Our phones stay busy with prospective students, asking about\ncourse outcomes and making decisions about investing in different courses. \n\n\n\n\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 \u201cDo you do job placement?\u201d\u00a0 \n\n\n\n\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 \u201cWhat\u2019s your success\/pass rate?\u201d\u00a0 \n\n\n\n\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 \u201cCan I get a job after I take your course?\u201d \n\n\n\nThe interest is in employment: students are on a path toward\nbeing an outdoor professional. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nAccording to the Outdoor Industry Association (outdoorindustry.org), outdoor recreation is an economic powerhouse in the United States, each year generating $887 billion in consumer spending and 7.6 million jobs. So how do you go about taking your step forward into the outdoor industry?\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nFirst, build your outdoor resume. Travel and explore on your own\nand with friends. Keep a hiking journal, a climbing journal, a paddling log, or\nsimilar as evidence of your time dedicated to these pursuits and to illustrate\nyour skill development. Keeping a social media profile active with travel and\nadventure photos lends a lot of credibility to potential employers, and trust\nin your skill set.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nTake any guiding jobs available, in your specific pursuit or any\nother. Whether at a youth camp, working with therapeutic groups in the\noutdoors, guiding on rivers, or volunteering on a trail crew, every minute\nspent lends to your overall experience in the outdoor and leading or working\nwith others.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nCross-train. If you\u2019re a climber, it could help you to also have\nwhitewater skills so if you find yourself in a wet region of the world you have\na marketable skill set. Prepare yourself to work seasonally - many of my\ncolleagues are raft guides half the year, and work ski patrol during the colder\nmonths. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nSeek educator training opportunities. Treat all your \u201ccustomers\u201d\nas though they are your \u201cstudents\u201d. Give them more than what they came for.\nCare for them and teach them to care for each other. Lead groups and gradually\nhone your instructor skills. Become an educator in non-traditional classrooms\nand\/or with non-traditional student bodies.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nTo all these resume builders, add certifications. They not only\ncompliment your skills base, they add to your ability to make good judgements\nand manage risk in austere work locations. As a consumer, you should be\ndiscriminatory and pick the best of the best: the right course type, a\nconvenient location and the best value for your dollar. Certification courses\nare demanding, intensive, time-consuming, and come at an expense. They also\nmove you to the head of the pack when it comes to hiring.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe outdoor industry is very intimate and heavily networked. Get\nyour foot in the door by joining clubs and alumni groups, industry\npartnerships, and member organizations. NOLS Alumni is one of the largest of\nthese groups of like-minded folks, and they organize gatherings and outings throughout\nthe country and our region. Outdoor Gear Builders (OGB) is an innovative\ncollaboration of the local makers of outdoor gear in western North Carolina.\nOGB is sponsoring this year\u2019s Outdoor Economy Conference in Asheville this\nOctober. Consider attending!\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nBe patient, stay alert and flexible, and stick to your path.\nAmong those 7.6 million jobs in the US, one of them is perfect for YOU!\n\n\n\nTo add to your outdoor resume, visit LandmarkLearning.org, the premier provider of\noutdoor certification training courses in the southeastern United States.