Please read the whole text below, so you don't assume what I'm talking about just from the title.
I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. It’s something that really bugs me, really bothers me. People never talk about jobs and occupations in alien cultures or worlds, or any fictional worlds, when they talk worldbuilding, when it, at least to me, is one of the most important aspects of a world. An alien species will have it different in their world, and so they will have different jobs than us, at least to some degree maybe. Like, if they have catterpillars that leave red residue, maybe they use that residude to create some kind of dye. Or maybe it’s something even more bizzare, or creative, imaginative. People just never talk about the jobs and occupations. Or would it fall under social activity? It really baffles me that it’s never really come up in any worldbuilding discussions… Some people talk about how your social status in an alien world depends on your job or something, but that’s not helpful haha. We all know it does,. It does in our world. Why wouldn’t it in other worlds? It’s more interesting to explore what kind of jobs aliens or fictional species of any genre. WIth different tech, environments, with different flora and fauna that has characteristics not seen in Earth fauna and flora, jobs and occupations, and the things you need to do to live, or be comfortable, or earn money or respect or whatever, is different. This applies to both alien species in science fiction or races in fantasy. I’ve been wishing that they would discuss this on the Writing Excuses podcast, which I follow religiously (writingexcuses.com/ it’s great, you need to listen to it, like, now). My friend, and science fiction writer Joe Kawano said I could write a guest blog post about this on his site, but I don’t know if I’m really qualified to do it, since I’ve written a lot less than probably most of the people in the group. I practically haven’t written anything since I was 17, though, except a few opening texts in a writing course at the school I just graduated from. But I hope I made the gears in all of your heads spin.
I can think of a few instances of jobs/occupations in fictional worlds, one being in The Legend of Korra where the firebenders use their lightning sub ability to shoot electricity into some kind of generators, presumably using them to power something, or maybe the entirety of Republic City. Another one is the many occupations of Matoran in Bionicle, like mask making, carving stone into sculpture or signs etc., but most of their jobs are inspired by human work.