro he was, I think they actually eventually figured out how to produce a workable part by making it in two halves and then joining the two with a weld, but it was just so clear that this grad student, who was probably a brilliant designer, had never actually worked on anything with their hands. It was all just theoretical art on a screen."


Service Industry

"Any restaurant job: Humility"

"You cannot take yourself too seriously, this job is hard, fast paced, and can still overwhelm seasoned vets. You can’t do everything, everyone plays their part."


The Ability To Explain

"Know how to provide an answer even if you don't know THE answer... engineer."


Discipline For Educators

"Infinite amount of patience and the ability to not interrupt while listening to pure BS —> teacher"


Never Let 'Em See You Sweat

"Nurse: Act confident even when you’re not. Patients vibe off of that."


Staying Sharp

"Lawyer: The ability to find improperly placed commas and extra spaces at 2am after waking up at 6am."

"Bonus points if you don't mind constantly having weekend plans blown up."


If only there was a guidebook...

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