My Heroine needs a job…Help!

Back in the day…like Jane Austen’s day…women rarely had to worry about earning money. Oh, sure, they were tutors, governesses, cooks and such in major households, but those were pretty much the limits to a female’s job expectations other than as a prostitute, mistress, or some other such unsavory occupation.

If you’re book is an historical, a Regency era tome, or set anywhere before or in the 19th century, your heroine is limited in what she can do to earn her keep.

Not so much anymore, thankfully.

Your girl can do anything nowadays. I’ve read books where the heroine is a jockey, an astrophysicist, a newspaper owner, a racecar driver, a spy, a pilot…the list goes on. We are not limited to giving our fictional girls fabulous, exciting jobs, just like they are not limited in real life to having the job of their dreams.

In a former life I was a nurse. I know nursing. I walk the walk, talk the talk. None of my heroine’s have been a nurse. I’ve had a doctor, a concert pianist, an artist, an Olympic figure skater, a professional chef, a photographer, and a television producer, just to name a few. But no nurses.

Why not?

Well, I’ll tell you. I could write about a nurse, sure. It would be an accurate depiction of the job. I have the background to make it a realistic depiction and wouldn’t have to do any “research” into the role. But I wouldn’t want to write a nurse as a heroine because it’s too close to home, namely, to me. For anyone who knows me who would read the book, I would consistently wonder if they were equating the character with me. Plus, if I had to write a love scene with my heroine…forget it…don’t even want to go there!

I’d much rather give my girls fabulous jobs that I have to research, and by research, I mean actually DO them. I’d love to be a racecar driver. Not so sure my hubby would like the idea of me driving at 100+ miles per hour – oh, wait. I do that already! Being a pilot would be cool, don’t you think? And I would love to be a professional chef with my own tv show. How about the owner of a tech company? You’d need to be really smart and computer savvy for that one.

There are so many options for occupations for our heroine’s these days. The list is almost limit-less, something, as a writer, I am thrilled about.

I’m also thrilled because I’m the mom of a girl and I just love the fact she has options galore and can do anything she wants to do for an occupation.

So. What are some of the jobs your heroines have, or you would like them to have?



Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, research, Romance, Strong Women

10 responses to “My Heroine needs a job…Help!

  1. My heroines are always “traditional” girls, so I go for occupations that are more traditional. Nanny, teacher, owner of a coffee shop, owner of a bed and breakfast, that sort of thing. But you’re right, they can be anything these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So far, my heroines have had the same job – career counselor. Time for a change?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! And oh, so true. So far my heroines have been a potter, school marm, architect, and owners of a coffee bistro and landscape center. It’s odd, but I have no idea, except for the redware potter, why I chose them. 🙂


    • Peggy Jaeger

      Being a potter and a coffee bistro owner are very cool professions! I’d love to have one of my girls own an Inn…maybe….next book


  4. I write Regency so I’m not a lot of help. 🙂 I do like reading about women with any type of job. The only thing that annoys me is preachy stuff if the woman has a job that was traditionally done by a man. Show me a competent heroine. Don’t put a chip on her shoulder.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Allison Morse

    I can relate to what you said about not making any of your heroine’s nurse’s since you were a nurse. I’m a lawyer by day, and, honestly, the last thing I want to write about when I get home is about a woman–like me, who is a lawyer–like me. I know they say write what you know. But I love research and I love escape. So I like your idea of a jet pilot : )


    • Peggy Jaeger

      And really, how cool would it be to research being a pilot?? Way better than just writing about giving injections and listening to blood pressures, that’s for sure.


  6. janarichards

    I’ve used a variety of occupations for my heroines – chef, lawyer, teacher, etc. Finding a occupation and making it seem real is always a challenge. But that’s why writing is fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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