Now that you have decided what advice to take and what general direction you want your life to go in, it is time to set goals for each stage of your life both short term and long term goals and set flexible time frames for them. Without established goals your life will be like a ship floating at sea without a rudder. You will be at the mercy of every chance current and wind. Another term for long term goals are Life Plans.
A life plan is a roadmap for your life that helps you prioritize what is important to you. It helps you to make decisions based on your priorities and move toward the life you want. It should provide a clear path for your life, but it should also be flexible. As your life changes, your values and priorities may also change. A life plan is a living, breathing document that requires periodic attention to ensure it accurately reflects your life. It is your own personal guide on how you want to live, what is important to you and what you need to do to achieve the life you want.
A life plan is important to help you take control of your life and your future. In creating a life plan, you identify your values, what is important to you and what you want in your life. Then, when faced with decisions, you measure your options against your values and choose the option that best aligns with your priorities or that moves you forward on your chosen path.
We are not like primitive animals where our only goal is to survive and procreate. We were put here for a higher purpose. I am not saying that we all need to strive to be the leaders of our country but we should shoot for something beyond just reproducing. Thanks to the success of the human species there is a freedom of choice so that if you decide not to produce any offspring it will not really matter in the long run.
The vast majority of us will not be leaving a huge estate behind for our family to fight over, so who really cares what happens to your belongings when you die. I know this is being a little callous but first of all, you can’t take it with you. And second of all, I think the world was a better place when everybody had to start from scratch and make their own place and mark in the world. Nobody is entitled to anything but clean air and water and hopefully, healthy food. Access to healthy food, thanks to major corporations is not something we can even ensure in the U.S.
Let’s put aside the decision on whether or not we raise a family, for another book snf time than this one. I am also sure that most people want to establish some type of long-term meaningful and healthy relationship, so we can consider that as a moot point. Homo sapiens are a species that thrives on relationships whether it be with other like species or the relationships with loyal pets. Studies have shown that people who live alone and do not share their lives with others in a meaningful manner have a shorter lifespan. Luckily for us pets do count here. Having aloving pet sleeping at the foot of your bed can in fact help you to live a longer and more satisfying life. I find it pretty cool that a simple cat or dog can affect your life in such a meaningful manner. So now that we have dispensed with relationships and reproduction, let’s discuss other goals that we can will want to attain.
The most important goal people work on besides a long term relationship and something most people seriously start thinking about in high school is their career. Thanks to our ever-evolving planet, your career path may change several times during your life. This is mainly due to technology. When you think of all the careers or businesses that no longer exist in the last 100 years you will be amazed. For example, while blacksmiths still do exist today, they are surely harder to find, the same goes with saddlers or people who make saddles. At the bottom of this chapter, I have included a fun list of 41 jobs that no longer exist in the Addendum section. I have also listed Nine Iconic Brands that also no longer exist.
Since we have established that for most people with the exception of trust fund babies, careers are very important. Let’s start establishing goals related to this area. We will then wrap up this chapter with establishing secondary personal goals that help to make life more entertaining and meaningful. After all you don’t want to live just to work, do you?
Even though indeed.com is a fairly new company they have quite a bit of useful information on their website. I have included below six tips on how to set realistic goals.
How to set realistic goals
Here are six tips for setting realistic goals:
1. Write down your goals
The simple act of writing down a goal is the first step toward achieving it. Written goals help you analyze your expectations. It’s possible that the goals you had in mind need further clarification once you write them down. If your goals as written don’t match the goals you imagined for yourself, regroup and try again.
2. Take inventory of resources and threats
Achieving goals relies on having the resources you need and overcoming the obstacles you face. Make an inventory of the things you have access to that can help you achieve your goals and the circumstances which may impede your success. These include:
- Time: Determine how much time you have to reach your goals and whether the timeline is in your control. Make a list of other tasks potentially competing for your time while you’re working toward your goals.
- Motivation: Ask yourself whether you are committed to achieving your goals. Consider if your other commitments may conflict with working on your goals.
