According to Yahoo Finance, anyway. Over the weekend, they profiled 5 high paying, low stress jobs and Massage therapy made the cut. It was great to see something positive being written about the business side of the profession. However, I found the article insulting to both my intelligence and my sensibilities.
What are the 5 high paying, low stress jobs?
- Physical Therapist
- Computer Software Engineer
- Civil Engineer
- Massage Therapist
- Technical Writer
Seriously? Anyone who has worked in the engineering world, like me, knows that ‘low stress’ is not part of the job description. High paying, yes, but when you’re butting up against a deadline, you have bugs in the code, and the sales department is screaming for you to release, there is a lot of stress. Oh, and a problem at the customer’s site? Carry a picture of your kids in you wallet because you’re not going to be seeing them anytime soon.
Massage Therapy is “an extremely low-pressure, relaxing career” because:
We get to smell soothing aromatherapy scents and listen to calming music all day
I don’t use much aromatherapy in my practice because several of my clients are very sensitive to scents. And when I do use it, it is for the client’s needs, not mine. Have you ever had your hands tingling and your eyes watering because you client has a migraine and the only oil they want is peppermint and lots of it? The room smells minty fresh afterwards. And the music? I’ve got 10 hours of relaxation music playing on shuffle mode. It’s not enough. One of my clients, talking about massage music, said to me, “I get the feeling that you listen to heavy metal in the car on your way home.” Not far from the truth, but the biggest problem is that I just get tired of calming music.
We’re self employed
And that means we “don’t have to deal with the stress of a boss breathing down their neck while they work.” It also means that you get to do all of your own bookkeeping, marketing, cleaning, mailing, reminder calls, quarterly taxes, booking new clients, and insurance billing. It also means no paid vacation, no paid sick days, no health benefits, and no support system. Self employment has many many benefits but it is not for the faint of heart.
Massage therapists must be a special breed because “the thought of touching a stranger’s back doesn’t drive your stress level through the roof.” How sad that our society is so touch averse that the thought of having to touch someone would be cause for hazard pay.
A serious article would have been better
This was a throw away article used to fill space somewhere. The author either wasn’t being serious or never bothered to really explore any of these professions in depth. I can’t wait to point my favorite physical therapist to the article and get her opinion.
If you’re thinking about massage, let me give you my take. Massage is lower stress than being in combat, performing brain surgery, or painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Like any job, however, it is not without its sources of stress. Clients who cancel at the last minute or don’t show, quarterly taxes, insurance companies, and that really annoying friend who always wants a free massage after you’ve had a long day.
Massage is not piece work. You don’t get paid more for working faster. You get to set the pace that you work and you have an entire hour to do your job. You get to relieve pain. If you are self employed, you can book clients around getting your kids off to school, weekly lunch with your best friend, a long weekend trip with the family. You also get to pick what calming music is playing in your massage room – mine, for the record, is an Enya-Free zone.
Would you recommend massage a career?
What are the pros and cons from your perspective? What would you have like in the article?