38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Inland paddling
Post Reply
no-no
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:47 pm

38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by no-no » Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:59 pm

I've always wanted to work in outdoor pursuits, life got in teh way though and i ended up in a pretty good but ultimately boring job.

Now my son is about to start an instructors course in a couple of years, my midlife crisis is in full effect. I'm so jealous.
I've found a course near me I'm sure I could get on but I'm full of fear. WHat wages can I expect? Is there much work available? I have two smaller kids too so would there be much work locally? I'm in the south west.

ANyone made this choice already? How did it pan out?

tbh, even if the answers to the above aren't encouraging it'd be nice to just do what I like for a year or two.

SimonMW
Posts: 2194
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:39 pm
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 7 times

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by SimonMW » Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:14 pm

I have no experience whatsoever. However I don't see why you couldn't as you as you were fit and willing. I would have thought someone with a bit of life experience and level headedness would be an advantage.

Not sure if there is any money in it though unless you run a French ski resort! Nothing is stopping you going for coaching qualifications though and freelancing. Be careful of what you wish for however. I have come across a fair few who have gone into outdoor sports as work, from outdoors instruction and leading through to working in shops. Some of them have found that it has ruined their hobby, while others have found that they simply have no time to get their own practice/fun in their favourite outdoor sport.

User avatar
Yellow boat
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 1:36 pm
Location: Surrey
Contact:

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by Yellow boat » Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:58 pm

38 - to old - No, I started at 41 as freelance have also been an employee in the industry and am now back to freelance and running my own business doing canoe and kayak repairs. Great life. But it is "a way of life" it's never 9 to 5 and I hope you made your millions before you join us cos if you are looking to be rich you ain't going to be in this job.
If you have significant others in your life they will need to be happy with this as well because you will be away from home quite a bit and yes your paddling /hobby probably will suffer.

I can't think of doing anything else now (at 57 I'm not sure any one else other than Aldi would take me on).

Paul

paddler_linds
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:56 am

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by paddler_linds » Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:18 pm

I used to instruct and don't now due to the difficulty finding decent work. The issue is having to find seasonal work to begin with to get experience, which of course is very unsteady. Then to get a decent job you either need to study for a community education degree and work for the council or teach in a college and both of these posts are highly competitive, hence the required experience.

Freelance or own business is perhaps an option, but the mainstream route is pretty tough and you'd need to be determined imho.

You could always get a bit of work to wet the appetite without going full plunge at the moment and see what that is like. My experience of mainstream outdoor centres was a lot of babysitting for students on weekends away and family groups etc and certainly not the high action lifestyle one would hope for.

ruralweb
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:14 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by ruralweb » Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:23 pm

When I was 42 I decided that being an Advanced Paraglider Pilot and having flown in the British National Championships teaching paragliding was the way to make a living - how wrong was I!

As I result I no longer fly and made no money - it was a disaster - yes I got to travel all over the world teaching (weather is crap in the UK these days) BUT I got very little flying and what I did get was at a very low standard and usually consisted of test flights to see if conditions were ok for clients. Most of the time I spent on the hill with a radio or being a tour guide/entertainer when the weather was bad.

DON'T DO IT IF YOU VALUE YOUR HOBBY
Mal

ruralweb
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:14 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by ruralweb » Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:27 pm

PS I have told my self never ever to consider teaching or coaching kayaking :)
Mal

Mark Dixon
Posts: 820
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:22 am
Location: Devon
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by Mark Dixon » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:26 am

I have 2 sons earning a living from outdoor pursuits, 1 working for PGl 10 years plus and 1 summer working in France Ardeche region. Do they earn good money? No. Do they have a fantastic lifestyle? Yes. Are they happy? Yes. You get out of work what you put in, long term you will need your own business and employ casual staff if you need to make a living from it. Your problem is you need qualifications now,38 is an ideal age as you have life experiences and will be respected by clients. IMO you need to be qualified in many disciplines also. Remember life is not all about money but about living, there is no rerun.
Mark

chriscw
Posts: 901
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:35 am
Location: Basingstoke
Contact:

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by chriscw » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:55 pm

The problem with jobs that people will do for a song because they love it is that often there are many people chasing few jobs and the market sets the rate....

As others have said even in this thread you probably need a few strings to your bow if you want to work full time and make a living out of it.
Chris Clarke-Williams
Location Basingstoke

Paddling Interests:
Touring, Coaching Beginners (I am an L2K), Surf White water trips, Weir Play (I'm not good enough to put freestyle!)

no-no
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:47 pm

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by no-no » Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:07 pm

Thanks for the replies, quite encouraging actually. I can see what you guys are saying about possibly ruining your hobby, deskwork is ruining my life though. Thinking about possibly another 30 years doesn't look too appealing at all.

I'd have to take a look around my area to see what's work is around, I have 3 kids so if I did eventually find work I wouldn't be able to travel much really.I'm worried I just wouldn't compare well to the younger fellas who've spent their summers working abroad.

chriscw
Posts: 901
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:35 am
Location: Basingstoke
Contact:

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by chriscw » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:25 pm

One thing to bear in mind is the need thanks to helpful government legislation for CBT trainers to help those who want to learn to ride a motor bike and First Aid trainers due to First Aid at work legislation. One of the Ski instructors at a local dry slop used to use CBT and a second stream of income and I know of a number of outdoor instructors who do First Aid training as a side line.
Chris Clarke-Williams
Location Basingstoke

Paddling Interests:
Touring, Coaching Beginners (I am an L2K), Surf White water trips, Weir Play (I'm not good enough to put freestyle!)

dougdew99
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:05 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by dougdew99 » Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:55 pm

Are you too old? No, of course not. That is not the real question... The real question is can you make a satisfactory living and support your loved ones? The answer? Probably not. You will be competing with people with no dependents who are prepared to work for nothing... This is what distinguishes professions like sports instructors, actors, artists... People love it so much they will suffer poverty for the 'privilege' of doing it. If you are happy to be poor then go for it...

