Best Career Opportunities for Graduates Who Hate Offices

When we imagine “working” or “getting a job,” many people immediately conjure up images as they sit at a desk and type on a computer. And yes, many people spend their days this way, but not only this way. In fact, there are many other options out there that aren’t office-related at all – or at least a lot less than most workplaces.

I am someone who truly hates the idea of ​​office work. I’m worried about predictability – there’s something about knowing where you’re going to be every single day other than weekends and holidays, which in my opinion is just a roadmap to the grave.

Fortunately, I’ve always been able to make a living in non -office areas, and these days this flexibility has become even more accessible to young people: “We see a preference for working remotely or in a gig economy, and this is especially is true for young, educated millennials in cities – and this is usually the first place we see the economy evolve, ”said Lifehacker Andrew Hanson, senior analyst at Georgetown University’s Center for Education and Workforce .

It got me thinking: what fields are best suited for people who do not want to be tied to the table?

According to Anna Bray, a career consultant atJody Michael Associates , a Chicago-based career coaching firm, that answer depends a lot on why you don’t want to work in an office: you are not a geek, but you still love teamwork? Are you worried about commuting? Is it something as insignificant as spending the day under fluorescent lighting? “Some people don’t want to be tied to a table, and some want to spend time outdoors, or at least have some outdoor elements in their day,” Bray tells Lifehacker.

Bray spends her day teasing in great detail about how people want to go about their work lives and what they are trying to avoid, and sometimes her clients surprise themselves (and her) by stumbling over career paths they never knew existed. If you or your child is looking for a referral, consider the ideas below, drawn from the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates for “ outdoor work ” and “ general physical activity ” and from our discussion with Andrew Hanson.

For convenience, I’ve included the BLS employment forecast, but take it with a grain of salt. He predicts that the “actor” field will grow 10 percent, faster than the national average, and I don’t see how to encourage a child to go to the theater by telling them it’s a safe career.

Horticultural, horticultural, nursery and greenhouse managers

The Office of Nurseries and Greenhouses is rated “Bright Prospects” by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with 91 percent of those in the field working on the street every day. Landscaping and landscaping work means even more time outdoors: 99 percent to be exact. According to forecasts, by 2024 the contents of land will grow by eight percent, which is above average. If you are a green person and love to spend time outdoors, this career might be for you.


Hospitality or jobs in restaurants, hotels and travel destinations are for those graduates who dislike office work but are still quite outgoing and love to be part of a team. The Cornell School of Hotel Management offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality management, which will give the applicant an edge. (One note: hospitality is not always recession-resistant. )


If you are a doctor, nurse, paramedic, occupational therapist, speech therapist, and so on, you can spend a lot of time in the office if you want. But you can also be in the hospital, school or on the road as an emergency doctor or paramedic. “Healthcare is the fastest growing sector in the past decade,” says Hanson. “Nursing is a huge business and one of the most profitable. And in some related fields of health care (respiratory therapists, phlebotomists, etc.), a bachelor’s degree is not required. “

Most healthcare practitioners are not attached to their desk. For example, according to BLS statistics, ambulance / paramedics spend 85 percent of their time outdoors and their performance was rated as favorable . Physical therapy has become more clearly: by 2028 is expected to increase to 22 percent , and the rate of physician assistant – 31 percent.

Construction and industries

Do you want to be outside and not be distracted by chatting with a cooler? “Even with the production slump, there are still a lot of jobs left,” says Hanson. “A lot of people need some sort of post-secondary education, like a certificate, or if you want to be an academic advisor, you’ll need a bachelor’s or MBA’s.”

Or be the roofer who BLS attributes “bright perspective” and notes that you’ll be outdoors 98 percent of the time. Because you put the roof on! My family was involved in construction work; Just the other day, I was complaining about my work at the table and regretted not spending more time sitting on the roof. Not many women are represented, but this is changing: there are programs that prepare women for non-traditional employment, and the state sponsors registered apprenticeships for skilled trades.

Mechanics also avoid the office and work with their hands; If I had a mechanic-minded child with no office-mindedness, I would advise him to become a wind turbine maintenance technician.

