You’ve come to realize that you need an active job. While some people are built to sit at a desk all day, you are someone who needs to move to avoid boredom. You require physical activity to feel your best, and you want to ward off any risk factor that comes with doing nothing.
The idea of spending most of your day sitting still, being behind a desk or in front of a computer just doesn’t work for you. You need to move around and be active – sitting still and feeling bored is starting to impact your job performance, your mental health and maybe even your physical health.
As a result, you’ve thought of making a career change many times, but you worry that there aren’t jobs that are good for people who don’t like sitting still. Do active careers even exist? And if you could ditch your desk job, do these more physical jobs pay a salary you can live on?
There’s good news: If you’re looking for greater job satisfaction, you’ll be glad to know that jobs that will fit your active lifestyle do exist. Today, I’ll show you some of the best roles to consider. Keep in mind, these are only a few of the jobs and industries that you should consider. There are likely many other jobs out there that you could switch to, and depending whether you have a high school diploma, a bachelor’s degree or advanced schooling, they may be harder or easier to move into.
Check out these fantastic jobs:
Finding an Active Job in Healthcare
If you want a job that doesn’t give you time to sit still, then a career in healthcare is right up your alley. I know this from first-hand experience! While there are many hospital and healthcare jobs that aren’t active, you can absolutely find one that will keep you on your feet rushing around all day.
For example, being a nurse or a radiology tech will mean you are constantly moving around the hospital or healthcare institution, working with other medical professionals, handling equipment, and moving patients. You could also consider being a physical therapist, personal trainer, dental hygienist, or even a career as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.
Keep in mind, healthcare careers are not for the faint-hearted. Your job can be incredibly stressful in many respects. Since COVID, there have been huge changes and difficulties in healthcare and with direct patient care. At the same time, it can be one of the most rewarding industries to work in. When I worked as a psychiatric social worker, I came home every day feeling as though I’d accomplished something and helped improve people’s lives.
Challenges with Health Care Jobs
There may be challenges to pursuing a job in this field. First, you may have to retrain to go this route, but developing your skills can help you qualify for a job you love while contributing to your physical fitness, avoiding boredom and helping people. Other challenges include high stress levels – there are often staffing shortages alongside huge numbers of patients. You can be required to work long hours which could include heavy lifting and emotional stress.
Yet, if you’re up for it, healthcare is a great industry for anyone who absolutely does not want to spend their days at a desk and who sees (more than) a little physical activity as a good thing.
Finding an Active Job as a Field Technician
A field technician can be many things. Field technicians can be spread across different industries, but your role is the same; you visit clients or customers and resolve their technical problems. This can mean dealing with electrical issues, plumbing issues, or yes, actual technology problems.
It’s a great job for someone who can’t deal with the negative effects of sedentary lifestyles. Because you are constantly on the move, your days will likely involve you using something like the BuildOps field service app to manage jobs and see what’s on the agenda. From here, you’ll drive around to different locations, solving as many problems as possible. No two days are the same – and you get to interact and meet lots of new people all the time.
This can be a fantastic career path for extroverts, and one that literally forces you to be out and about. Again, you may need to retrain or get additional training for a role like this, but it will certainly get you out from behind your desk.
Finding an Active Job in Construction
We can’t talk about active jobs without thinking about the day to day of a construction worker. Clearly, this is a job that requires lots of moving around a construction site every single day – in fact, it may be one of the most physically demanding jobs. It’s a traditional manual labor job that you may enjoy. Yes, it is a very physically active career, but if that’s what you’re looking for then it may be the perfect career for you!
There won’t be much time to sit around twiddling your thumbs, so if your mind requires constant stimulation, this is a career path to look into.
Finding an Active Job in Delivery Services
A client I had many years ago changed in her desk for a job as a delivery driver. She loved the physical activity, being outside, and meeting new people. While we discussed the possibility that she might not be able to handle the physical activity for a long period of time as she was later in her career, she was willing to take that risk to embrace a role she loved now.
You might consider a job as a driver, courier, or postal worker if you’re looking for something that might keep you on your feet all day.
Finding an Active Job in Sales
Some sales jobs will require lots of active movement every single day, while there are others, like telesales that are still quite inactive.
