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Thread: The best path to find Gainful Employment?

  1. #1

    The best path to find Gainful Employment?

    Im 42 years old, worked in one job in the city most of my life, never made it to be rich. Although enjoyed a decent salary. Enjoyed the cut and thrust occasionally, but the stress and pressure of that type of 'high flying' position takes a heavy toll.

    Anyway. Im sick of it. You dont want the same thing that you wanted in your twenties, as you do in your forties. You have a completely different outlook on life. These people who discover their vocation as teenagers and go on to lead less complicated lives than most are the lucky ones.

    I never knew what my vocation was, except to say, all my leisure time has been spent in the woods, in one way or another.

    I'e just finished reading Colin Elfords marvellous book, A year in the Woods, where he works as a wildlife ranger for the forestry commission, and he makes it sound idyllic.

    Starting from scratch, what are the best qualifications, and experience, to gain, to land a position like that, in the future, be it a few years away?

    What are your honest opinions? Am I too old? etc Where do I start? A college course? An online distance learning course, like the OU?

    [I'd planned to do the DSC1, DSC2, then the Advanced Deer Management over the next 1 to 2 years. Is that the path to take?What else should I be doing? Chainsaw certificate? etc]

    Im looking to completely change my life. I will relocate. I dont have any dependants, kids, no more wife.

    Just looking for some brutal honesty from those in the know.

    Last edited by Dave1973; 11-08-2015 at 07:26.

  2. #2
    Do the DSC1 and 2, get loads of experience under the belt. College course wouldn't hurt either. Age is against you but don't be put off applying for jobs, even apprentice positions. The money for apprentices is pretty poor but you get all the training you require. The job is far from idyllic, it's a tough way of life. You work in all weathers not just the sunny days.

  3. #3
    Fair play to you mate, thats a great decision to have made! Far too many of us slave away in jobs we dont really like just for the money, and then end up spending the money to do our hobbies when we could make the decision to do the hobby full time.

    A friend of my dads worked in the city for years and then moved up to Yorkshire a few years back - His rationale was that he spent all his time and money going on walking holidays, taking his dog out to the country, cycling in the hills and stuff so that was what he wanted his lifestyle to be. Now he's moved he's earning less money but so what? He's doing exactly what he wants with his life, and thats all that matters.

    I dont think you're ever too old - Jump in with both feet, give it 100% and enjoy! You just need to be aware of what you're jumping into!

    I work a city job myself so I cant comment on what the job is like, but from the reading I've done I would think doing the DSC1 and 2 would be a good plan, plus I've seen some game keeping courses and information out there as well.

    How to become a gamekeeper | NGO Educational Trust

    Not that I have ever searched for things like that myself during a rubbish afternoon at work *innocent face* haha!

    Best of luck with it all, I know you'll nail it and be living the life you want to live before you know it!

  4. #4
    As previously stated DSC levels 1&2 are a starter for ten!

    The added benefit of doing a college course at either Northern or Elmwood is the opportunity for a work placement which will enable you to gain real experience but most importantly allow you to meet people within the industry and make a good impression.

    I no longer work in the industry but the best jobs I got were never advertised publicly and I was interviewed on an invitational basis.

    By all means put yourself forward for any ghillie jobs if you can but perhaps get in touch with some of the colleges to see if you can get started in September?

    Good luck.

    Kind regards


  5. #5
    You question should be, What else have I got to offer?" I hire a joiner I expect him to be able to use a saw and hammer. There are three applicants, which to choose. I choose the one who brings most additional skills and talents. I missed a keepering opportunity a lot of years back because the other applicant was a fencer. Next time past the estate it was well fenced. You are joining a team with a very vague job description. Your entry would be through the handyman route. There is little likelihood of the FC being interested in someone your age untrained. By the time you are you would have to be exceptionally fit. Rangers is not like stalking. It is hard, brutal even, when it is pissing it down and you are up the top wood day in, day out looking for your quota.
    The other thing is lifestyle. You are expected to live on the job. Have you ever lived in the countryside? I met many who tried and failed. The solitude can de unbearable. Most that live the life were born to it. My brother lives in an isolated farmhouse. His wife and him love it. I asked about the solitude. The answer, " we are both hill run stock."

