“The Hustle’s Real”: Exploring Outdoor Recreation Careers Using the Psychology of Working Theory

Author ORCID Identifier

Jayson Seaman -


Employees in the outdoor recreation sector account for 3% of the U.S. workforce, contributing to over $800B in national economic output. As awareness of the sector’s economic might has grown, interest in promoting outdoor recreation careers has expanded. Research on outdoor recreation careers has not kept pace with workforce development opportunities and initiatives, and existing data and research reports provide only aggregate figures that neither reflect the new employment landscape nor track how careers are navigated by the people who occupy them. This article reports on an interview study of 15 established outdoor recreation professionals in executive or management positions to gain insights into career narratives in outdoor recreation. Their narrative responses were assessed using the Psychology of Working Theory, a career counseling framework organized around the concept of decent work. Findings are presented along with points for outdoor recreation career advocates to consider in designing future workforce development initiatives.


Recreation Management and Policy; New Hampshire Youth Retention Initiative

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership


Sagamore Publishing LLC

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Document Type