Working in the Post-Apocalyptic Era

Thought seeing as the apocalypse had come and gone you’d finally have a day off work, hmm? Well, think again. Certainly, for awhile perhaps (especially dependent on how the apocalypse comes about) life will largely involve finding ways to survive. This will mean dealing with securing shelter, water, food, and safety. From there it will evolve to caring about things like waste disposal and cleanliness. And then after that – especially if humans really do want to survive – it’ll be time to rebuild a society. Hence, back to work you go.

This could also become an issue of your value in a post-apocalyptic world (hint: if you don’t want to be the first one voted out of the society, make sure your skills and knowledge are such you’re far too valuable). For many of us, a changed society – especially one lacking technology and a lot of the other things which today we take for granted – will mean jobs too can’t be the same. A computer programmer or cell phone salesman is probably out of luck.

Jobs that will be able to transfer over:

  1. Doctor.Or any medical training – you will be VERY valuable provided you know how to care for patients without depending on technological devices and tools you won’t have.

    by Chlopaya source openclipart license Public Domain (?), from

  2. Laborers and construction. Calling carpenters, plumbers, welders, and other trades – your jobs may have to be adapted a bit, but you’re the kind of people who know how to get things done and do it yourself- this will be helpful when building, adapting, and maintaining shelters, one of the main needs all of us will have in a post-apocalyptic world.
  3. Farmers / agricultural workers. You’ll be on the front-line of food-production.
  4. Police / firemen / armed forces. You can help provide security and safety.
  5. Mechanic or repairman. If you’re good at tinkering and can make stuff work (again, just with plain simple tools) you could be a good person to have around.
  6. Teachers / education. You can help teach new generations how to survive, what happened, and about not only the world that was, but the world that is, and will / can be.

Hmm, did you make the top six? Maybe all it means is that your current vocation needs to be adapted a bit to become your post-apocalypse job. Maybe what you do nine-to-five now won’t be helpful, but you probably have other skill sets which could fit under these categories.

  1. Blacksmithing – or the production and repair of metal items. If you’re a welder, your methods may change, but your knowledge will still be valuable.
  2. Food production. Calling all bakers, gardeners, butchers, botanists, berry-pickers, etc. Granted, if all you can do is pick berries, you’re not the MOST useful individual, but you’ll get better – or be booted out of the society, your choice.
  3. Production of new necessaries. Calling sewers, crafters, candle and soap makers, etc.
  4. Personal services. Can you cut hair? Offer massages? Clean? Take care of children while their parents are out in the fields? Perhaps you’re a great salesman and love talking to people, so maybe you should open your own shop.
  5. Communication / record keeping / governance. Eventually, sharing the news and communicating with the outside world will become important again; likewise, this will be a place to help organize and make plans for the new society. If you have a gift with words and communication, this may be the place for you (or at least that’s what I hope, since that’s where I fit).
  6. Other. Here’s where you can fit if you didn’t fit into any of the other categories. Now, it doesn’t mean you randomly decide your current job will be applicable after the apocalypse. No, it’s where you discover how you can provide a valuable service or product which a new fledging society and apocalyptic survivors will need. Everyone can be useful and serve a need – what will you do?

So, have you made yourself indispensible yet to your new society? Trust  me, you don’t want to be out there on your own. The point, of course, is that no matter what we all end up doing after the apocalypse, it’s our interconnectedness and cooperation which could not only secure our survival, but also help create the foundations for building a new society. A great example is found in the last chapter of Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs by Wendy Brown.

Have I missed anything? Disagree with my ratings of importance of different jobs? Let me know! Have a great week, and thanks for reading.


5 thoughts on “Working in the Post-Apocalyptic Era

  1. my post apopolyptic world is divided so that the doctors etc live in the city and the rest of us struggle outside, re learning the old arts or / dying in the process – we have no idea what hell awaits us when society breaks down – fascinating ideas to author in but I wouldn’t survive the reality
    even tho i know in theory how to brain tan hide – weave – sow – reap – build shelter out of nothing!!! I can cook tho’ and preserve berries and fungus – will they let me survive on those skills I wonder – great post thanks

    • Yes, I’m sure they’ll let you survive with those skills. 🙂 Knowing how to preserve limited supplies of food, nevermind being able to recognize what’s edible or not are also important knowledge. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Take care.

  2. I am so pleased that you seem to be in agreement on the need to re-learn basic crafts and skills. Even if the world does not come tumbling down on us, it does not hurt to have these skills. I actually find it very peaceful to use some of them.

    We have been trying to re-learn a lot of these basic skills that will be needed, beginning several years before her book had even been conceived. We try to grow as much of our own food as we can, we learn a few new plants to forage each year, and we’ve been taking survival skills classes with our homeschooled girls. Feel free to check out Wendy’s blog, http//, or mine,

    • I’m glad you agree. I’ve often been the one who knows and remembers strange things, and happily, others are starting to re-learn these old crafts and I think (hope) they’re gaining in popularity. Indeed, whether they save us if the world ends or just give us personal satisfaction and a break from an often consumerist and throw-away society, they seem well worth the effort to me. Thanks for commenting.

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