- Information: Make sure you have all the knowledge you need to reach your goals. Research any topics you need to help you achieve your goals.
- Training: Take inventory of the skills you possess to reach your goals. Undergo further training to help you meet your goals.
- Funding: Assess whether you have the monetary assets you need to achieve your goals. Find out if things are depleting the budget you need to reach your goals.
- Support: Determine if you need any assistance in reaching your goals. If so, ask for help from someone who is in a position to support you in reaching your goals.
3. Reassess and adjust as necessary
Now that you’ve taken the time to write out your goals and to examine factors that help and hurt you on your journey to reach your goals, you can honestly reassess your goals and adjust them if necessary.
Example: If your goal is “I will establish a new company to provide creative services to pet-related retail stores” but you do not have the capital to launch your business, you could adjust your goal to be “I will put aside 30% of my pay for six months while I look for investors to help launch my new company.”
4. Determine milestones
Since achieving goals is a process, you need milestones along the way to let you know whether you’re on track. If you miss a milestone, you may need to modify your timeline. Milestones also help you see your goals in smaller segments, breaking down your tasks into manageable segments. It is much easier to follow sequential steps than to try to complete everything at once.
Example: If you anticipate your goal to take six months to achieve, set reminders for yourself to check your progress every three weeks. If you find yourself behind schedule at one of these check-ins, decide whether you need to adjust the timeline or adjust the steps you’ve planned to meet your goal.
5. Share your goals
When you tell someone else your goals, you are opening yourself to be held accountable for your actions along the way to achieving them. Colleagues, friends and family members are good resources for sharing your goals. Be sure to tell them that you appreciate their help to stay focused and that when they ask you “How’s it going?” they are helping you remain on target to meet your goals.
6. Consider the SMART approach
If you need a more structured framework for setting realistic goals, consider using the SMART method. Two of the letters in the SMART acronym — A and R — are directly related to how realistic your goals are.
SMART goals meet these requirements:
Examples of realistic goals
Here are some examples illustrating the difference between unrealistic and realistic goals:
- Unrealistic: I want to take over the sales department.
- Realistic: I will earn a promotion to senior sales representative by meeting my quotas for three straight quarters per the company’s career path guidelines.
- Unrealistic: I want to end food insecurity.
- Realistic: I will support my community’s efforts to end hunger by volunteering for three hours a week at our local food bank.
- Unrealistic: I’m going to increase our company’s social media following by 500%.
- Realistic: I will implement a new hashtag strategy in our social media platforms and measure the increase in followers every two weeks for the next quarter to evaluate its success.
- Unrealistic: I’m going to be the best graphic designer ever.
- Realistic: I will improve my design skills by completing additional design courses as a postgraduate.
- Unrealistic: I want everyone in my department to love their jobs.
- Realistic: I’ll institute three new employee engagement activities this year, and survey everyone in the department after each one to gauge team morale.
- Unrealistic: I want a 20% pay increase.
- Realistic: I’m going to ask my manager to define the steps I need to take to ensure I get the maximum possible performance-related pay increase next year.
- Unrealistic: I’m going to finish all my work early.
- Realistic: I’m going to improve my time management skills by enrolling in my company’s organizational development and learning program.
- Unrealistic: I want to be better at managing my departmental budget.
- Realistic: I am going to audit my department’s expenditures, track our spending and analyze the numbers to see where we can save money in the next fiscal year.
How to make a life plan in 6 Steps
By Ideed Editorial Team
Creating a life plan is one of the best things you can do to identify the things you most want in your life and develop the strategy to make them happen. Here are the steps to help you create a life plan:
- Create a vision.
- Perform a self-assessment.
- Prioritize your life.
- Identify your values.
- Establish goals.
- Outline an action plan.
1. Create a vision
Allow yourself to dream big. Imagine what an average day in your ideal life looks like. Imagine where you work, what kind of work you do and the income you earn. Imagine your relationships with friends and family. Maybe your ideal life means gaining new skills to find a more fulfilling job. Maybe it is honing your skills to increase your marketability and find a higher paying job. Maybe it’s working from home to spend more time with your family.
