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Thread: Outdoors jobs

  1. #1
    Widdler
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    Hi everyone, I'm looking for a bit of advice / some ideas and you seem like a knowledeable lot!

    I'm about 1/2 way through the workload of a PhD and its making me miserable, so i'm thinking of quitting. I have some ideas about what i'd like to do but i don't really know whats out there or how to find out, i was thinking something along the lines of park ranger, or of joining the police... anyway, the criteria are that i want to be outside at least some of the time (not to be stuck in an office) and i don't want to have to do the same thing every day for the rest of my life. I'd also prefer to have a secure job rather than short contracts.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  2. #2
    ‹bermensch
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    It's a nice idea, but it's very hard to get a job as a park ranger. Nowadays academic qualifications in the environmental field, plus practical experience, seem to be required, and even then there are hundreds of application for every vacancy. You might have the required attributes, but it would be tough to get in otherwise...
    As for joining the boys and girls in blue, the problem is you don't know where you might end up "outside" -- possibly a city nightclub at 2am on a Sunday morning.
    I'll try and think of other possibilities I can be more positive about.

  3. #3
    Ultra King Mikel el Bastardo's Avatar
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    I'm in my 40's and still don't know what i want to do when i grow up.

  4. #4
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    A friend of mine recently completed a BELLA outdoors qualification, so that she can go onto working in outdoors pursuits etc as a full time career.

  5. #5
    Initiate GG64's Avatar
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    Id stick your phd out. Youve already worked hard for a few years with your education and ur a lot stalled right now. Thats normal. As Guy said, many out doors jobs need good qs too, so quitting now may make things worse for in the long run. The phd will be a big fat feather in your cap, then go get another in something else...

  6. #6
    Ultra King Chairman Bill's Avatar
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    Outdoor jobs? I was going to say that I use a trowel, but then realised you did actually mean jobs

    Finish the PhD. Hard slog I know, but just get it done.

  7. #7
    ‹bermensch
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    If you are really determined to get an outside job, you might have to think about something like sheep shearing. You can take short courses to get qualifications, the pay is pretty good and there is demand. However, you have to move around a lot -- probably overseas for a lot of the year -- and job security is zero. But I'm afraid there are going to be big drawbacks to any outdoor jobs that don't require a degree, or that you were born into a farming family (and even most farmer's sons and daughters go to agri college).
    Or there's always window cleaning or landscape gardening.

  8. #8
    Mini Goon pasty_muncher's Avatar
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    Agree with the rest of em, finish your PhD first, but when thats done, what about land surveyor?? Depends on company what sort of work you get, but has a bit in office but mostly outside, somewhere different each job, you get to see bits of the countryside you never would even think of visiting. Again depending on company you may have to stay away from home/travel a bit.

    Also remember just cos you like something as a hobby does not make it good for a job, you ahev to go out in all sorts of weather even when you dont feel like it, as a hobby this is ok, as a daily job may not be so great.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Metric Kate's Avatar
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    Guy's right about vacancies in sheep-shearing! Though clearly the pay's not great.

    I'm afraid that I tend to agree with those recommending you try to complete the PhD (but then, I'm an academic), and then look for a job outside - and outside academia (but then, I'm an academic). Have you tried the university careers service (sorry, I say that to all my students - usually it's a waste of time, sometimes they do actually help).

  10. #10
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    I was interested to read the other day that some of the most less stressed out people are those working with sheep as actual shepherds, rather than those working at the under pressure job of actually shearing the sheep in their hundreds! I doubt the pay is too good, but as a fulfilling job it is apparently a very high scoring one indeed for them doing itthat were there surveyed for their opinions.

  11. #11
    Initiate craigp's Avatar
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    Sheep shearers can earn very good money if they're fast. I don't know how they're paid here but in my home country (NZ) they are paid per 100. So the faster you are the more money you make. It's one of the hardest jobs there is physically though. And it's mostly indoors too, inside smelly, sweaty shearing sheds.

    Edited to add: I agree with others - keep going with the PhD. You've worked hard and it's cost a lot to get to where you are and it's worth nothing to you if you give it up half finished.

  12. #12
    ‹bermensch
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    You're right about the pay Craig, but in the Lake District there aren't many shearing sheds about. A lot of the work will be done in farmyards or open pens.

  13. #13
    Ultra King
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    Stick with the phD.

    theres always window cleaning, said Guy.

    It's nice at the moment but not at 5am on a February morning.

  14. #14
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    I once cleaned the windows at the Wasdale Head Inn (in the days when it was the Wastwater Hotel) at something like 6am on a February morning. The windows were exceptionally grubby after some building work on the exterior. Anyway, I got a bucket of hot water and probably got about 10 minutes of joy out of it before it went stone cold. Then worse... the water actually began to freeze on the glass so I couldn't wipe it off... and all that before breakfast too!

    Still... not as bad as working outdoors in the pouring rain in February, digging halfway to Australia to exterminate rhododendrons, only to find that they're virtually fireproof when you try to burn them!

  15. #15
    Widdler
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    oh dear, what have i started?

    of course i'm cute enough for the russian army, my hat fits better than hers too! looking at the first photo though i'm a bit scared - they all look very pissed off!

    Paddy, i spent 2 weeks burning rhodedendrons once, when they're lit they are actually very effective at burning holes in clothing!

  16. #16
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    I wish I had an outdoor job now... but I'm stuck inside trying to reduce 3500 pictures of Madeira to a more manageable 200, with captions and locations for each one.

    I had a little bit of help burning rhododendrons. I was given an old creosote-soaked telegraph pole, which I sawed into logs and chopped into tinder. One match would start something that looked like a blaze at an oil refinery! But those rhododendrons sat in heaps on top of the blaze and just hissed at me.

  17. #17
    Ultra King Ninja Marmot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddy Dillon View Post

    I had a little bit of help burning rhododendrons. I was given an old creosote-soaked telegraph pole, which I sawed into logs and chopped into tinder. One match would start something that looked like a blaze at an oil refinery! But those rhododendrons sat in heaps on top of the blaze and just hissed at me.
    Paddy, hissed at you? Are you SURE? Here's some help:

    Rhodie:



    Not Rhodie:




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