How to Find Work in the Country

Gene Bayless provides some tips on how to find work in the country, and the type of rural jobs that are available to you.

| July/August 1975

If you want to live in the country, you'll probably have to find a rural job that can support you and your family," says Gene Bayless. "That's exactly what I've done and if I can do it, you can too!

It's surprising how much can happen to you in a few years … if you stick your neck out far enough. Take me, for instance.

How to Find Work in the Country

At the start of the 70's I was an industrial salesman, wrapped up in the verbal garbage of trying to persuade people buy my wares. I was used to the urban life, creature comforts, a paycheck, and a regular job with normal hours. I had what I was supposed to want and I already knew I didn't want it. For a long time I'd thought that the dudes in education and upper management must know what they were talking about when they fed me the crap I had swallowed so willingly. Later, as I progressed up the ladder through seven years of sales experience, I realized that "they" knew no more than anyone else and were simply operating on guts. That's when I started looking for a way out of the "system".

In 1971 I met MOTHER EARTH NEWS, and her articles impressed me with their sensible, feet-on-the-ground approach to the simpler life. What struck me most, though, was Contact (it wasn't called Positions & Situations yet in those days). Wow! Were there really people out there doing, trying, failing, trying again? Maybe my own dreams to find work in the country could actually come true!

At the same time, Contact was frustrating reading. All those doers who sent in their ads were calling for other doers: folks oho could build, grow, raise, fix, or buy into various deals. And there I was with lots of ideas, but no money or skills.  

Well, I thought a long time, and then made my move … to pump repair and water systems installation. It was a good way to go, just for the training in basic electricity, hydraulics, gas welding and cutting, and repair of motors, compressors, and pumps. I even made more money at my new trade than I had as a salesman and, since most of the work I did was in the mountains of Colorado, I was able to look over some mighty pretty land and get paid at the same time.  

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