Imagine the kind of person you want to be and how you want others to perceive you. For example, you may want your colleagues to know that you are reliable in delivering your work. You may want your manager to respect you as someone punctual in meeting deadlines and accountable for your quality of work.
Think about the things you want to improve in your life. This can include different areas in life, such as finances, career or health. It may entail some weaknesses you want to overcome. Consider how you will measure your improvement and define success. Clearly define what success means to you.
2. Perform a self-assessment
To perform a thorough life assessment, you need to be honest with yourself and what you want. A life assessment includes considering factors like the roles you have in life, your satisfaction with different areas of your life and your various strengths and weaknesses. Reviewing your life from different perspectives allows you to develop a holistic evaluation. Practice self-reflection to clarify your roles and satisfaction in different areas of life. If you struggle with assessing your strengths and weaknesses, ask several people close to you who will give you an objective opinion.
Everyone fills different roles in life. Brainstorm a list of the different roles you play. Examples of roles include student, coworker, employee, manager, entrepreneur, volunteer, spouse, parent and sibling. In the next step, you’ll prioritize these roles and identify the values you want to bring to each one.
Consider different areas of your life such as career, finances, personal development, community, health, relationships and faith. Look at each area of your life and rank your satisfaction in that area on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being ‘needs a lot of work’ and 10 being ‘best’.
Identify your strengths and weaknesses. These can be either technical skills or soft skills. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses allows you to decide where to focus your energy—which weaknesses to improve or which strengths to highlight.
3. Prioritize your life
Now that you have identified the roles you play in life, the areas you want to improve and your strengths and weaknesses, you can prioritize these to discover what is most important to you.
Review your list of roles and reorder them according to what is most important in your life. For example, your role as a parent or a manager may be more important to you than your role as an employee or student.
Also, prioritize the areas of your life to identify what is most important to you. For example, your health and family may be more important than your work or hobbies. When prioritizing areas of life, it’s also important to consider how different areas are related. For example, you may prioritize family over finances, but some financial goals are necessary to care for your family. Establishing that one is more important to you does not decrease the value of another; it simply indicates the areas you want to focus more attention on.
Prioritizing your roles and the areas you want to focus on will help you identify your values and non-negotiables when it comes to your career. For example, if your family is among your top priorities, you may prefer a career with a good work/life balance that requires little or no travel for an organization that is close to home and respects employees’ non-working hours.
4. Identify your values
Comparing how your life is now and what you want your life to be will help you identify your values. Allowing yourself to feel and analyze the difference clarifies your core values. The person you imagine yourself to be—with the life you imagine—lives by these values. They represent who you are as a person even if you’re still working to realize them.
When you identify your values and what is important in your life, they become a measuring tool for every decision. Decisions become much easier because you can clearly see what does and does not align with your values. For example, you might value work that is gratifying and serves your purpose more than you value the size of your paycheck. Understanding this helps you narrow your job search to opportunities that are more gratifying instead of any position with a higher salary.
Related: Core Values: Overview and Examples
5. Establish goals
Now that you have an idea about the life you want and what is important in your life, establish high-level goals for the person you want to be. These goals are the things you want to accomplish over several months or years. They may include things like achieving an executive-level management position or earning a specific annual salary within a certain timeframe. They may also include obtaining a job with income and the freedom to vacation with your family twice a year.
6. Outline an action plan
Your high-level goals are the person you want to be and the things you want to achieve in life. Now you need to reverse-engineer those goals to identify action steps that align with your values and move you forward. These action steps are your ground-level goals for actions you take to achieve your high-level goals. For example, if a high-level goal is to change careers, a ground-level goal may be to obtain training and practice skills for the new career or start hobbies that help you build new skills. Your action plan is the steps you need to take to work toward the life you want.
For each role and area of your life, consider the big goals you want to accomplish, but also make them realistic. You will want to ensure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.
