This morning, I had a great time interviewing in NYC with the Columbia Sportswear team for the new position of “Director of Toughness“. I was actually expecting a more formal sit down meeting room interview, but what I found was a casting-session style panel, with lots of lights and cameras. Talking with the Columbia crew was fun – they had me show them the (correct) way to pack a sleeping bag, and we chatted about my various experiences working in Antarctica, running in North Korea, and sailing the high seas.
An excerpt from the job description:
The Directors of Toughness will answer the call of the wild with Columbia Sportswear in the most epic six-month position for anyone who lives and breathes adventure! These two die-hard adventurers will have the unparalleled opportunity to test Columbia’s gear in wildly iconic locations around North America, and the world. With over 75 years of experience in the industry, Columbia knows a thing or two about building tough gear, and is ready to take its mission of testing to the next level. The Directors will put their gear and personal “toughness” to the test through exhilarating expeditions supported by Columbia’s range of innovative apparel, outerwear, footwear and equipment, demonstrating an ability to withstand unpredictable weather conditions and harsh terrains. The journey will be documented by the Director of Toughness and publically broadcasted everywhere from national television shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live to social media to allow the greater Columbia community to travel along on this adventure and testing experience of a lifetime!
If you feel alive in the wild, dream of Snapchatting a 100 ft. cliff-dive, Instagramming from the top of Mount Rainier and putting gear to the ultimate test, this position is for you!
We’re looking for two outgoing, personable outdoor enthusiasts committed to going above and beyond physical limits and personal expectations to guarantee that our apparel and gear keeps people warm, dry, cool and protected in any weather or geographic situation. We are seeking those who possess perseverance, creativity and an irrepressible spirit to help them survive, thrive and most importantly expertly share their journey across unusual and challenging environments.
For the duration of the experience, the Directors of Toughness will call the beautiful bridge city of Portland, OR home. Portland not only hosts the headquarters of Columbia Sportswear, but is also a mecca for outdoor adventurists. However, 85% of this journey will be devoted to traveling, and there’s no telling where you will end up!
- Skilled at skiing or snowboarding (resort and/or backcountry)
- A pro at balancing gear and navigating trails of varying degrees
- Adept at pushing through a long, hard day, subsisting on trails snacks and the occasional wild berry
- Prefer sleeping under the stars to high thread counts and room service
- An outgoing, media-savvy personality, and affinity for being in front of the camera– whether on a smartphone’s live stream or a television’s live feed
- A talented, artistic photographer with an eye for taking”insta-worthy” photos that tell a story and generate a lot of likes
- Awareness of and imagination about where gear can best be put to the “toughness” test
- A love for creatively sharing wilderness adventures with others through social media, and the natural ability to promote the company by doing so
- The presentation skills, professionalism, and good judgment required to be a public image of a worldwide company
- Must have a valid US passport with no restrictions and with no less than 18 months before expiration; must also have a valid driver’s license
Although they didn’t let me record the entire interview, here’s a quick clip of me coming out of the green room and into the interview set.