I Got My Dream Job! – Working in Antarctica

I Got My Dream Job! – Working in Antarctica

A few weeks ago, I published an article detailing my efforts over the last four years to land my dream job working in Antarctica. At the time I published it, I had just received bad news from what I thought was my last and final hope of getting this job for this year, Austral Summer ’12-’13. However, right after I published that article, something amazing happend – people started reading it, and word got out. Not only did my friends and family read it, but apparently a few people actually on the ice read it.

Getting A Job In Antarctica: My Long Journey 2009-2012

At the same time I was dealing with the “buzz” surrounding that article, I also heard from one of my HR contacts that there may in fact be a last minute opening at the South Pole, but it was a long shot. Given my recent experiences (all detailed here) with Antarctica hiring orginization, etc, I didn’t think much of this long shot – I’ve been told much more positive sounding news than that, and even those didn’t work out. So I started to transition over to my next steps in job hunting, adventure planning, etc.

However, last night as I ended a great road trip across Colorado and arrived in Telluride with my siblings, something amazing happened – I got an email from the South Pole.  It was an offer letter to be a production cook!.

I GOT MY DREAM JOB WORKING IN ANTARCTICA!!! I’m going to be working as a production cook at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, South Pole, Antarctica. I’ll be departing Colorado in early November, flying through Los Angeles, Sydney, Australia, Chrischurch, New Zealand, onward to McMurdo Station, Antarctica, and finally across the ice to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Ill be there on this job for the Austral summer, which ends in February, 2013.

The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station

To get an idea of what my travel/logistics/job/living/life situation will be like at the South Pole, take a read through the United States Antarctic Program Participant Guide (pdf link).

During my time “on the ice”,  I’ll certainly be taking lots of pictures and videos, and posting them right here on my blog. Also be sure to keep up with my on Twitter, where I’ll also be posting updates. Finally, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for video clips.

Finally, sign up for my weekly blog newsletter and stay up with me!

I’ll be posting more later, but since my departure is about a week away, I need to get started on gearing up and making all of my preparations.

If you’d like to send a care package to me at the South Pole, I’d love to send you back a post card with a South Pole stamp on it! Be sure to include your return mailing address. The mail takes a long time to reach me, so don’t wait on this.. My mailing address is:

Jeffrey Donenfeld, GSC
South Pole Station
PSC 468 Box 400
APO AP 96598

If you’re interested in Antarctica too, are already on the ice, or just want to discuss, feel free to leave a comment, or drop me a line at Hello@JeffreyDonenfeld.com . Cheers!

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20 responses to “I Got My Dream Job! – Working in Antarctica”

  1. David Stys

    Hey Jeff. I read the first blog post, and I was bummed for you, but I’m glad you finally made it to the ice! I’m happy your perseverance paid off. I’ve been thinking about working in Antarctica, but I’ll clearly need a lot more experience. Hope it’s been good for you.

  2. Patricia Dillon

    INSPIRING . What is the most challenging moment in your daily life in Antarctica? Im 54, an RN and I thought I was adventurous travel nursing by myself from Boston to California. Lol what a wicked cool thing you are doing.

  3. Wow!I’m impressed!Besides, after this article you’re famous in Moscow, Russia too. I’m learning English and had to find different stories for our English lessons about Antarctic, so I was fascinating by your story. You’re really determined. Bravo!

  4. Santosh

    KUDOS Jeffrey!!! Your story is really inspiring. I salute you for your perseverance and grit in pursuing your dream. I hope you have a good time on the ice and look forward to more of your experiences from the frozen planet. Kudos once again.Good Luck and namaste!!!!

  5. Savanna

    Antarctica is my ultimately lifelong dream goal. I’d love to go as a research scientist but after reading your journey there, I may end up trying a different route. Either way, I know it’ll be a lot of time, work, and personal sacrifice before I’m even close to having a realistic shot. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  6. So happy for you! Spent 5 hours today trying to dredge up all the information they wanted for the application. Maybe in 4 short years I can be there too! Well done! I’ll definitely follow your adventures!

  7. Mark Candey

    You’re far too skilled to be ‘just’ a cook! For shame the hiring process…

    1. alaskagirl

      Boom it down and belt off…open your eyes–there are approx 20,000 apps for the ice employment spots per season. not everyone is a superstar.

  8. Awesome story. I’m glad you made it! Your perseverance, commitment, and dedication to your achieving your dream was truly inspirational. Way to go!

  9. So how are you liking it? Got one bucket list item down! How long can u stay outside before u are in dangerous conditions as a human!? LoL I know shifts are long and hard enjoy day off! Good luck!

  10. Hi!

    I just read your blog about your hassle on getting a job in Antarctica. I must say compared to that the process of me becoming a winterover experiments operator for IceCube was a piece of cake. Ok, that was a different situation I guess since I was working as a physicist inside the IceCube collaboration for 6 years when I apllied.
    Hope you enjoy your stay at the Pole!
    However, you need to come back for a winter, a whole different story ;)

  11. Ron Williamson

    I’m waiting on word right about shipping out as maintenance mechanic for the water desalination plant at McMurdo Station. I never even imagined a job like this. But after th initial shock of being contacted about it, I’m actually starting get excited.

  12. Great story !! Cheers !!! If anyone has a skilled trade that is a good way in.

  13. You went through so much but persevered, and you got your dream job! I’m so happy for you, and what an inspiration you are. Congratulations.

  14. Sarika Shastry

    Wow what an inspiring story:) , the struggle, the dedidication. Jeff congratulations and Hats off

  15. Joetta

    What a lovely and inspirational story. Thank you.