Adventure Jobs- Some Questions to Ask Yourself HONESTLY
We had an overwhelming response to Sharkman’s blog post Top Reasons Why You Need An Adventure Job. People are realizing they want and NEED more in their life. While climbing the corporate ladder and living in cubicle nation is a great lifestyle for some, others are realizing there can be a different path. Judging from the personal emails we have received there is a need for information on the what, where, and especially the how to on Adventure Jobs.
Today I want to focus inward. Before you go dropping resumes all over the adventure world, it is important to understand yourself first in order to know which direction to follow in the maze of the world of adventure. Knowing yourself will help you steer yourself to the job best suited to you and give you the greatest opportunity for success. What KIND of an adventure job do you want? Well, one with adventure of course! But it comes in many flavors. Let me pose a few questions.
What kind of a communicator are you?
This is one of the MOST important questions to answer. The are really four basic communication quadrants and while most of us have a combination of these, one will most likely jump out at you and you’ll say, “yep, that’s me!”
The Controller– The controller needs to be in charge and often needs to be right. When the situation goes bad, the controller takes over. Put a controller in a situation of “follower” and they will most likely want to break the rules and do it their way (have you met my husband?). They are leaders and are the first to step up with a plan. They tend to dress for meetings.
The Supporter– The supporter is one who doesn’t like to say no, they want to help out with everything. They can be good people to work as a support team to a controller. They are often cause oriented. A supporter likes the “feel good” and are often great advocates.
The Analyst– The analyst wants all the details. They need all the pieces to make a decision and will do lots of research. They are more cautious decision makers, tend to be more formal and reserved.
The Promoter– Where’s the party? This is the person who is the socialite, wants to meet everyone and tends to dress more flamboyant. The promoter tends to be more organized in the head rather than on paper. Don’t bother me with the statistics, let’s be sure everyone is having a good time.
Once you can place yourself into one of these categories you can have a better idea of what kind of an adventure job fits you. For example, if you want to work at Club Med and you are an analyst, then perhaps you would be suited to the transportation department at an overseas club, doing the logistics of the arriving and departing guests. They’ll probably let you make a spread sheet! You can make spread sheets all over the world and enjoy the benefits of working for Club Med. On the other hand, I am a promoter, don’t even show me the inside of the office (funny, I never WAS in the office at Club Med). Get me out meeting the people, doing crazy pool games and teaching scuba. That is where my strengths and my joy lie.
How Do You Want To Live in Your Adventure Job?
This is a very important question to ask yourself. If you are 20 years old, then you can take a job where you bunk up with a couple of other blackjack dealers on a cruise ship. If you are a married couple, age 40, it’s going to be a different answer. I worked for a high end tour company where, when my husband and I worked together, we shared a private cabin on the ship or when we worked apart, we had our own hotel rooms at the same accommodation level as the guests. At this point in my life, I probably would not want to spend the summer in a tent with a couple of other girls.
How Do you Want to Travel in Your Adventure Job?
Do you want to “see the world”? Then perhaps working on a cruise ship is a good option, where you are in a different port of call every day. Or a tour director (you would probably want to have some promoter in you for that position!). If you want to truly get under the skin of another culture, a cruise ship job is not the way to do it, it’s more like a smorgasbord. You may want to consider teaching English overseas where you spend at least one to two years in one place. Consider what you want to learn about the world on your adventure, how much you want to see and how fast.
How do you live best?
This may be an odd question but here is why I ask it. Can you live out of a suitcase? Can you keep your life organized that way? Do you need to “nest” somewhere? Do you need continual movement? These are VERY important things to know about yourself. Personally, I love changing hotels every night but after about six months, I need a short break from it. But I also LOVE movement so a cruise ship is a perfect environment where my view out the port hole changes but I keep everything arranged in my cabin (which is small….can you live this way?). Of course, if you’ve never had an adventure job, how would you know? Well, here is where I say, “If you DID know the answer what would it be?” Think about how you travel on a vacation. Do you tend to book one hotel and settle in or do you flit about the country.
How Much Time Do You want an Adventure Job for?
If you have never “done anything like this before” test the waters. Don’t sell your house and all your possessions. Give it a test run. Take a short 3 month position somewhere and rent your house or have a friend live there. Then see how it goes. You might find that “adventure jobs” are not what you expected or you might find that it’s what’s been missing in your life all these years. Don’t burn your bridges at first.
However, if you have no ties and see adventure as a lifestyle then you will be more apt to take a position that you sign a contract for. Six months to one year contracts are fairly common.
Job security is really a myth, no job is secure. You can be sitting in your office one day and the next the company makes cuts and you are out. Once you come to that reality, it is not so scary taking an adventure job for a short period of time.
However, if you can’t grasp that concept and a steady paycheck from a fortune 500 company is your security blanket, think twice about taking the leap. If you are flexible and willing to adventure your way forth, opening yourself up to the universe, you’ll find a way.
Decide What is Important in Your Life
Stuff is just stuff, just ask George Carlin who’s skit on “stuff” brings me to hysterical fits of laughter. If you NEED stuff, if your life is about accumulating liabilities like cars and boats, think twice about going on the road. I’m not saying this from a financial end, I’m saying there is no room for “stuff” on the road. Stuff becomes a burden. We traveled for ten years with everything we own in storage and when we came back, we had NO idea what was in most of the boxes. We hadn’t used it in ten years, guess we didn’t need it!
Most adventure jobs include travel. You will be gone for months at a time. It’s not always easy to communicate with family and friends. You will miss weddings and birthdays, graduations and sunday family picnics. Your friends will continue to build their lives and their friendships while you are away. You will come home to find you have less in common with your friends. BUT, you will meet amazing people working in the adventure community. You will have friends worldwide, you will see whole new perspectives on the world. If you are open to this, it’s time to venture forth!
Finally, Let’s mention MONEY in Adventure Jobs
You need to be realistic about what you need to live on. You need to ask yourself what you want financially. Adventure jobs are typically not the most high paying though some can be. We’ve worked adventure jobs where we each made six figures a year and we’ve worked adventure jobs where we made three figures a month.
You also need to look at what “comes with the job”. While working on board a cruise ship for five years, we saved 95% of our income compared with 5% for the average American. We invested all of our money for those five years because we didn’t need to live on it. We didn’t drive a car, pay rent or utilities or pay for food. We didn’t go “out” because our entertainment was on board. We worked under special tax laws. We worked six months at a time, seven days a week and then had two months off. During our time off we took fantastic vacations for weeks on end. We didn’t own a home and turned off the insurance on our car which we stored at a friends house. AND we saw the world (I can now boast 106 countries visited) and enjoyed our life to the absolute fullest.
If you are tied to money and live in a world of scarcity, think twice. If you are open to the wonders of life, travel, and adventure more than financial gains, you will do fine.
Each one of these topics is worthy meal in itself, here I give you an appetizer to chew on. Take a serious look at yourself before taking the leap but don’t dwell too terribly much. Reaching your foot out can be a scary step but once you’ve taken the first step, you’ll find the road to the world awaits you and you’ll never look back.
To your Adventures!
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