Outdoor Advocacy

Professional Skills from Not-So Professional Activities

dv1938015So there you are, sitting in an interview for that sweet job that you really (think at least) want.  You’re wearing business professional and wielding those crisp, fresh resumes in your portfolio.  You have a college degree; you have (at least most of) the qualifications that the job description demanded.  Just one problem—so does everyone else.  How do you make yourself stand out?  Oh, that’s right.  You’re a badass adventurer with outdoor skills. Really though, there are a lot of skills you naturally hone in the outdoors that are incredibly valuable in a work atmosphere.   So before you completely write off all those crazy times as “unprofessional,” think about it this way:

Adaptability and Problem Solving
You made a plan, you scoped out the area, you packed all your stuff up, and you’re super stoked to (insert sick outdoor activity here), but then something happens.  Maybe someone gets injured, or the weather is off.  Maybe you get lost and lose time.  To be safe outdoors, it is absolutely key that you assess every situation and deal with it accordingly.  Especially when dealing with stressful situations.  I think that it goes without saying how valuable it is in the workplace to adapt to new situations and keep a cool, clear mind when dealing with anything that inevitably comes up.

In the outdoors, you have to be able to communicate with any and every kind of person you come to, as well as nature itself.  You learn to be respectful to your environment and read the unspoken words of others.

This goes with communication and adaptability.  Often times, it’s easy to get along with everyone.  But sometimes, it isn’t.  The outdoors teaches you to face your differences and work productively with others. 

Attention to Detail
You can read the crap out of a topographic map.  You can find poison ivy in a sea of green.  You can identify several different types of birds, and you could make a badass wildflower bouquet if you weren’t so into Leave-No-Trace.  This attention to detail can come quite in handy when you’re looking over “real-world” things.

Every trip you take is like a little event you’ve planned, or maybe a big event you’ve planned if you are in charge of a program taking others outdoors.  There are thousands of little factors to take into consideration, strategies and game plans that you are responsible for.  In the outdoors, you are fully responsible for your own life, safety, and happiness—and sometimes that of others’.  You have to look at a situation, and plan for the best and worst scenarios, as well as keep organized your supplies, directions, and other necessities.

You have the motivation to wake up at 5 in the morning to get to the trailhead, and you keep going all day.  And you actually enjoy it.  You can relate this to the work place in that you have the energy to handle whatever comes at you.

This is something you can’t train someone to have.  People who follow their pursuits and appreciate the world are good people to work with, as well as healthy additions to employee culture.