It is safe to assume that most meaningful careers require either advanced training or more education than that provided by your public high school. Don’t immediately think universities. There are a lot of vocational and technical schools that provide appropriate training for a large majority of the technical jobs out there. A lot of people, thanks to the exhorbitant prices of tuition in universities and the lack of appropriate eduction provided by these universities are opting out. I recently took care of an astrophysicist in my hospital who did not have a PhD. I was amazed at this bit of information. When I asked him about it he said, “Did Copernicus, Newton and Galileo have PhD’s?” I said “No”. He said a vast amount of their knowledge was self-taught. Another famous American western author Louis L’Amour who wrote over 100 novels was self-taught. I know these are extreme circumstances but there are options out there. Something to think of when bachelor degrees and even master degrees are now considered entry level degrees.
While I have a bacelor degree in science, the degree that I have my career licensure in is a lowly associate’s degree. I am a registered nurse who has made a solid six figures for over the last 16 years of my career. Not bad for a two year degree, a degree that I paid less than $5,000 for and that includes books and all fees, including my boards and prep classes.
You may not think that you are a goal-oriented type of person, well, if you want to be anything but a minimum wage earner, you better change your feeling about the subject. If your first career path is not stellar don’t lose hope. I did not become a registered nurse until I was 38 years of age. Colonel Sanders did not become a millionaire until he was 73 years of age when he sold his company in 1963 for $2 million dollars (15 million in today’s dollars). My second ex-wife’s mother became an RN when she turned 50 years of age. Being a late bloomer is not the end of the world. However, what is not acceptable is just giving up after an initial failure or poor performance. You also need to remember that while there are a lot of rich people in the world, the vast majority of them are not rich, and a large portion of them are still happy.
After all isn’t that the true measure of success, being happy?
Here is a list of goals that you should strive for to become a well rounded and happy person.
1. Marriage and Family Harmony
Maintaining and expanding as well as restoring and healing in this area should absolutely be a top priority in your personal goals. Pinpoint the relationships in the direst condition. It could be your marriage is in severe trouble. Possibly your relationship with an ex-wife creates great pain in your entire family. Perhaps it’s effective communication issues with your children. Wherever the danger points are, the goal is to determine them and devise a plan for resolving the issues. Be sure to highlight where you have succeeded as well, and how you might grow those seeds elsewhere. The goal is a family living in peace and harmony. I don’t want to stress you out on this goal, I have included it because it was part of the list. But I did not find happiness until I was 50 years of age. Finding that right someone can be harder than you think. So don’t get discouraged.
2. Proper Mindset and Balance
“Carefully consider the man you want to be, and set your sights on how to achieve it.”
What is your attitude like? Are you overly aggressive and abrasive? Timid and self-defeating? Your mindset needs to be in proper balance. Too much or too little of any one particular ingredient can send you in the wrong directions. Personal growth occurs as we begin to learn exactly who we are. Our strengths and our weaknesses. Smart goals are ones we set that grow us in a positive way. Carefully consider the man you want to be, and set your sights on how to achieve it.
3. Commitment to Improved Physical Health
A good place to start when talking about life goals is to make sure you actually have a life 10 years from now. That certainly starts with good physical health. There are no guarantees on living a long life, but it is possible to greatly increase your odds. Listen to your doctor when he tells you to lose those 25 extra pounds. Create an exercise plan that you enjoy and relish. Make sure that 10 years from now you are as vibrant and capable as you are right now.
4. Career Passion and Personal Satisfaction
When people set goals, they almost always look towards their careers first. That is a mistake, but that’s not to say your career isn’t important, because it certainly is. Are you a workaholic? On the flip side, are you lazy and uninspired? Once again, balance is required to fully reach your career potential, no matter what it is you do. Employers respond very positively to employees they can trust. Healthy attitudes, strong aptitude, and good people skills are essential to get ahead. The 10-year goal here should be to passionately enjoy your chosen profession while maintaining excellent balance between home and work. This is another goal that you should not get overly stressed over, after all, most people do not retire from the career they first started out with. I went through at least 5 career changes and at least that any educational changes.