  6. #6
    Having come into contact with FC and Natural England managers over many years, I am aware that they have literally hundreds of applicants for every job advertised.
    Both FC and NE have taken some serious budget cuts in recent years too. So vacancies are few and competition fierce.
    Good luck with whatever course of action you decide.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Norm View Post
    Having come into contact with FC and Natural England managers over many years, I am aware that they have literally hundreds of applicants for every job advertised.
    Both FC and NE have taken some serious budget cuts in recent years too. So vacancies are few and competition fierce.
    Good luck with whatever course of action you decide.
    A full time FC ranger job would be difficult to land, how about contract stalking for the FC?

  8. #8
    It won't be easy your age is very much against you,F.C. are very much looking for young men that they can mold to their way of thinking

    Whether its F.C.or a private estate there are hundreds of applications for every job that comes up,what experience can you bring to the job that the other applicants don't have?

    There are many experienced men who are finding it difficult to find jobs due to a shrinking market add in the fact the number of young hopefuls who complete HNC courses each year

    For these youngsters who managed to get their H.N.C. the two years at college is only a start, if they are lucky enough to get a job they will still start at the bottom trainee or apprentice what ever you wish to call it expect to do a further three years or so in this position before you can consider yourself experienced.

    To many think these jobs are all about walking about with a gun under your arm and a dog by your side there is much much more involved these are skilled jobs and you don't gain the required experience over night, in fact the shooting is only a small part of it.

    Nowadays while there are less jobs available college courses etc have opened them up to the general public, when I was a youth it was difficult to get a start unless the occupation ran in the family which lucky for me it did.

    I am not trying to put you off just open your eyes to the difficulties you will face, if you are determined it can be done others have succeeded.

    As a previous poster said what other skills can you bring to the job a keeper, stalker or rangers job covers a lot of things so some diverse skills can be an advantage.

    Going to college is probably not practical for someone in your position, but do you know any keepers that you could
    offer to help out in exchange for gaining experience, don't think F.C. will allow anyone tag along with a ranger so your looking for a keeper. stalker on a private estate, know anyone like that?

    Keepers are often grateful of extra help at busy times and when you apply for a job a recommendation from someone in the trade is an advantage.

    Seasonal work can also be found as a Ghillie if you fancy the Highlands , and more than a few have gained stalkers jobs through that route.

    Whatever you decide good luck.
    Last edited by bogtrotter; 11-08-2015 at 09:10.

  9. #9
    Actually being able to do well with what is written on your cert is what counts....
    Sound like to me all the people running courses will be rubbing there hands and your bank balance will be haemorrhaging money like a Halal sheep...

    Don't blame you for wanting to change as many years ago I closed my panel shop and did 2 seasons in Egypt as a dive guide/instructor....However I had lot of teaching under my belt and also dived every site in the area I moved to, so when the first day the Egyptian owner of the centre came on the boat and gave me 6 guests for a drift dive and pointed back to where the boat would be moored.....I said will it be the one of the 2 reef lines or the deep on off the reef....He said in Arabic the second reef one, Ok I said put the kettle on...
    Got the job...
    Did the time I wanted then came home as I missed all which a country boy loves....

    You always need plan B so I would try and find away of getting some hrs under you belt before you kick the ball in the net...

    Stalking is very much like going to the night club

    You can always tell an Essex Boy, just you cant tell him much...

    An hour in the field is worth a week of typing trash.....

  10. #10
    SD Regular teyhan1's Avatar
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    Being a full time stalker takes a dedication which few will understand.
    It sounds idyllic, walking around with a gun culling animals for someone and getting paid for it.
    But everyday, dawn and dusk, be that winter when you can get a good nights sleep or summer when you may be lucky to get 4-5 hours.
    There are many that have tried and failed.

    You don't have any qualifications and your age is against you.
    Your only real route is to do it yourself, become a guide. That in itself is a monumental task and someone once said to me that 'deer stalking is a lovely way to become poor'. It is true.

    If you have collateral then move to where you want to be. Stick what you have left in the bank. Get your qualifications double quick and get your a$$ to Scotland. Bang on every door for work as a ghillie. If you don't get anything then at least you'll have had a nice holiday.

    To give you an idea of what you are facing.
    I am 47. I have 20 years experience of guiding. I have many qualifications. I still apply for jobs just to see if I'll get an interview. I never get an interview.
    “Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”........Dalai Lama

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