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CNBC

US company wants to pay you to travel the world and take selfies

Columbia Sportswear is looking for 'real people, who love the outdoors and aspire for an adventure of a lifetime' to be its Directors of Toughness

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 September, 2016, 3:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 September, 2016, 11:01am

If you're looking for a career change, consider this title: Director of Toughness.

Columbia Sportswear is hiring two people to test out its sports gear in extreme conditions. The nine-month gig includes a salary of US$39,000 as well as benefits. The eventual incumbent will be tasked with sharing videos and pictures through platforms like YouTube and Instagram.

"They are real people, who love the outdoors and aspire for an adventure of a lifetime," Scott Trepanier, Columbia Sportswear's Director of PR and Communications said, when asked by CNBC what the profile of the ideal candidate would resemble.

Of course, having an affinity for thrills and adventures are prerequisites, but your follower count on Twitter and Instagram could weigh on the job application, too. "Having a strong social following will benefit candidates, as well, since we want their stories to be heard," Trepanier said.

While the Oregon-based company won't disclose the locations that will be included in the travel, the last two directors to hold the positions (only 6-months then), traveled to places like Chile, Uganda and Ecuador.

Columbia Sportswear is far from the first company to start a get-paid-to-travel-and-share-your-life, position.

Earlier this year, Netflix recruited 'Grammasters,' paying them thousands of dollars a week to travel to Europe and Middle East and take behind the scenes photos on set. Separately, in an early move to embrace social media's popularity, MTV created a Twitter Jockey position in 2010, following its famous Video Jockey position.

To Columbia's benefit, extreme sports is a popular and massively growing segment on social media. Its helped boost the profile of prolific users of photo sharing platform Instagram.

According to Popular Chips, a social media influencer analytics firm, the number of Instagram influencers (those with more than 5,000 followers), has grown more than 400 percent, since 2014.

The increased usage in products like drones and GoPro may be playing a big role. On Instagram, for instance, #GoPro hashtag has risen among the top hashtags, with more than 22 million photos posted, according to Popular Chips. It's a popular hashtag, compared to just 2 million photos for #Cuisine or 4 million for #Handbag.

Columbia Sportswear sees such storytelling on social media as an increasingly important role in its marketing strategy.

"It's the perfect platform to engage and involve customers in this process," Trepanier said. "Our customers are not passive viewers, so we're inviting them to engage and be active contributors to the Directors of Toughness story."