Meet Becky Shufelt,
Founder & Executive Director of   
Life in the Wildlands

Since I was old enough to walk, my dad would take me backpacking in the backcountry. The experiences I had really shaped me—my appreciation for nature, the environment and sense of adventure. It wasn’t surprising that when I became an adult, I would find an outdoor career. I wanted to figure out a way to help protect these special places that made me the person I am today. My name is Becky Shufelt and I hope my story helps you some day.

I studied Natural Resources Management at Humboldt State University in California. For my internship, I got my first outdoor job with the Forest Service working on the trail crew. It was one of the most defining moments in my life—I had found the perfect field to develop into a career. Eight seasons I worked as a temporary employee as a Trails Technician, Wilderness Ranger and Recreation technician. I was desperate to get a permanent position. I worked countless hours on my resume with every application. Then it finally happened. I got my permanent position as a Recreation Technician on the Six Rivers National Forest.

Was this new job exactly where I wanted to be? No. But it got my foot in the door and prepared me to obtain other positions in desirable locations. After several years, I knew it was time to progress to the next level. Little did I know that the job series I had been working under did not translate well to the job series that was being used for the next pay grade. I was stuck. At this point, the only way I could progress was to go back to school and get a Master’s Degree. So I did.

The struggle and frustration became even more real when I had exactly 2 years of grad school, with one class left to a diploma. Technically, this should have qualified me. When I submitted an application for a temporary detail promotion I was denied. My heart was broken. And throughout my career, I would not be the only one to experience this as I watched it happen to other co-workers around me.

Several months later, I got a call for an interview for a permanent position on the Eldorado National Forest. Assuming I did not qualify, I had forgotten that I had even applied to the position. Still with one class left to graduate with my Master’s degree, I now qualify? Why didn’t I qualify before?

As I progressed in my career in supervisory management positions, I made it an intentional mission to mentor those that reported to me to help them avoid going through all the struggles that I had. Serving on hiring panels quickly made me realize the big picture of why there is such a struggle for federal applicants, with many never making it past the qualification round. The system is challenging and cumbersome and there is a lot to know about how to develop a federal resume and navigate the federal application system.

Now, I want to help you. Over the last 20 years I have helped many people get the outdoor job they desired and provided counseling to keep them on the right track. I can do that for you. Nothing feels more important to me professionally than providing services that will get you to the outdoor job of your dreams! Assisting in the success of outdoor job applicants is a passion of mine as it is extremely important to continue building upon the existing community of public land stewards. We need this more than ever! 

It is the greatest feeling in the world to have moments where you think “Wow! I’m getting paid to do this!”  I want to share the various outdoor career opportunities and the tips and tricks to land your dream job in the outdoors.   

Becky Shufelt

It is the greatest feeling in the world to have moments where you think “Wow! I’m getting paid to do this!”