It’s possibly one of the most common question that people looking for a job ask The Ranger – both online and in real life. Lots of us fancy a career in countryside work – and it’s a good job we do, as we sure don’t do it for the money. For general advice on this topic, see Naturenet’s popular page, ‘Get a job working in the countryside industry: Naturenet shows you how‘.
But invariably, hopefuls will ask one particular question: do I need a driving licence? Well, at least there’s a honest answer. The answer is yes. Yes, you do. You really do. You need to be able to drive to work outdoors, to work on a farm, or to be a ranger or a forester. Your depot or office is unlikely to be where your work is – you’ve got to get to it somehow. Not just to drive from one place to another, but also to drive within a site, and to tow a trailer (although that’s another licence, usually), or operate machinery, or go and pick stuff up… all sorts of things. Of course, there’s a good number of jobs where it isn’t essential – perhaps where you always work alongside someone else who drives, or you only work in one place. Or as an education officer, taking school groups, or a visitor centre manager. But these jobs are relatively few, and there are a lot of licence-less hopefuls chasing them – as well as plenty of people just as well qualified as you who do also have a licence. What’s more, imagine the kind of place you’re likely to get a job. In the middle of town? Almost unknown. Near a railway station? Well, conceivably. Near a bus stop? Well, sure, but how often are the buses? You see where this is going? It’s going just where you will be if you want to get to work in the morning – towards public transport. And as most countryside jobs are by definition out in the country, this means you’re going to have to get up fearfully early to get to work if that’s the only way to get there. Actually, let’s be honest – you probably can’t get there at all so it isn’t really going to happen, is it? Not unless your mum takes you to work each morning. And that would be just too humiliating. So, there’s a clear message to job-seekers wondering about their next option. Thinking of a degree in countryside management? Maybe a MSc? Sponsored bike ride to Burkino Fasso? Fine, do it if you want to. It won’t make much difference if you can’t drive. If you want to stand a chance of getting a good job this should be your first investment of time and money: GET A LICENCE.