Last year, Jim Rosenthal gave up a 20-year career in PR to become a priest. Doing so meant taking a 70 per cent pay cut. And as a rookie priest, Rosenthal has to start at the bottom of the ladder.
Even so, he loves his new job in London. “As I walk down the street, many people ignore me, and once a man even spit on me, but usually I get kind looks and people ask me for a blessing,” explains Rosenthal. “I try to be an agent of goodwill, and as a priest you have a chance to communicate even better.”
Rosenthal isn’t the only enthusiastic priest. According to the University of Chicago’s survey on job satisfaction, clergy have the highest job satisfaction.
Richard Reid, 31, gave up a comfortable life as a sound engineer at Nickelodeon to become a London firefighter. “I get to put out fires, I get to go to schools and talk about fire safety and lead workshops encouraging minority men to get an education,” says Reid. “What else can I ask for? The only thing I can think of is that firefighters deserve to be paid more.”
Priests, too, put out fires, albeit different ones. “And like firefighters, we save lives,” notes Rosenthal.