Occupations

Most of the occupations we meet in the Princelings trilogy are service or agricultural ones.  Farming, food production, bartending, catering, coach driver (and presumably animal tending, since the coaches are drawn by horse-like animals) are some that are specified in the early books.  Since George has to have patents, drawings and a marketing plan for the launch of the strawberry juice power plant, we can assume there are a large number of occupations in business.  These might include registers of inventions, legal issues about ownership, as well as legal advice over domestic matters (if I can refer to the line of succession as ‘domestic’)!

Many administrative tasks would be carried out by stewards in castles, and they themselves have assistants and apprentices.  Some castles are centres for major business ventures, including Vexstein with the brewery and Hallam with the metal working.  These give rise to a similar range of occupations that might be found in any business in our own world; production, operations, planning, purchasing, design, sales and also jobs involved with sourcing the raw materials, including miners and quarry workers.

It is not a consumer society in the way ours is, so the type of marketing differs.  Sales are through established trading outlets at castles and larger villages as well as market stalls. Many people sell their wares or produce at the wayside or at coach stops. Management of credit is an important job, and a credit agent established at a place like the Inn of the Seventh Happiness would usually be attached to a castle for security both of the agent and his customers.  “Underwritten” by the castle would be a better term.  This credit agent would also manage the transactions locally, sending reports to each castle of debts incurred and crediting the account of the local business. It’s a cashless world, but that requires a lot of data to be manipulated and stored.

Credit agents have to pass a series of exams in order to be qualified to set themselves up as agents.  Of course, if there are exams, there are also examiners.  Guilds exist for some occupations, some of which are based at the Seat of Learning most appropriate to their craft.  Organisation skills are well regarded, as good organisers are welcome (and needed) everywhere.  The Guild of Organisers is generally referred to as the Go-Getters.

For young persons who manage their basic skills well, there is a wide choice of occupation, but if they feel drawn to a particular field they will need to be accepted by the Guild and pass their exams in order to be able to move to a castle that requires their skills.  Their own castle can assess them through the syllabus and submit them for their final exams if they are committed to retaining their skills. Fortunately Guilds generally only take on apprentices if they know there will be a need for them when they graduate. Many young people are encouraged to be multi-skilled so they can turn their hands to more than one occupation.  And as they have an inquisitive nature, more than one thing to do is just what they like.

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One thought on “Occupations

  1. Again, a smart system, where young people are encouraged to be multi-skilled, and the guilds take only those whom it needs. Contrast this with the job scene today, where you are pigeonholed as one thing, and god forbid you try to make a change: you’re cast aside in favor of the zillion others who have EXACTLY what the hiring company thinks it wants.

    I’m not sure of the statistics, but there are many more kids in US law schools than can be accommodated in the legal job market. This is from a NY Times article from last year:

    “But student loans have always been the financial equivalent of chronic illnesses because there is no legal way to shake them. So the glut of diplomas, the dearth of jobs and those candy-coated employment statistics have now yielded a crop of furious young lawyers who say they mortgaged their future under false pretenses.”

    Not sure if you can read the article without a NYT account, but here it is: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/business/09law.html?pagewanted=all

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