User avatar
DaveBland
Posts: 3657
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:01 pm
Location: Calgary Canada
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by DaveBland » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:44 pm

Here's a point of view. Not saying it's right or wrong, but one to consider.

Dig deep and think about what it is that attracts you to working in Outdoor Pursuits.
Is it the time to go do your activities, is it the teaching aspect, is it the being in the great location etc.

You say you are pretty good at a boring job, and that you are prepared to make a life change. You accept that there's little money in OP - so maybe do something drastic like work part time, scale your life down and spend way more time doing the thing that attracts you to OP as a career.

That way you could end up with more money from your part time job than you would working in OP, and have more time to play.
dave

User avatar
John K
Posts: 558
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:23 am
Location: Brighton
Been thanked: 8 times

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by John K » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:05 pm

I think there's a lot to be said for that approach. However, whilst it may be rational, it's probably harder to justify to self and family.

Working part time so you can play more feels like a very different proposal to living on less money so you can follow a dream career.

User avatar
Chalky723
Posts: 901
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:56 pm
Location: Cambridgeshire
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 8 times

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by Chalky723 » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:29 pm

Personally I'm quite happy to do a quiet, mundane job that funds all my outdoor activities!! I volunteer with the DofE which covers the "having fun for no pay" angle!

C
Jackson Nirvana, BMW F650GS...

User avatar
Simon
Posts: 984
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 1:45 pm
Location: Salisbury, Wiltshire
Contact:

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by Simon » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:32 pm

John K wrote:Working part time so you can play more feels like a very different proposal to living on less money so you can follow a dream career.
There is a lot to be said for this approach. Don't actually get a job in kayaking, but get a job which gives you the lifestyle which lets you do a lot of kayaking.

I work in the medical area, and there are a lot of medics; doctors, nurses, physios etc who do the job because it funds the varied lifestyles that they want.:

1. it can be well paid so you can save cash quickly to pay for trips away.
2. it is portable so you can travel to many parts of the world and get work.
3. you can often get short term contracts, or agency work, so you have control over the hours you work and arrange lots of weekends off.
4. the job itself can be quite satisfying.
5. and if you have paramedic or emergency medicine skills someone might even pay for you to come on their trip to provide medical cover.

I have worked at various times as a full time kayak coach, and as a nurse on agency contracts in central London, and the nursing work would have facilitated a lot more boating for my own enjoyment, rather than for other people's enjoyment.

There might be other jobs you could train for that would suit you, but give you a similar "kayak friendly" lifestyle.

Good luck

Simon.

User avatar
DaveBland
Posts: 3657
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:01 pm
Location: Calgary Canada
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by DaveBland » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:45 pm

I suggest this approach because it's kind of** what I'm doing. I certainly get more action than I would if I had to work full days etc.
The other thing is that as I understand it, you actually get very little time off as an outdoor instructor. Usually one day a week. And with little income, trips away are hard.
A drastic scaling down of life combined with a change of working times is for me the best way.

** Don't tell my wife!
dave

Mark Dixon
Posts: 820
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:22 am
Location: Devon
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by Mark Dixon » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:58 pm

Simon wrote:
John K wrote:Working part time so you can play more feels like a very different proposal to living on less money so you can follow a dream career.
There is a lot to be said for this approach. Don't actually get a job in kayaking, but get a job which gives you the lifestyle which lets you do a lot of kayaking.

I work in the medical area, and there are a lot of medics; doctors, nurses, physios etc who do the job because it funds the varied lifestyles that they want.:

1. it can be well paid so you can save cash quickly to pay for trips away.
2. it is portable so you can travel to many parts of the world and get work.
3. you can often get short term contracts, or agency work, so you have control over the hours you work and arrange lots of weekends off.
4. the job itself can be quite satisfying.
5. and if you have paramedic or emergency medicine skills someone might even pay for you to come on their trip to provide medical cover.

I have worked at various times as a full time kayak coach, and as a nurse on agency contracts in central London, and the nursing work would have facilitated a lot more boating for my own enjoyment, rather than for other people's enjoyment.

There might be other jobs you could train for that would suit you, but give you a similar "kayak friendly" lifestyle.

Good luck

Simon.
The best jobs are in building trade, if you work outside and it rains you cant go to work, prime time for kayaking. The wife cant whinge cos what else are you going to do?

User avatar
Grumpy old man
Posts: 1165
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:44 am
Location: By the kitchen sink

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by Grumpy old man » Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:48 am

Hi
Don't forget if you down the part time route you need friends to play with that also work part time.

Grumpy
Paddle well, Have fun.

Lloyd Allin

User avatar
Simon
Posts: 984
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 1:45 pm
Location: Salisbury, Wiltshire
Contact:

Re: 38 - too old to start working in outdoor pursuits?

Post by Simon » Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:09 am

Mark Dixon wrote:
The best jobs are in building trade, if you work outside and it rains you cant go to work, prime time for kayaking. The wife cant whinge cos what else are you going to do?
The building trade seems to have worked for Dave Manby, and he's nearly sixty.

Simon.

Post Reply

Return to “Whitewater and Touring”