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Outdoor Industry?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:38 pm
by Fletch
Anyone know how to start looking for a job in the outdoor industry (either apparel, tourism, conservation, fundraising, management, etc)? I have a really good 'white-collar' job now and I'm not complaining or anything. I just think that at some point in the near future, I'd like to start doing something I love/care about. Anybody know where to start?

Re: Outdoor Industry?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:04 pm
by mrchad9
This is pretty vague. Need to start by narrowing down what you want to do (and defining how much of a pay cut you are willing to take).

Re: Outdoor Industry?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:42 pm
by Fletch
mrchad9 wrote:This is pretty vague. Need to start by narrowing down what you want to do (and defining how much of a pay cut you are willing to take).

I don't know what I want to do. Just started to think about this. The pay thing is not so much of an issue (obviously not looking forward to a pay cut, but if you do something well, the pay will work itself out)...

btw Chad, when did they let you back on the boards? I thought they booted you for good! HA! :lol:

Re: Outdoor Industry?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:58 pm
by mrchad9
July 1, now settle down.

Re: Outdoor Industry?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:15 pm
by Kahuna
Fletch, I rec you start off with YC's org.....

http://www.patagonia.com/us/jobs

Re: Outdoor Industry?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:38 pm
by Kahuna
Where are you residing these days Fletch?

REI is always looking for FULL-TIME employees. Another very viable option.

Re: Outdoor Industry?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:46 pm
by norco17
Fletch as chad said I think you need to narrow it down a bit if you are serious about doing this. The narrowing it down will probably be pretty easy. You mentioned several things
1. apparel: get that out of your head or you will just end up in retail, granted you might get pro deal, but the only side of apparel that would be remotely interesting is testing and they have sponsored athletes for that.
2. tourism: short of being a guide that probably is not as interesting as it sounds, but maybe if you can get into the right area?
3. fundraising/conservation: if you can get in with the right group (access fund, etc.) this could be a good way of going.
4. conservation/managment: let me start out by saying that I work for california state parks during the summer months as a seasonal lifeguard, and I had an ex girlfriend that was a seasonal park aid (now she is a permanent employee). If you are looking at either national or state parks there are a lot of jobs available, but the issue is they are either low paying seasonal jobs with very random hours or they are fairly specialized jobs that require some type of degree or certification. I am not saying that they are hard to get, but you must do the leg work to get your foot in the door and then advance through them. If you are supporting a family trust me when I say you do not want one of these seasonal jobs I think I made 6 grand this year and 8 last year. If on the other hand you were just looking for free room at yosemite so you could climb on your days off then collecting tolls at the entrance gate might not be that bad assuming you can handle the idiot that wants a refund because the park wasn't what he thought it was going to be so he wants his money back after spending two days there.

There is a website for federal jobs

https://www.usajobs.gov/

What part of the country are you in? Do you have a family? Are you willing to move? Travel? Do you have any special skills or degrees? Special skills could be hiking or swimming. I saw an add on that usajobs site for a person to hike the trails in the grand canyon and help people back out of the hole that they got themselves into. Minimum wage to hike the tourist trails 5 days a week. Also with any park job you will not get away from the people. You will be dealing with customer service all day long

Re: Outdoor Industry?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:18 pm
by Fletch
Thanks gents. I'm in Denver now, wife, baby girl on the way. I have a bunch of degrees (overeducated really) and would love to travel. Most of my expertise is in finance, real estate, running a business, sales, etc. I don't know the first thing about how a jacket is made or whats the difference between a green rock and a brown rock. I'm just sort of probing the surface of what's out there.

I sit in front of a computer all day (in a high-rise with a view of Longs Peak --- so it's not all bad) and that really drives me crazy. I'd love to be able to spend half the day on my feet and actually do something I enjoy. Hopefully outdoors. Or at least have the ability to sometimes during the workweek...

Am I nuts? I keep thinking I'm trading in the very good for hopes of the perfect...

Re: Outdoor Industry?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:21 pm
by Kahuna
What does the Boss (your Wife) think about all this?

Re: Outdoor Industry?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:29 pm
by Damien Gildea
I'm still trying to get over that you've been lying to us about playing for the Lakers. :-(

Re: Outdoor Industry?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:53 pm
by norco17
The finance jobs do exist in the outdoor industry, but most of the people who work them don't get out all that often. Plus with a baby on the way do you really want to give up a good job?

Re: Outdoor Industry?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:59 pm
by MoapaPk
From my limited experience: you don't get the inside track to a conservation job unless you have been volunteering with the same folks for a few years, and have made a lot of friends and networked extensively. Maybe keep the day job for a while, and volunteer with a FUNDED outdoor organization (e.g., in NV we have Friends of Nevada Wilderness, and the Great Basin Institute contracts to them and others for labor)? Even those organizations work off "soft money" -- you may be quoted a salary, but continued employment is contingent upon the funding environment. I have a friend who did desert tortoise surveys for GBI, until that project ended, but it gave him confidence and he now writes his own proposals. And I know folks who thought they had landed dream jobs doing biological surveys for BLM, and were absolutely miserable. In any case, if you volunteer, you will see what the jobs entail before you choose to leap.

I have friends who have a day job, but also guide when times are slow-- the "primary" job is in something that is currently off-and-on -- like real estate or construction. I live near Red Rock, and there seem to be jobs for folks who are single- and multiple-pitch certified--- those jobs are good for the soul, but don't pay well.

Some of my friends are surveyors-- that means they get outside a lot, but also means that they MUST get outside in summer in Vegas (or winter in CO).

Man, I wish you luck. A few of my friends are much happier now, even earning less money... but that's just a few, out of many who wanted such a job.

I'm always meeting people who work for the forest service or BLM, but rarely get outside -- the better-paying jobs are largely bureaucratic.

I have a hole in my life, when I worked every weekday and weekend, saved most of what I made, and went on rare outdoor forays. But I was able to retire at 55, and now do pretty much what I want.

Re: Outdoor Industry?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:27 pm
by Kahuna
Get a hold of your local ACCESS FUND folks. See what they may have to offer.

Re: Outdoor Industry?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:46 pm
by mrchad9
MoapaPk wrote:I'm always meeting people who work for the forest service or BLM, but rarely get outside -- the better-paying jobs are largely bureaucratic.

That's a good point. What's the point of doing apparel, tourism, conservation, fundraising, or management if you are right back on the phone or in front of the computer anyway?