People have many different perceptions of what life is like working in the funeral business. For some, death is sad, tragic even, so dealing with bereaved relatives is not going to be a barrel of laughs. Others are far more comfortable with the idea and can’t wait to get started on their new career, so if you regularly Google “embalming school near me”, read on to see if you have what it takes to work in this business.
You’re Comfortable with Death
It should go without saying that you are comfortable with the notion of death. Since the funeral business is all about people dying, you won’t get very far if you freak out at the sight of a dead body or regularly wake up with nightmares where you are being chased by a grinning corpse.
You’re Not Squeamish
Working with dead people is not for the squeamish. Not everyone dies peacefully and there may be times where you have to prepare a body that came to a violent end. People who work in the funeral business are always relaxed around dead bodies. They may crack jokes or even eat their ham sandwiches while a deceased person lies in the next room; to them, death is nothing to be scared of. After all, we all die one day. But, and this is an important “but”, you must treat the deceased with respect and dignity at all times, so if you think funeral homes are a great place for pranks, this probably isn’t the job for you.
You Have Compassion
Dying may be perfectly normal, but this doesn’t mean that grieving relatives are happy about losing a loved one. Part of your job may be to deal with customers suffering from varying degrees of emotional distress after losing their loved ones. It is your job is to treat bereaved relatives with compassion and respect, which won’t be easy at times. It’s essential that you have bags of compassion, empathy, and respect for your clients, even if they are too upset to be polite to you.
You Want to Help People
A funeral director’s job is to help people give their loved ones the right send-off. Whether the deceased wanted a quiet cremation or a ten-gun salute and a parade of horse-drawn hearses, it’s your job to tease out the details and put together an appropriate funeral plan to suit your client’s budget and special requests.
You Pay Attention to Detail
This is one job where attention to detail is critical. Nobody will thank you if the hearse ends up at the wrong cemetery or you forgot to order flowers for the coffin.
You Don’t Mind Hard Work
People don’t only conveniently drop dead during normal working hours. Deaths occur 24/7, 365-days a year, so you will be expected to collect bodies and embalm bodies at all hours of the day or night.
The funeral business is hard but rewarding work. Do you have what it takes?