Written by: Nicole Fava
There are many great reasons to work in the outdoors, and even more if you want to work with an outdoor education nonprofit. Here are just a few:
1. Hard Skills. You will learn a lot of useful technical skills. When your coworkers are some of the most highly skilled instructors in the world, you quickly develop your own areas of expertise. Not to mention, most outdoor companies will pay for or help fund your training courses and certifications to meet industry standards.
2. Adventure Buddies. Your co-worker doubles as your favorite adventure partner! It’s no secret that the outdoor community is full of happy and considerate people. Like you, they have chosen to spend their career committed to the outdoors, education, and the pursuit of adventure! You are sure to fit right in and have a life-long group of friends.
3. Leadership Experience. While those technical skills will get you further in your career as an outdoor guide, your skills in leading and facilitating growth in others will set you up for the rest of your life, no matter where your life takes you.
4. Bragging Rights. When your peers are complaining about being chained to a desk all day, you won’t have to say much. Just show them your Instagram feed or your most recent blog entry.
5. Gear Discounts. Many outdoor companies offer Professional Purchase Programs for those working in the field. After all, you are their prime customer, and they want their product seen in the field. After all, you are their prime customer and they want their product seen in action.
6. Passion-driven Work. You know that old saying, “You should work to live, not live to work?” With a career in the outdoors, or better yet, outdoor education, you can do both, knowing you are making a difference in your community while also paying the bills.
7. Health Benefits. You get to spend the majority of your time outdoors! Research shows countless benefits to being outdoors, including, a boost in physical and mental energy, stress relief, better vision, more creativity, reduced risk of cancer and depression, improved immune system function, and improved mental health.
8. Physical Fitness. Adulthood means all those time-consuming responsibilities. For many, fitness often goes by the wayside when faced with deadlines, meetings, family commitments, and outings with friends. However, with a career in the outdoors you are exercising while you work!
9. Time to Reflect. As an instructor in the field, you will find that with a lot of time away from modern technology and the distractions of everyday life. Take these precious moments to consider where you are going, where you want to go, and what goals you need to achieve to get there.
10. Change Lives. For many people, a wilderness expedition becomes a cherished memory, a rite of passage, an essential chapter in their story. By guiding students as they embrace challenges in unfamiliar settings, instructors become a part of their students’ stories.