on Writers Helping Writers:
As human beings, our work is very important. Choosing a career is one of the biggest decisions we make in life, and we often put a ton of time and energy into it.
But what about our characters’ jobs? How much thought do we put into that?
We authors recognize the importance of strong characterization, agonizing over the smallest details and collating pages and pages of information about our cast members. But unless the story calls for a certain career, their occupation is often an afterthought. We pick something that’s interesting—a career we admire or think is cool and unique. And we end up with a character who has a job that does absolutely nothing for the story.