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Best Job Ever? Get Paid to Travel and Test Gear with Columbia

The company is searching for their next Directors of Toughness—here's how to apply.
two hikers trekking on ice
Columbia Sportswear

What if your job involved traveling the world—from the summit of the Cayambe volcano in Ecuador to the artic coast of Manitoba—to test awesome gear and show it all off on social media? That’s the gist of the job responsibilities of Columbia’s "Directors of Toughness." Last year, Lauren Steele and Zach Doleac were appointed to the roles and had a six-month long adventure of a lifetime (check out highlights from their travels in the video below). This year, the co-Directors will be employed (yes, actually paid a full-time salary plus benefits!) for nine full months of awesomeness.

“The Directors of Toughness have become integral employees, not only testing our products but also sharing compelling stories,” said Columbia Sportswear Company’s Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Richelle Luther in a press release. “We are excited to identify and hire two new outdoor enthusiasts, and to put a spotlight on the effort our employees go through to ensure our products keep people comfortable, regardless of the conditions.”

So, if you’re on the job market—or just looking to take a nine-month hiatus from your current gig—you should consider applying. But, be warned the interview process is far from a walk in the park—in fact, it takes place in Mount Hood wilderness. It’s actually called “The Toughest Interview,” and per Columbia, applicants should be willing to go outside their comfort zone and “have their determination, endurance and enthusiasm (and wit) tested in some of the most challenging landscapes.”

Apply at for interviews taking place in Portland, OR (followed by other locations to be revealed). 


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