5. Develop Empathy and Gentleness
As men, we tend to chug along aspiring to be what men should be. Strong, protective, and determined providers. But what about the other side? Compassion, empathy, and gentleness. Tenderness when required. The ability to tell the people that mean the most to us that we love them. 10 years from now strive to become fully complete emotionally.
6. Financial Stability
Getting your “financial house” in order is an essential priority in your 10-year planning. Strive to lower or eliminate your debt. Increase your savings and build your family security. Check out All Pro Dad friend Dave Ramsey for great advice in this area.
7. Service and Social Responsibility
Despite our severe issues, America is still the wealthiest nation on Earth. We have a duty and responsibility to do good works with our blessings. For instance, Coach Tony Dungy places a high priority on mentoring. Research and discover an area of need that ignites your passions. Create a 10-year plan to become permanently active in the needs of your community, and include your entire family.
8. Stress-Busting Leisure Time
We have talked about healing family relationships, moving ahead in your career, straightening out your finances, serving others, but how about a little “you” time? Stress can be a killer. It is important that time is set aside to relax and just enjoy life. However you see fit to do so is up to you. Just make sure that in your 10-year planning, leisure is included.
9. Continuing Education
Every day lived is another piece of your education. What are you doing with the knowledge you have absorbed? 10 years from now you will not be the same man and have the same thoughts. That process needs to be focused and nurtured. Do not fear change, because it’s going to come anyway. Embrace it and shape it instead. Set your goals so that 10 years from now you are wiser, more adaptable and more complete.
10. Expanding and Growing Faith
With all due respect to the readers who consider faith a silly notion, I believe it is the most important item on this list. Without faith, a deep belief in meaning and purpose greater than you, this whole list is pretty much pointless. If there is nothing greater and nothing beyond, then who really cares about any of this? Start and finish your 10 year planning based on growing your faith and becoming the man God created you to be.
To make my life interesting I set many short term goals and life goals that were not related to career or family. I knew I wanted to graduate from college, and I was the first one in my immediate family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. I am the only one in my family to complete a marathon, and an Iron Man Triathlon. I am also the only one in my family to write a book, and I am currently, if you’ve been counting, working on my eighth book.
I wanted to take up photography. Now I have been serious about it for over 35 years including being a professional wedding photgrapher for 6 years. I also wanted to take up scuba diving. I have currently made over 270 dives. The same goes with traveling while I am far from a world traveler, I have been to quite a few destinations throughtout the world. These goals and milestones help make life more fulfilling.
I have seen many married couples get divorced when they become empty nesters. They were so preoccupied on establishing a career and raising a family that they forgot to learn how to live their lives and to establish a relationship with their spouses outside child-rearing. Is this what you want for yourself? I certainly don’t want it. Life can be a truly wonderous event. Setting challenging goals will help make it so.
41 jobs that don’t exist anymore
By Indeed Editorial Team
Here are 41 jobs that are no longer around:
1. Leech collector
A leech collector was responsible for retrieving the blood-sucking worms from their natural habitat for doctors to use. Individuals with this job would use the legs of animals or their own legs to lure leeches from creeks and rivers.
2. Knocker upper
Before there were electronic alarm clocks, there were human alarm clocks. People in the 1800s would hire “knocker uppers” to shoot peas at the glass of their window or tap on the glass using a long pole to wake them up.
3. Hush shopkeeper
During Prohibition in the United States, when it was illegal to buy, sell or consume alcohol, a hush shopkeeper would sell alcohol under the table to customers they trusted. They got their name from keeping their illegal business “hush.”
In ancient eras, an alchemist would try to convert chemicals into gold. People considered them “wizards,” as they usually tried to make special elixirs to treat diseases or grant immortality.
5. Gandy dancer
A gandy dancer was a railroad worker who would carry out any task related to the railroad track, including setting ties, hammering spikes and replacing rail. A gandy dancer was an integral part of railroad maintenance in the 1820s.
