Developing a Career in the Outdoor Industry: 5 Things to Know
by Brett Menter, Outdoor Recreation Leadership
1. You are in control of your own destiny.
Everyday the power is in your own hands. Learn the essential skills needed to be a leader in the outdoors and focus on your self-awareness. Find out what you need to know and be determined to find a reputable source of information. You are only going to get out as much as you put in. Your effort today will pay off: Read books, take courses, and seek new knowledge. Don’t be stagnant. There is continuous development of information in the industry. Stay informed, practice your skills, and be ready for change!
2. Maintain your passion!
Why are you here? You want to work in the outdoors because you are passionate about the environment and people? Following your passion can be clouded by financial compensation. It is easy to become blinded of what you truly value when people offer you money. Make sure to take the time and perform daily reality checks. Ask yourself, “Am I still passionate? Is the work that I’m doing supporting my life values?” Money shouldn’t have the final say in what you do. Work because you like doing it!
3. Your resume needs to show continuous activity and work ethic.
“How should I start?” Take small steps at your big goal. Pursue employment that challenges you and better prepares you for future opportunities. Every job is a step forward so soak in the information and get out of your comfort zone. Future employers want to see that you are an active hard-working employee. They want to see versatility and progression in your employment. If you feel stuck in the industry, go somewhere and do something new. Change is good and employers want to see your continuous strive for more.
4. Teamwork and Communication is IMPORTANT
Remember what you learned when you were young? Work as a team, communicate well, and stay organized. These essential life skills are just as important now that you are entering adulthood. There will be people everywhere you work and there is no escaping that. No matter how different you might be from others, it is essential to find ways to work together honestly and efficiently. Although your personal skills will bring opportunity, your group leadership skills will bring you more success in the long run.
5. Seasonal employment can be stressful
We all know that the seasons change and work comes and goes. Keep your head up when the slow season comes. It is only natural to feel out of place when the season switches and you are forced to change gears. Working in the outdoor industry isn’t easy because we depend on the weather every day. Seek employment all of the time. Stay educated on when companies are hiring; continuous job searching will help you stay employed during the different times of the year. Have back-up plans and don’t be afraid to take time off.