Jobs In the Hunting, Fishing, and Outdoor Industry | Getting a Job in the Outdoor Industry
It’s no surprise that most outdoorsmen and women don’t actually work in the outdoor industry. From construction workers to teachers to doctors, the wide variety of work backgrounds that hunters and fishermen can come from likely touches every industry out there. They participate in hunting and fishing because it’s a passion, hobby, and often a lifestyle. For many, that is all it will ever be; however, every year at hunting and fish camps, and outdoor expos across North America, you hear people asking how they can break into the industry. For this group, they are looking to live their passion every day and get paid doing it. Surprisingly, getting a job in the industry isn’t that hard. What is difficult is getting “THAT” job in the hunting or fishing sector, the one you constantly dream of doing. It’s not impossible. You just have to outwork, be more creative, and sacrifice things you may not have had too in past jobs, for a shot at your dream job in the hunting, fishing, or outdoor industry.
Be Patient, It’s a Start
It’s rare that someone will jump into the exact job they want in the outdoor industry right out of the gate. Whether you are looking for a career change, or just coming out of school, it doesn’t really matter. Breaking into the industry often takes some time. Whether you believe it or not, this time is beneficial to you. How?
Well let’s say you graduate with a degree in Business Administration. There are a lot of different positions you could fill with a company. Contrary to what many believe, some of the better paying opportunities exist behind the camera or out of the lime light. This is where the business decisions are made and what drives the entire industry, including what you often see on TV and the internet. However, you might find that even though you are working with hunting and fishing products, that isn’t exactly the type of experience you thought you would get. You’re dream of being in the field testing these products may quickly dwindle to a desk jockey. Obviously, not your dream job. It might seem crazy, but even these positions are tough to get into no matter your education level. The outdoor industry is about networks of people that know people, this is how many of the jobs are filled.
So let’s say you are starting from scratch, how do you break the ice? Well, whether you like it or not, you may have to start with many of the popular outdoor retailers or even a local sporting goods shop. I know what you are thinking, this is nowhere near where you want to be. But showing that you were a Hunting Sales Associate for a store will look better than Ladies Footwear from the local J.C. Penny’s. It’s a stepping stone, and a good one at that. These businesses often have rapid movement internally, and the faster you climb the more attractive you are to other hunting and fishing companies, or the closer you are to getting the job you want to be in. Remember, if you outwork everyone else, what is there to stop you?
It’s All About the Options
One of the greatest assets of getting a job in the industry is the variety of positions available. From being a cameraman for a major TV show, like Bone Collector on Outdoor Channel, to marketing the latest products from a major manufacturer, there are a ton of variety of skills needed by companies in the business. In order to find yourself in one of these spots, making a career out of what you love to do, you need to play on your strengths. If you love to film hunts, but can’t run a camera worth a darn, don’t bring a sloppy highlight reel to a company to try and impress them. However, if you graduated with a marketing degree, and a company is looking for a junior marketer, then the door is likely wide open. In this industry it is truly about getting your foot in the door. Once that happens, and you impress the company, you are much more likely to succeed.
KNOW the Business
This actually revolves around two pieces of knowledge. First off, know the company you are about to talk too. There might not be anything worse than getting a cold call or visit from a prospective candidate and they know nothing about what you or your products does. Second, it’s all about who you know in the industry. It doesn’t even matter if they are competing with the company you are talking too, just having some connections in the business arena can make the difference between being taken serious and the dreaded “Good luck on your search.” Take some time out of your schedule to go to trade shows and industry events, this is a great place to meet the people that can be your “reference” to break into the outdoor industry.
Your dream of working in the hunting, fishing, and outdoor industry is absolutely obtainable. It’s not going to be overnight, especially if you don’t know anyone in the industry, but if you outwork everyone else and strive to be the best at your strengths, the only thing standing in the way is yourself