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What would be some interesting/ideal jobs for a character that can turn into any animal? (Edit: This is a world in which the character is the one that actually reveals the supernatural to the world, unintentionally. Setting is "10 minutes in the future", for all the character knows they are the only one of their kind.)

The only limitations to the character's shape-shifting being that:

  1. They cannot change their sex.

  2. Their shape-shifted age is always proportional to their actual age (adult to adult animal).

  3. They have no other abilities: they don't have telepathy, can't talk as an animal, and are not immune to bullets.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Aify, JBH, Pingcode, kingledion, Anketam May 8 '18 at 2:00

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Fair warning: I'm not VTC'ing anything, but this will get a lot of VTC's for being too broad/POB. I'd suggest using The Sandbox to help you here. $\endgroup$ – FoxElemental May 7 '18 at 21:04
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    $\begingroup$ I'm vtcing this question as POB because it's a purely subjective question. Help center example: Avoid asking questions where every answer is equally valid: eg “What’s your favorite ______?” This question is basically the same, "What is an interesting/ideal job for a character that can shapeshift" - interesting is ill defined and completely subjective. You might say "I think if he could transform into X it'd be interesting" while i say "If it was Y it would be interesting" and both our answers would be equally valid. $\endgroup$ – Aify May 7 '18 at 21:04
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    $\begingroup$ Is shapeshiting a secret? How many shapeshifters are out there? One can make a fortune as a magician, but if there's too many of them, nobody would care to see the show. $\endgroup$ – Alexander May 7 '18 at 21:09
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    $\begingroup$ Alternatively get him to keep turning from whale to fly and use the weight change to generate power. $\endgroup$ – Ummdustry May 7 '18 at 21:20
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    $\begingroup$ What would be some interesting jobs for a non-shapeshifter? I apologize, but the Stack Exchange model (one-question-one-best-answer) is very good at helping you flesh out specific issues and very bad for undirected idea generation. $\endgroup$ – JBH May 7 '18 at 21:55
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  1. Spy (no one expects an ant or a raven to be spying on them)
  2. Circus performer (Perform certain tricks like feats of balance when you are a cat, pretending you are a trained beast)
  3. Animal TRAINER (who better to train dogs than someone who can shape-shift as a dog and speak dog?)
  4. Sensory exploiter (Need to find objects in the ocean-> Shape-shift into dolphin and blast out some sonar. Need to find the drugs on the criminals? Shape-shift into a dog and find those drugs like a champ.)
  5. Extinction prevention (So it turns out there is only one super extinct rhino left and you have a few shapeshifters... start making more rhinos)
  6. Organ Farm (give kidneys/liver/organs to someone who needs them, then shape-shift into Axolotl, regenerate the missing pieces, rinse/repeat) Also this will allow your shapeshifters to recover from virtually anything besides completely getting their brains destroyed.
  7. Drug/Poison Dealing: The Colorado River toad (Incilius alvarius), also known as the Sonoran Desert toad can secrete a hallucinogenic compound that could. You could also turn into a snake and milk your own fangs
  8. Literally any job you could master given enough retries at life, even if you are severely maimed: Phase one, live your life in an attempt to master a job -> lets say you are trying to become a linguist(easier to learn languages when young because...*citation needed) or too old to continue (boxing/gymnast) Shapshift into a Turritopsis dohrnii become a young polyp -> TRY AGAIN YOU GOT A NEW LEASE ON LIFE!
  9. Bear Clone Warlord: Shapeshift into a sponge or any animal that reproduces asexually. Now, since the asexually reproduced animal has the shapeshifter's DNA the cloned offspring should be able to revert to human form after replicating like bu...sponges. After shapeshifter has built up an army (and has established many "circuses" in strategic locations), start taking over stuff. EVEN if the shapeshift fails one time, they have all the time in the world. As a bonus, your shapeshifter can coordinate all military attacks as Bears.
  10. Exotic pet salesman: Using the sponge clone method in 9, have your sponge clones change into pets of the most exotic kinds. You could even avoid having to deal with the hard part of smuggling exotic animals to other nations. When boarding a plane, have all your clones turn into bugs and when you get off shapeshift back into the rare tiger.
  11. Supervillain: To the shapeshifter, the world is disgusting. There is not enough of the shapeshifter. SPONGE CLONE METHOD AGAIN! Replicate like mad, start to hunt down every life form that isn't a former sponge clone. As you kill something, replace that with a sponge clone shapeshifted copy. Become only living thing on planet with clones of yourself doing every job of EVERY animal. Do all Jobs.

For what it is worth, clown fish can change sex, so your shapeshifters should be able to as well

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    $\begingroup$ This thread is disturbing... but kinda brilliant... what is the nature of a fetus in a shapeshifter... does it itself become a shapeshifter, does it shift at the mothers control, does it NOT shift? $\endgroup$ – OhkaBaka May 7 '18 at 22:08
  • $\begingroup$ Sadly the Turritopsis dohrnii "rejuvenerate" on each life cycle (arround a month) all their body cells. That means that your neuronal system (brain) would also rejuvenerate and become a child brain (memory and learning loose). $\endgroup$ – Ender Look May 9 '18 at 0:32
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    $\begingroup$ #5 just made me gag $\endgroup$ – bendl May 9 '18 at 14:48
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Exterminator. There is always a predator of whatever pest they can switch too, and since most of the work is done out of sight they don't have to rub any human noses in the shapshifter's difference.

Thief. Cameras never show a human face, small gaps are exploitable, the WTF on seeing a change probably buys enough time for the shapeshifter to escape, even from police if caught before the ability is well known.

Photographer and/or model. Posing any animal and being pretty certain not to maul or pee on anyone seems like a significant competitive advantage.

None of the above. They don't need to bother with being a human, any other animal given human intelligence, and the ability to switch to something slightly larger at a pinch will do better than fine. They can literally be the big fish in a small pond. Sex, fighting and flying are popular with humans but humans aren't certainly the best at any of them.

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Explorer - With the ability to change into any animals, you could easily adapt to most environment on Earth and could go and visit places that human has not (or not easily) been to. Take some pictures after a trip and you could make some reputation for yourself.

Detective - similar to spy, you could investigate someone or something much easier with the ability to change to animals. Like changing to a bird to watch them from the sky or changing to other animals to sneak in and listen to their conversation.

Assassin - If you can still keep your clothes and your tools when you change shape then you could carry gun or knife while change into an animal. You could then approach your target and finish him off when he is not noticing. Or if you cannot bring all your tools then you can carry small stuff like poison to put in the target food without them noticing.

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  • $\begingroup$ There are a disturbing variety of small things with lethal stings and bites. $\endgroup$ – user25818 May 7 '18 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ I forget about that. I guess that means you don't even need to carry anything with you then. $\endgroup$ – Khoa Tran May 7 '18 at 23:10
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Actor? Seems like a pretty perfect fit really... Think about the level of emotion you could get out of a lion and the hours you could work... like Andy Serkis... only without the motion capture suit.

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Magician.

Totally awesome magic tricks.

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