Training / Academy

Teaching at K-12 and above is great for people who want to be part of an institution and community but don’t want to fall into the trap of the computer filling out TPS reports. Teachers in both primary and secondary schools have medium job prospects, while adapted physical education teachers (who make up and implement the physical education curriculum for children with disabilities) have particularly bright prospects.

Postsecondary education is projected to grow 11 percent by 2028, which is above average. However, it should be noted that recruiting is likely to be for part-time faculty members (e.g. additional), and that teaching at the university level actually involves a lot of administrative work (more than you might think!) … But since many of the new hires in the field are assistants, you don’t have to worry about spending too much time in the office because you won’t have it.


Environmental scientists and foresters have average job prospects and good grades at BLS for outdoor work. This sounds especially cool if you love nature, love trees, and are willing to bet that forests and parks will actually appear in a few years.

The science

I once knew a family of field biologists who spent six months on research expeditions, and the other half taught and wrote for grants. Life seemed wonderful (one of them was a tropical marine biologist if you want to feel some serious envy). BLS has scientists and environmentalists who are eight percent growing (faster than average) and a zoologist and wildlife biologist who are five percent growing. , or about average. But if you are choosing between science and acting, I will say that science is probably the safer option.

Travel and transportation

The growth in bus drivers and truckers is projected to be roughly average, so if you enjoy sitting but still don’t socialize, this might be the job for you. (It looks like a lot of truckers travel with a navigator and their dogs , which might be a positive thing.) Stewardesses obviously don’t work in the office, but should nevertheless be sociable, wear uncomfortable clothes and not be outside. and of course there are commutes. BLS predicts that their number of jobs is 10 percent, which is not only faster than average, but will also allow you to see many interesting places.

Police work / firefighters / law enforcement

A large part of law enforcement is paperwork, but one is also missing from the community. It is stressful and demanding work, and BLS predicts it will grow by five percent (which is on average), but notes that “the continuing need for public safety is expected to lead to new officer vacancies, although demand may vary by location. “. Police work also provides an opportunity for humanitarian and social work that shapes public policy: I was intrigued by this story of police officers fighting the opioid epidemic using more humane and community-oriented strategies than mass arrests.


The retail sector has grown as the manufacturing sector contracted, Hanson said, but while jobs are plentiful, they are not necessarily good . Retail workers have not received the same protection from trade unions as those in manufacturing.

“To get a good job in retail, you have to be a superstar,” he says, “but there are still many good jobs in management and finance.” So, if you enjoy retail – being on your feet, helping people, working with a team – and you feel like this is a career for you, you can: 1) get a bachelor’s or MBA degree to help you move up the corporate ladder, or 2 ) Become a really good union organizer. Even recent moves to raise the minimum wage “are not a substitute for union wages,” Hanson said.


No, that doesn’t mean being a theater actor. But, according to Hanson, “we are seeing the rise of video and film outside of the big production companies,” from advocacy groups to media organizations and advertising. He notes that not only people from creative professions (visual arts and cinema) come to these vacancies, but also “a lot of people with experience of communication or marketing in social networks.” If a job seeker wants to combine creative skills, teamwork, and digital film and television expertise, this may be the way for them. BLS estimates that growth in film and video editors and operators is 11 percent or above average.

Here’s something interesting: When I asked Hanson and Bray about their only advice for job seekers, they both said the same thing: be flexible. Bray had a client who didn’t want to be tied to the office, who came up with two equally interesting career paths: working in the green energy field or opening a bar / restaurant in the Caribbean. (My opinion is this : always choose a career path that takes you to the Caribbean.) Another client, a fan of games, is trying to design and manage quests . Bray says, “Have fun with the process. The more you relax and have fun, the more opportunities there will be. “

Hanson has a similar mindset, but with the addition of a caveat to perhaps just forget about all this “passion”: “Our prejudice is “ to follow our passion, ” but when we go out to work, we are amazed at everyday life. grind it up. Passion builds up over time as you do what you are good at. Be prepared to be amazed and flexible. Do what can benefit others. “

This story was originally published on 6/15/17 and updated on 10/11/19 to provide more complete and up-to-date information.


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