6. Human computer
Human computers at NASA and other organizations were responsible for making calculations to determine, for instance, the number of rockets needed to make a plane airborne. They performed these calculations on graph paper, and they could take up to a week.
7. Caddy butcher
Caddy butchers specialized in processing and selling horse meat, which was popular in both the United Kingdom and the United States until the 1940s. Horse meat was cheap at that time and was considered an alternative to venison or beef.
Phrenologists specialized in studying the human brain based on the size and shape of a person’s head. Phrenologists believed the shape of people’s heads correlated to their intelligence and had many gadgets to prove their theories.
In ancient Greece, bematists learned to measure their steps to calculate distances. They would often publish their calculations in books, which listed distances between well-known points as well as reports of empirical customs and natural findings.
Redsmiths were so-called for their expertise in working brass and copper, a zinc alloy. Also known as coppersmiths, redsmiths worked copper for at least 6,000 years.
11. Scissors grinder
A scissors grinder would sharpen knives, scissors or other tools using an abrasive wheel and would sometimes go door to door performing the service. The job disappeared by the 1970s, as most people found it cheaper and easier to purchase new tools instead of sharpening their old ones.
12. Ice cutter
When reliable freezing and refrigeration didn’t exist, ice cutters collected surface ice from rivers and lakes to sell. To cut through the ice, they often used hand saws or horse-drawn devices.
13. Food taster
A food taster was responsible for tasting food prepared for someone else to ensure it was not poisoned. The person the food was served to was typically an important person, such as a member of a royal family.
14. Billy boy
A billy boy was a young man tasked with making tea for men working at railway yards, blacksmiths and building sites. During break times, a billy boy, who was considered an apprentice, would light a fire and boil water in lightweight cooking pots called “billycans” to make tea.
A telegraphist, also called a telegraph operator, was responsible for sending and receiving Morse code using telegraph equipment to communicate by radio and landlines. A telegraphist was one of the first “high-tech” occupations of the modern era.
Before someone invented automated pin set-up and retrieval machines, pinsetters or pin boys removed and replaced pins at bowling alleys between each turn. They would hang out at the end of the lanes and reset the pins manually.
17. Water carrier
In India beginning in the 1600s, a water carrier collected potable water and carried it back to a village, providing fresh water to individuals and families. However, as pipe systems evolved and became more commonplace, the job became obsolete.
18. Herb strewer
In the 16th and 17th centuries, an herb strewer covered up odors inside and around a castle or palace using fresh herbs. However, when perfumes were invented and plumbing and sewage systems became more advanced, the job was no longer necessary.
19. Toad doctor
Beginning in the 1600s, medical researchers and doctors believed that toads had healing properties, and they began to use toads in the practice of medicine. They used dried and powdered toads to soothe inflammation and relieve headaches and skin conditions.
Before electric street lights, a lamplighter would go around town extinguishing and lighting gas-burning street lamps. When cities replaced gas lamps with electric light bulbs, lamplighters became jobless.
21. Elevator operator
An elevator operator was responsible for manually closing and opening elevator doors, controlling the speed of the car and telling patrons what companies were on each floor. However, this job became obsolete because people now prefer to press their own elevator buttons.
In the United Kingdom in the 1700s, drysalters were dealers who provided chemical products, such as dry chemicals and dyes, used in salted, tinned and dried food or edible oils. Some drysalters also traded potash, logwood, flax and hemp.
23. Crossing sweeper
In the 19th century, when streets were often littered, dirty and filled with waste, people would hire a crossing sweeper to sweep a path ahead of them as they walked down the street. Wealthy people would pay crossing sweepers to prevent contact with waste or to protect their long skirts or articles of clothing.
24. Rat catcher
Children or young people became rat catchers during the Victorian era because cities like London were infested with rats, commonly known by then as carriers of various diseases. To solve the problem, rats were either poisoned or killed with wooden sticks to eradicate them from the streets.
