Do you shudder at the thought of an “indoor” job, one that keeps you cooped up inside an office or warehouse for forty hours (or more) ever week?
Do you cringe at the idea of spending your working life inside an air-conditioned building, counting the hours until the weekend when you can finally get outside?
If so, then maybe an outdoor career is what you’ve been looking for. Every year thousands of people discover the joy of working outdoors, close to nature, breathing air that isn’t filtered through a ventilation system.
And we’re not just talking landscaping or construction jobs here. There are literally dozens of careers that allow you to work much if not all of the time outdoors. Things like forestry, geology, ranching, habitat and animal reclamation, agronomy, zoology, wildlife management, land planning, conservation, rafting or tour guide, nature photography, oceanography and many more.
Outdoor careers help the planet
People in the US and elsewhere are quickly realizing that our quality of life depends in a large part on the quality of our environment. After all, what would the world be like without the rain forests, or the coral reefs in the oceans, or the National Parks such as Yellowstone or Yosemite?
It would be a lesser place, that’s for sure. But for many people, their appreciation for nature is nothing new. They’ve always valued the scenic beauty of the oceans, and the forests, and the mountains. They treasure the diversity of the world’s animals and plants, and find a special connection to the life that inhabits the Earth’s special places.
And what better place to work than outdoors, among all this natural beauty? Most people travel to parks and nature preserves on vacation, but what if you could work in such a place? Outdoor careers allow you to do just that, and make a difference at the same time. This might sound too good to be true, but it can be your workday reality if you want it badly enough.
But is an outdoor career right for you?
Make no mistake, there are unique challenges to this type of work. If you’re not comfortable working outdoors, in all types of weather conditions, then this might not be your best career choice. Also, outdoor careers often require living out in the field, in basic housing or even tents, so if you can’t stand the thought of living without air conditioning or cable TV, you might take that into consideration as well.
Your level of education is also an important factor. Some outdoor careers and jobs such as oceanography or zoology require a high degree of specialized education and training. Others, like working as a park ranger or tour guide, do not. Some emphasize working with the land, while other primarily deal with the water, animals, plants or the air.
It also helps to be a good team player when working in this career field. You should be able to communicate well, both orally and in writing. It also helps to be in good physical condition, as some jobs will take you to remote areas that aren’t accessible by car.
This type of work can sometimes be hard on family life as well. Many outdoor careers require you to be out in the field for days or weeks at a time, and it’s usually not practical to bring the family along, especially if you have young children. You might also have to relocate at a moment’s notice, to another part of the country or around the world, which can be hard on a family as well.
If this is what you want, go for it!
If an outdoor career is really what you want, despite the challenges and occasional hardships, then by all means persue your dreams!
For many people, the chance to work outdoors, among nature and this beautiful Earth of ours, is more than enough motivation to overcome any obstacles or hardships in their path.
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