Top Job 👍

Top Job 👍

Yes we know, any ‘best job’ list is entirely subjective. For some it’s about excitement, a new daily challenge, complete job fulfilment, a utopian setting or a feeling of making a real difference. For others it’s about the cold hard cash or the power their position wields. But for this list we’re ignoring the latter two.

Liverpool is home to many great jobs that appeal as much to people’s elemental desires and passion for life as they do their bank balance. But how do you choose the best? The answer is brainstorm. We asked around. If you could have your dream job. Any job. What would it be? We then found the nearest Liverpool counterpart and asked them to tell us all about their enviable position.


Vasily Petrenko; Chief Conductor, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

📷: Mark McNulty
📷: Mark McNulty

I’ve had the great pleasure of making music for more than 10 years with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in one of the world’s great music cities – and now England’s first and only UNESCO City of Music.

I took up the baton in Liverpool in 2006, having first worked with the Orchestra in 2004. I’m honoured to be following in the footsteps of many distinguished musicians who have led this great Orchestra since it was founded over 175 years ago  in 1840 by a group of Liverpool music-lovers.

I’ve experienced first-hand the great passion for  music that is at Liverpool’s heart, music of every kind is everywhere here.  There’ve been many musical highlights for me, too many to mention and  no doubt  many more to come, though 2008 Capital of Culture, supporting the City at the World Expo in China and being part of every Liverpool International Music Festival are events I’ve  been very proud to be part of.

Wherever I go in the world, and I travel a lot, I almost always meet people who know about Liverpool and associate it with music.

The belief in and support of Liverpool Philharmonic’s vision to be one of the world’s great music-making organisations, deeply rooted in our city, and an ambassador for Liverpool, is something that I am immensely grateful for.  Thank you to the fantastic citizens of Liverpool and my colleagues at Liverpool Philharmonic for welcoming my family and I.  It’s a great privilege for me to play my part in making Liverpool the great world city it is.


Alex Patterson, Curator, National Museums Liverpool


My main role as assistant curator is to manage and care for the fine art collections at National Museums Liverpool (NML) and to make the collection accessible to everyone. I’m  currently working on the Victorian Treasures exhibition (opening at the Walker Art Gallery, 27 January 2017) My part involves creating interpretation, delivering talks, and over-seeing the installation and layout of the exhibition.

Everyday I learn something new. Whether it’s through research, talking to colleagues or attending training courses to ensure I’m up-to-date with best practices for collection care. I find researching the fine art collection so rewarding. Art relates to all aspects of history and the world. In order to understand art we need to understand the context within which it was made, a context which constantly shifts and changes depending on how it is displayed and interpreted. An object can reveal so many fascinating stories and this is what makes art such an interesting subject which is full of possibilities. It can make us question and challenge the way we think. It can also make us look at the world from a fresh perspective to inspire and encourage personal well-being.

For this reason I have always loved art. As a young girl I was constantly drawing and painting to try and understand the world we live in. I could never see myself doing anything else. After finishing school I studied Fine Art at the University of Chester and specialised in sculpture and installation art. I enjoyed the hands-on aspect of the medium and really loved experimenting with the environment and creating sites-specific work. I gradually became more interested in the representation and display of art. I subsequently studied an MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies at the University of Manchester in 2009. I began volunteering at the Walker Art Gallery and the Victoria Gallery and Museum (Liverpool University) to get some experience. I also worked as a curatorial intern at the Liverpool Biennial in 2012. I have been working in my role as Assistant Curator of Fine Art for over three years now and each day I am faced with new challenges and adventures.

I think the most rewarding part of my job is that I am helping to preserve art for future generations. If I can help to inspire someone to be creative, to think about something in a different way or perhaps to try something new, then I will continue to support art and all its possibilities for as long as I can.


Stuart Robinson, Animal Manager at Knowsley Safari Park


I came to Knowsley Safari after working overseas as a rehabilitation and reintroduction specialist in Ethiopia, rescuing and releasing animals back into the wild. At Knowsley, we give our visitors the chance to see rare and endangered animals up close and behaving naturally with the large areas we provide them. It’s exciting to educate about our breeding activity and the conservation work we do. There’s nothing better than giving people an insight into animals lives!


Captain Ian Hayman, Mersey Ferries Captain

Ian Hayman

I’ve been a Captain at Mersey Ferries for a number of years now and, because of the nature of the River on which we operate and the type of services that we provide, every single day is different here. It a can be a real ‘mixed bag’ in terms of what we encounter on a daily basis, but my primary role is the safe navigation of the vessel and for safety of the passengers and crew on-board. It’s certainly a job that keeps you on your toes and at times it’s not for the faint-hearted.

I started work here as temporary retail assistant in 2009 having originally studied Quantity Surveying at university. Initially it was only ever intended to be a summer job and I never would have thought that I would have ended up working on the ferries – let alone becoming a Captain. It was quite a change in direction in terms of my original career plan.

My favourite bits of the day are generally around sunrise and sunset, particularly in the winter. The views you get of the sky and of the waterfront are amazing. You get the best views from on board the Ferry. It’s amazing to see how the sun sets over the River and the lights come on in the City at night. It’s a fantastic job though and I’m privileged to be able to work in such close proximity to the amazing Liverpool waterfront and on-board vessels steeped in such rich history and tradition as the Mersey Ferries.

Although we don’t always carry passengers, the Vessels have to be manned twenty four hours a day when they’re out on the Mersey. Vessel movements take place subject to the tide and so it’s not just a case of tying the boat up at the end of the day and going home. Quite often during bad weather if you can’t get into dock you will spend the night sailing or sheltering on a quiet part of the River. We operate on a busy, narrow shipping channel on a fast flowing River; so this has big implications for how we navigate the vessel. This means that there can be a lot more to the job than people often realise!

Want us to find out about your perfect Liverpool job? Tweet us, and we’ll get the lowdown!