Transitioning to an outdoor career is an enticing prospect for many, appealing to those drawn by the allure of fresh air, natural surroundings, and the promise of a desk-free existence. However, pivoting to such a career pathway requires thoughtful consideration, preparation, and sometimes, a shift in lifestyle. Here are the top 10 factors to consider before making the switch to working outdoors.

1. Passion Versus Reality

An outdoor career often looks idyllic from the outside, but it's important to distinguish between the romanticised version and the reality. Outdoor work can be physically demanding, requires working in all weather conditions, and might involve irregular hours. Ensure your passion aligns with the practical aspects of the job.

2. The Physical Demands

Assess your physical preparedness for the role. Outdoor jobs like forestry, wildlife conservation, and adventure tourism can be physically intensive, involving long periods of standing, walking, or even manual labour. Consider your physical fitness and any health implications.

3. Required Qualifications and Skills

Some outdoor careers may require specific qualifications, certifications, or skills. For instance, a career in environmental science might necessitate a degree in a related field, while adventure tour guides often need first aid certifications and specialised training. Research the requirements of your chosen path carefully.

4. Adapting to Seasonal Work

Many outdoor jobs are seasonal, which could mean periods of unemployment or seeking alternative income during off-seasons. Financial planning and adaptability are key to managing the cyclic nature of such work.

5. Location Constraints

Consider where you might need to live to pursue your chosen career. Some outdoor careers might require relocating to rural or remote areas, which could impact your lifestyle, family, and living conditions.

6. Work-Life Balance

While working outdoors can provide a unique sense of freedom, it's also crucial to consider the impact on your work-life balance. Jobs in this sector can involve early starts, late finishes, and work during weekends or holidays.

7. Long-Term Career Prospects

Investigate the long-term prospects and career progression available within your chosen field. Some outdoor professions offer clear advancement pathways, whereas others might offer less in terms of career development or financial growth.

8. Financial Implications

Outdoor careers can vary significantly in terms of salary. Research the typical earnings within your chosen field and consider how this aligns with your financial requirements and goals.

9. Environmental Impact

One of the appealing aspects of outdoor careers is the opportunity to work closely with nature and potentially contribute to conservation efforts. Consider how your role impacts the environment and aligns with your personal values.

10. Job Satisfaction and Mental Health

Finally, consider how a career change might affect your job satisfaction and mental health. Working outdoors can bring significant mental and emotional benefits, including reduced stress levels and improved well-being. Reflect on how these factors weigh against any potential challenges or downsides.


Making the switch to an outdoor career is a life-changing decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. It's essential to do your due diligence, realistically assess the demands and benefits, and consider how well it aligns with your professional and personal aspirations. By carefully weighing these 10 considerations, you can make an informed decision that sets the stage for a fulfilling and rewarding career in the great outdoors.