25. Soda jerk
Soda jerks, or soda jerkers, were responsible for maintaining soda fountains and dispensing soda into a glass from a spigot behind a counter. They also made egg creams and milkshakes.
26. Plague doctor
In the 14th century, as the bubonic plague rapidly spread, villages hired plague doctors to treat infected people. The plague doctors used masks to protect themselves from the contagious air, and many used a wooden cane so they could check patients without touching them.
In the early 1900s, a physiognomist evaluated a person’s character or personality from their physical appearance. Physiognomists believed that physical features could denote personality traits like sincerity and openness.
A daguerreotypist was responsible for capturing photos using a daguerreotype, the first form of the camera available to the public. The daguerreotype was very popular in the mid-19th century and captured images of many politicians and celebrities of the time.
In ancient Rome, a nomenclator announced the names of people or guests visiting their master. Politicians in Rome, especially, took up the practice of hiring a nomenclator and would have them whisper the names of guests or people as they approached during political rallies to make the politician appear knowledgeable and personable.
In the early 1900s, factories employed a lector to read books or newspapers aloud to keep employees entertained. The lector would often stand or sit on an elevated surface while reading the news so that the entire factory could hear.
31. Town crier
In medieval England, a town crier informed the townspeople of the latest proclamations, news and other information, as most people were illiterate or non-readers. After the town crier read the message, they would post a notice on the door of a local bar or inn. This is why some newspapers today are referred to as “The Post.”
Resurrectionists exhumed bodies of the recently dead and delivered them to doctor’s offices and medical colleges in the 18th century. As modern medical science grew into a true profession, the demand for corpses increased. Practicing anatomists and medical students needed bodies to dissect to learn the human body’s inner workings.
33. Clock keeper
In the middle ages, people hired clock keepers to track time and maintain clocks and other timekeeping devices. Clock keepers often received significant amounts of money to ensure the accuracy of a clock, as the job involved some basic skills in mathematics in a time when education was not yet widespread.
34. Film projectionist
A film projectionist was responsible for operating a film projector in a cinema. However, with the rise of digital projection, using film to project movies in cinemas is becoming a rarity, which means there aren’t many people who know how to work with film anymore.
35. Breaker boy
To separate impurities from coal, coal breakers in the U.S. relied on breaker boys who were between 8 to 12 years old. Because this job was labor-intensive, many people argued against allowing children to work in these conditions. However, it continued into the early 1920s until the coal separation technology improved and child labor laws became more strictly enforced.
36. Aircraft listener
Before World War II, governments employed aircraft listeners who used acoustic mirrors to detect the sound of an enemy’s aircraft engine. While acoustic mirrors may have been effective in detecting sound, enemy aircraft was often too close to take preventive action by the time the listeners issued a warning.
37. Log driver
Before the infrastructure or technology were available to transport logs by timber lorry or logging truck, log drivers would use the current of a river to transport them from a forest to pup mills and sawmills downstream.
During the Victorian era in London, toshers made a living by breaking into the city’s sewage system and searching for pieces of bones, scraps of metal, coins or any other valuable items. In 1840, entering sewers was prohibited, and individuals who caught others breaking this law received a reward, which discouraged sewer-hunting.
Before pasteurized milk and household refrigerators, milkmen had to deliver milk daily to ensure it didn’t spoil. With the rise of home refrigeration, however, the occupation disappeared.
40. Dispatch rider
A dispatch rider was a motorcyclist from the first and second world wars responsible for delivering urgent messages between militaries. Radio transmissions during wartime were unstable and prone to interception at the time, so reliable and quick motorcycle couriers were needed during these pressing situations.
Cavalrymen were soldiers who mostly rode on horseback, but could also ride elephants or camels. The last major conflicts that relied on cavalrymen were World War I and World War II.