Jobs that will allow you to be active in sales include door-to-door sales careers or jobs where you’re outside trying to promote things to people. This might be something like solar sales. A door-to-door salesperson will literally walk around all day speaking to different people trying to sell things. It’s not the easiest job in the world – you have to learn how to deal with rejection – but it can be one of the most active. You’ll rack up lots of daily steps, and each day can bring something new. Also, many sales professionals agree that doing door-to-door sales work is a great way to start your sales career, and because it is difficult, it builds the chops you need to be great at what you do. In short, door-to-door work looks great on any job application or resume, especially for newer sales people.
Another sales job that works well for active people is medical device or pharma sales. These jobs will allow you to be in a new place every day, walking around trying to talk to people. It sure beats sitting in an office for 8 hours a day! Additionally, there are many jobs which require travel, giving presentations, managing a booth and more. All of these roles will help you be on your feet and out of the office.
Salaries for Sales Pros
What’s even better, is that the average salary for sales is quite high – in the $70K range. There are a huge array of jobs, and many people in sales have even higher annual salaries. The more experience and skill you gain, the higher your earning potential becomes (rather than decreasing or remaining steady, like other roles.)
Can you tell that I think sales is a great career choice?
Need an Active Job? Reasons to Make the Change
An active job is not only one of the best ways to beat boredom, it’s also great for your physical health. A sedentary lifestyle has a direct impact on your risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stress, diabetes and other health problems. Overall, being sedentary increases your risk of death sooner. Getting active and embracing a healthy lifestyle is key for your physical and mental health.
More Ideas for an Active Job
You might be looking for a job that simply keeps you more active and stimulated, and while there are a variety of non-desk occupations, how much money you make, how much training you need and the career outlook for any particular role will vary. To make the switch, you might be willing to consider entry-level jobs if that means it’s also a low-stress job. While your choices for career options aren’t limited, you’ll find that the more criteria you have (decent salary, not requiring a professional degree or job training, a great work environment, and more) the harder it is to find that perfect job.
However, here are some ideas if you’re willing to think outside the box”
- Police officer or other police work
- Criminal Investigator
- Flight Attendants
- School teacher
Avoid these Non-Active Jobs
While these jobs might not necessarily be non desk jobs, they don’t include traditional office-based work in a corporate office. You might want to avoid jobs like:
- Information technology
- Data scientist
- Data entry
Can’t Switch to a Physically Active Job?
You may read this and realize that though you are a high-energy type, you can’t make a career change right now (or ever). Maybe your bills are too high, you can’t retrain or go back to school, or there’s some other reason that making this move isn’t right in your life. That’s ok.
Even small changes in your life can help you feel less bored and improve your health. Try taking a brisk walk during lunch breaks, or, if you don’t get a lunch hour, exercising in the early morning before work. Many people manage to find a way to increase their physical work load as part of their jobs, even if that means hand-delivering a memo across the office a few times a day rather than emailing it. Of course, you won’t end up with one of the most active jobs, but you can increase your activity and lower your risk of heart disease.
If you work from home, try building in short breaks between meetings to stretch, walk outside, do some intervals on the stairs, or do a 10 minute workout. Even think about doing some housework! You can get stuff done and stimulate your body and mind at the same time. Any of these things will get the blood flowing and help you to feel and think better.
Think About an Active Job as a Side Gig
Additionally, you might even add in a “side gig” that’s more active than your current role. For example, being a real estate agent on the side could be great for both your wallet and your waist line. Other types of jobs you could do on the side that fit the bill include: massage therapists, event planners, fitness instructor (think, yoga, Zumba, etc.) or personal fitness trainers, dog walker, tour guides and working in emergency services (EMT).
A part time role is a fantastic way to get some active work time in while not quitting your day job and also assessing whether you like that work before spending a lot of time on a job search and career change. You’ll also earn a little extra spending money, and who doesn’t like that!?
Is an Active Job For You?
If you don’t mind hard work, there are jobs out there for people who don’t want to sit in the same place all day. You don’t have to choose to quit and pursue a new career all at once – getting a side gig can help you understand if you enjoy the level of activity you think you want, and also help you assess whether a particular new role is right for you. Making a switch is a great choice if you know that your desk job just isn’t right, or if you’re already experiencing negative health and mental health impacts.
Don’t let any fear of career change hold you back. There are active jobs out there that are enjoyable, where you can earn money, and where the barrier to entry isn’t so high as to be impossible. If you need help making a move to a different kind of job, go ahead and reach out. Let’s make this happen, together!