Dream job: Columbia is hiring two new Directors of Toughness


If you love travel, gear and social media, this job is anything but tough...as long as you can make it through the interview process.

Columbia is looking for it's new Directors of Toughness. // Courtesy: Columbia

Columbia is looking for it's new Directors of Toughness. // Courtesy: Columbia

Columbia isn’t just going to give away the greatest job on earth. They’re searching for two new “Directors of Toughness” to spend nine months traveling and putting their gear to the test, and the interview itself is applicants’ first test.

Coined, “The Toughest Interview (To Get To),” candidates will need to travel to one of two locations in the US, one in Canada or one in the UK for an unconventional evaluation. “Once they get to that interview location, all bets are off,” said Columbia Director of Communications Scott Trepanier, ceding the location on their invitation won’t be their final destination. “They’re going to be tested a little bit and we’ll see how interested they are in making it through the interview process.”

The first will take place in the Mount Hood Wilderness, near Columbia’s headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Registration for this interview is open now but Trepanier warned that the window will be short. Within hours of announcing it, Columbia had already received several hundred applicants. Additional interview locations, including one in the Northeastern US, will be announced on the company’s Instagram in the coming weeks.

The two candidates given the positions will spend the better part of a year putting Columbia’s gear in the most extreme conditions possible and supporting the brand’s “Tested Tough” mantra of rigorous gear standards. The brand’s inaugural Directors of Toughness spent last year in places like Ecuador’s Cayambe volcano and the Arctic Coast of Manitoba, but this year’s hopefuls can expect even greater challenges. “It’s going to be taking it up to a whole level from last year,” Trepanier said.

Along with serving as beta-testers and meeting with Columbia’s product teams to provide feedback, job requirements include acting as “world travellers, glacier climbers, brand ambassadors, social media gurus, nature photographers and spelunkers all in one,” according to their website. Directors will also collect a $39,000 salary and benefits with the position.

According to Trepanier, candidates should have a willingness to be pushed mentally as well as physically, although he stressed they’re not searching for world class athletes.

Storytelling ability is also a key, he said. “We don’t want this adventure to just live for these two people, we want it to come alive for everybody,” adding that “the people that will do well will start before they even get to the interview.”

Candidates eligible for employment in the US, Canada or the UK can start the application process at http://www.columbia.com/toughjobs.html.


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