9 Iconic American Brands That No Longer Exist
Thanks to changing economies, changing technologies, changing tastes, and a host of other factors, it can be a struggle for any company—even the most iconic ones—to stay afloat. Sadly, these once-thriving American businesses just couldn’t keep up with the tim…
By Katie Nolan
Once a behemoth book retailer, Borders wasn’t able to adapt quickly enough to the technological changes of the 2000s. At a time when many readers were switching to e-books, Borders focused on growing its CD and DVD department. While the company kept building new stores, it lacked a strong digital and online plan, and even at one point outsourced online sales to Amazon. By September 2011, all of its stores were shut down.
Founded in 1927, Pan American World Airways once dominated the airline business, especially international travel. It revolutionized air travel with its regularly scheduled transatlantic and transpacific flights and its computerized global reservation system. Yet though it was an innovative leader, the company wasn’t able to weather the recession of the 1980s and the tragic 1988 bombing of Flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland. Despite having downsized and sold off some of its routes in an effort to save the company, the airline closed up shop in 1991 after Delta pulled out of a proposed financing plan.
For 117 years, F.W. Woolworth was one of America’s most iconic retail stores. The five-and-dime opened in 1879 in Utica, New York, and eventually grew into an empire that spanned 21 states and even reached to Canada, Great Britain, and Germany. In its later years, though, Woolworth’s struggled to stay relevant as shopping malls and other chain stores grew in popularity. In 1997, the company closed its doors for good.
Toys R Us
Billions of dollars of debt and changing shopping habits spelled the end of Toys R Us. The popular toy store once served a lively niche market, but it struggled with increasing competition from discount stores like Target and Walmart as well as Amazon, and it was saddled with staggering debt from a leveraged buyout in 2005. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and was shuttered the following year.
Today, practically any movie, television series, or video game can be streamed right from the comfort of your couch, but not so long ago Blockbuster was the place to go to rent new finds and old favorites. Over the years, however, video on demand, cheap, convenient Redbox rentals at grocery stores, and the rise of Netflix pushed Blockbuster into oblivion. Dish acquired the company in 2011, and by 2013 the last remaining corporate-owned stores had closed. As of this writing, there is still one franchised location holding on in Bend, Oregon.
If you were looking for music by a certain artist or band, there was always a good chance you could find it at Tower Records. The mega music store, which was founded in Sacramento by Russell Solomon in 1960, was known for its extensive stock and well-informed clerks. The company expanded across the country and worldwide, but in the process it accumulated excessive debt. The rise of digital music and download sites like iTunes delivered the final blow, and the company filed for bankruptcy in 2006.
Compared with other brands, Compaq was short-lived, lasting only from 1982 to 2002. But during that period it was a hugely popular computer company and a leading supplier of PCs throughout the 1990s. Hewlett-Packard acquired it in 2002 and continued to sell some systems under the Compaq name until it was discontinued in 2013.
Oldsmobile, which died at the ripe old age of 106, was one of America’s oldest car brands. Ransom E. Olds founded his car company in 1897, and in 1901 the first Oldsmobile debuted: the Curved Dash Oldsmobile. General Motors acquired the brand in 1909 and targeted it toward middle-income Americans. For decades, Oldsmobile had a loyal following; the Oldsmobile Cutlass was the best-selling car in America in the 1980s. But the brand’s popularity eventually waned, and GM decided to end production of the line in 2000. In 2004 the final Oldsmobile—an Alero—came down the assembly line.
Famous for its orange roof, consistent menu, and reasonable prices, Howard Johnson’s restaurants were a pit-stop staple for families on road trips through much of the 20th century. Founder Howard Deering Johnson started the business as an ice cream stand outside Boston in 1925. At its peak in the 1970s, the company grew to more than 1,000 restaurant locations across the country and included more than 500 motor lodges, which Johnson began to operate in the 1950s. When the chain was sold to Marriott in the 1980s, the restaurants were shuttered. A single franchise location remained open until 2017.
On the Brink: Sears
Sears was once America’s top-selling retailer, famous for its now-defunct catalog, but in recent years it has struggled to stay afloat. Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert is trying to save the corporation as its fate hangs in the balance.