Escape the boring office, get a job outdoors

' Have you ever stared out of the office window on a sunny day and wondered what madness keeps you here indoors? Of course you have—you’re human. Have you

Escape the boring office, get a job outdoors

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Have you ever stared out of the office window on a sunny day and wondered what madness keeps you here indoors? Of course you have—you’re human. Have you stared out on a wet, windy, cold day and thought the same? Perhaps not… but if you have, then it may be time to start thinking seriously about a new career—one that will get you outside whatever the weather.

Careers Needing a Specialized Degree

Some of the most attractive and lucrative careers require a specific degree, often at the doctorate level. However, if you already have such a degree, or you have the time and resources to study for one, there are fascinating jobs to be done.

Landscape Architect. This involves planning, building, and managing open spaces. Much of the work is for government agencies, but increasingly private businesses are developing areas of land. The work has changed in recent decades as the emphasis is now on sustainable environments. If you see yourself as a 21st-century Capability Brown, this could be a heavenly opportunity for you.

Surveyor. Surveyors work in many different environments, from domestic properties to government developments. Wherever there is construction, surveyors are needed. The technology is racing ahead, and you will need to keep abreast of it.

Environmental or marine scientist. For many people the dream job is to be out in the wild, discovering more about the world we live in. Scientists are involved in research projects from Antarctica to the Amazon, from Sydney Harbour to the Sahara.

Careers Needing Transferable Degrees or In-Work Qualifications

There are more jobs that can provide training while you work, or which will accept a background in other relevant disciplines.

●     Pest Controller. Wherever there are people, there will always be pests and pest controllers will be needed. The work can take a strong stomach sometimes, but you can gain experience and qualifications at the same time. In some areas, pest controllers specialize in fields such as termite eradication.

●     Builder. The construction industry is very dependent on the economic conditions, but over the cycle, there is a demand which tends to grow. You will need an apprenticeship in all but the most menial of labor jobs.

●     Park Ranger. There is a lot of competition for a job which fulfills many people’s idea of perfection. It requires qualifications in a relevant environmental field, experience, and knowledge of the wild, and an ability to handle the public. Other jobs in parks are available as a potential entry.

Careers Not Needing Formal Qualifications

If the prospect of sitting exams fills you with dread, there are still areas of work that you can go into, developing your own interests. Incomes are more haphazard, but you can start earning straight away.

Gardener. With a good knowledge of plants and an eye for order, you will always find people who need a gardener, either because they lack the time or skill for their own gardens, or because they are no longer fit enough to do their own work.

Photographer. It may seem that everyone records their own events on their smartphones nowadays, but there is still demand for those essential top-class pictures for special occasions. If you can get known by a publisher, there may be contract work available. On the downside, all your weekends may be occupied throughout the summer.

Dog-Walker. Walking other people’s dogs can be surprisingly lucrative—if you live in the right sort of area. It is also a big responsibility, and you need to know all the local regulations.

Something to Note

When you work in an office, your employer has the responsibility and power to adjust your environment to look after you. In the great outdoors, the environment is what it is and you need to be prepared for all sorts of conditions.

You will need to be equipped with the right clothing for every sort of weather. You will need the right shoes for work, the right PPE (personal protective equipment), and clothing that will keep you safe from every extreme of hot, cold, and wet weather. Working outside is a constantly changing experience, the climate cares nothing for your welfare, and it is down to you to adapt.

The Call of the Wild

We are creatures who like our comforts, but we are also creatures who evolved in the natural environment and it still calls us all from time to time. It is difficult, but not impossible, to make the transition to working outside and, for the right people, the rewards can outweigh the disadvantages many times over.

Isobel Walker gets anxious when shes stuck indoors for too long, and knew she could never cope with an office job. Shes the girl who needs to get outdoors, dig in the mud and feel the wind in her hair.


Your Turn: Have you ever had a job (or other way to make money) that let you work outdoors most of the time? Tell us about it.


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