I Want to Work In … an Outdoor or Active Career
Many graduates say they don't want to be stuck in an office typing on a computer all day, but the fact is that the majority of graduate jobs are office-based. Having said this, many involve the chance to get out and about a lot: even a chartered accountant will spend much of their time visiting clients auditing or giving advice.
Of course, if you can't get into one of these careers the alternative is to work in an office and spend all you spare time outdoors. I've known several graduates who have very happily run their local cricket team/or volunteered on nature reserves every weekend. See our voluntary work page www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/voluntaryWork.htm
Having said this many graduates really do yearn for a career here they will spend much of their time in outdoor, active and practical roles, so here are some suggestions.
These are ones where you are likely to be spending a fair amount of your time in the sunshine (and snow and rain and wind and hail!).
- Armed Forces www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/armedforces.htm
- Police and other emergency services www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/Police.htm
- Scenes of Crime Officer www.kent.ac.uk/careers/forensicsci.htm
LOTS of competition for this one!
- Youth and Community Work www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/youth.htm
- Sport and Leisure Careers www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/sport.htm
- Environmental careers www.kent.ac.uk/careers/environment.htm
- Environmental Health Officer www.kent.ac.uk/careers/Environment.htm
- Landscape Architect www.iwanttobealandscapearchitect.com For postgraduate courses see www.iwanttobealandscapearchitect.com/becoming/courses/graduate.html apparently 50% of practices turned down work due to lack of staff in 2008
- Horticulturist www.growcareers.info
- Farm Manager
- Animal Care www.kent.ac.uk/careers/animalman.htm not usually well paid, but you can cuddle a Koala.
- Biologist www.kent.ac.uk/careers/bioscience.htm
- Archaeology www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/archaeology.htm tough to get, but lots of voluntary work on digs.
- Oil, Energy and Utilities Careers www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sitesemp.htm one mathematics graduate became a deep sea diver on oil rigs!
Jobs where you stand up and moving around a lot, rather than being attached to a desk with a ball and chain.
- Teacher www.kent.ac.uk/careers/siteach.htm The obvious one is PE teaching and outdoor pursuits instructor, but any teacher can coach sports teams.
- Teaching English as a Foreign Language & Teaching Abroad www.kent.ac.uk/careers/tefl.htm not necessarily outdoors but in another country and it's relatively easy to get.
- Social Worker www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/socialwork.htm you are likely to spend a lot of time visiting clients.
- Probation Officer www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/Probation.htm
- Trading Standards Officer www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/trading.htm
- Charity Fundraiser www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/charity.htm
- Transport and Logistics www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/transport.htm
- Selling www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/medicalsales.htm you can sell in the country as well as the city: for example, agricultural sales representative.
- Retailing www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sitereta.htm the average retail store manager was estimated to walk 14 miles per day.
"(Office) jobs have become so specialised and process driven that it is hard to se what difference people are making. And in those rare cases where one's impact is obvious, the result may seem pointless."
The Case for Working with your Hands
- Purchasing www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/purchasing.htm can involve lots of visits to suppliers
- Hospitality http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/hospitality.htm restaurant and hotel management
- Property & Housing www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/property.htm for example, estate agent or housing manager
- The Heritage Sector www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/heritage.htm English Heritage and the National Trust
- The Media www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sitesmedia.htm camerawork, lighting, sound and many other production jobs are physically active and sometimes outdoors.
- Journalist www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/journalism.htm
- Events Management www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/eventsman.htm
- Public Relations www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/PR.htm
- International Development and Aid www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/developing.htm
- The Diplomatic Service www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/diplomat.htm
- The Intelligence Services www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/intelligence.htm tinker, tailor soldier .... counter-spy?
- Pilot/Air Cabin Crew www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/airline.htm admittedly, not outdoors, but at least you are at 30,000 feet!
- HM Revenue & Customs www.hmrc.gov.uk Customs Officer
- UK Border Agency www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk Immigration Officer
- Clinical Research Associate www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/cra.htm lots of travel, but only for the scientists.
These are ones where you need to be skilled at using your hands. Matthew Crawford in his book The Case for Working with Your Hands thinks people aren't happy at work because jobs have become too specialised: you can't see what difference you are making, for example selling things to people that they don't really need. He opened a motorcycle repair shop and found he was happier, also surprisingly more intellectually stimulated. A tradesman has lots of variety, and you have to be practical, but also work out solutions to complex problems: you have to to improvise and adapt. In jobs such as gardening, you have a clear purpose.
- Nurse, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist and other medical careers www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/nursing.htm not outdoor, but certainly active and there are funded postgraduate courses to retain in these careers
- Building and Construction www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/property.htm#const
- Engineering www.kent.ac.uk/careers/electronics.htm
- Self Employment www.kent.ac.uk/careers/selfemployment.htm it may be possible to set up your own craft, repair or gardening business.