Not Your Usual Desk Job

If you're looking for a job out of the ordinary, don't follow the usual path, create your own.

By Damon Brown

March 19, 2009

Not Your Usual Desk Job Not Your Usual Desk Job

Peace Corps

More than 168,000 people have made this two-year commitment to volunteer overseas. A bachelor’s degree is generally required and applicants must be U.S. citizens. Volunteers must undergo a three-month training program in their country of service, during which they receive intensive instruction in that country’s language. Prior foreign language skills are occasionally required.

In exchange for two years of service, volunteers receive:

  • A stipend to cover basic necessities – food, housing expenses and local transportation
  • Medical and dental care
  • Transportation to and from your country of service
  • Two vacation days for every month of service

While you are a volunteer, you can defer repayment on the following types of loans: Stafford, Perkins, Federal Consolidation or Direct. If you have a Perkins Loan, you can also receive a 15 percent cancellation of their outstanding balance for each year of service.

For more information, contact the Peace Corps at (800)424-8580 or go to

Be a Travel Guide

More rigorous than camp and more challenging than working at a resort, travel guides are required to think on their feet and be prepared for any situation. Most travel guides must also deal with financial and scheduling logistics, skills that are highly valued by potential employers.

There are many options available for travel guides, from leading luxury tours to Europe to chaperoning groups of students abroad. Some positions require foreign language skills and cultural knowledge of the country your group is visiting. Applicants who possess knowledge of particular regions or fields of interest (e.g. natural history, cultural expertise, food and wine, etc) have additional opportunities in specialized programs.

Most positions require guides to be over the age of 21 with a valid driver’s license; guides must also be physically fit and experienced travelers.

Compensation varies among tour operators. Travel guides might receive a daily pay rate or be paid on a per-trip basis. Lodging, meals and transportation during a trip are paid for by the company. Trip leaders also get to keep any gratuities they receive from clients and guests. Most companies offer health and dental care, and some even offer a 401k program.

For more information, check out:

Back Door Jobs (
Lists outdoor job categories with links to related organizations

Need money to pay for college?

Every semester, Fastweb helps thousands of students pay for school by matching them to scholarships, grants and awards for which they actually qualify. Sign up today to get started. You'll find scholarships like the Course Hero's $5,000 Scholarship, and easy to enter scholarships like Niche $2,000 No Essay Scholarship.

Join the Discussion