HOW CAN I HAVE AN OUT­DOOR CA­REER?

Friday - - Beauty -

Q What are the ca­reer op­tions avail­able for out­door sports? I don’t want to sit in a closed of­fice ev­ery day, and I need to con­vince my par­ents of my ca­reer choice.

AWouldn’t it be won­der­ful if we could all take our of­fice and work to the moun­tains, deserts, wilder­ness or yachts in the ocean! Be­lieve me, it is not as im­prob­a­ble as it sounds. The op­por­tu­ni­ties to pur­sue out­door ac­tiv­i­ties and ad­ven­ture-in­fused ca­reers are nu­mer­ous. But you need to en­sure that along with the pas­sion, you have the skill sets.

With the right cre­den­tials and ex­per­tise there are plenty of jobs avail­able. Even with the econ­omy down­turn the leisure/ad­ven­ture sec­tor saw a 5 per cent growth.

Ac­tiv­ity cen­tres and ad­ven­ture hol­i­days of­fer a va­ri­ety of sports such as cy­cling, moun­taineer­ing, wa­ter sports, sa­faris, ski­ing, white-wa­ter raft­ing, high-al­ti­tude trekking, cross-coun­try mo­tor­cy­cling and count­less DR IKRAMULLAH AL NASIR others. To work in th­ese jobs would re­quire tech­ni­cal skills spe­cific to that ac­tiv­ity. And man­ag­ing such cen­tres re­quires train­ing in spe­cialised ar­eas and man­age­rial skills. Man­agers will be re­spon­si­ble for re­cruit­ing, over­see­ing house­keep­ing and fi­nances, train­ing, en­sur­ing fa­cil­i­ties and equip­ment are safe, su­per­vis­ing staff, etc.

You’ll need to con­stantly up­grade your own skills in tan­dem with cur­rent trends and tech­nol­ogy, or­gan­ise pro­grammes for groups, and even lec­ture on var­i­ous top­ics (his­tory of the area, ge­og­ra­phy…) And with th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties be­ing out­door, bear in mind that safety is a very im­por­tant is­sue.

You need to have lead­er­ship skills, be calm un­der se­vere and ex­treme con­di­tions, and have the abil­ity to mo­ti­vate peo­ple. Re­mem­ber that even the best-planned event can go awry be­cause of the va­garies of na­ture.

De­grees in busi­ness man­age­ment, out­door ed­u­ca­tion, lead­er­ship or phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion would help. There are also post­grad­u­ate de­grees in out­door ed­u­ca­tion and re­cre­ation man­age­ment, with ad­di­tional qual­i­fi­ca­tions in coun­selling and men­tor­ing, busi­ness man­age­ment, fi­nance or mar­ket­ing. Th­ese will help you set up your own busi­ness in var­ied fields.

The very na­ture of th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties means that the work­ing hours would be ir­reg­u­lar and long, and the work­place could be in re­mote ar­eas. But yes, you will not be cooped up in an of­fice. It is nec­es­sary to ac­knowl­edge, though, that hav­ing a pas­sion for ad­ven­ture or out­door ac­tiv­i­ties is not syn­ony­mous with pos­sess­ing the re­quired skill sets in this very de­mand­ing job.

Try work­ing part-time dur­ing hol­i­days and week­ends to find out if you have what it takes to be an in­struc­tor.

Other non-in­struc­tor ca­reers that don’t re­quire you to be in an of­fice all day are land­scape de­sign, marine bi­ol­ogy, ge­ol­ogy, ar­chae­ol­ogy, farm­ing, jobs in en­ergy and those re­lated to the en­vi­ron­ment. The choice is vast.

is a lead­ing spe­cial­ist der­ma­tol­o­gist based in Dubai

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