There are so many jobs in the fishing industry that are just like a job you’d find anywhere else. We just get to fish a little more. From marketing and public relations to accounting and sales, if there’s a job title outside of the fishing industry, you’re likely to find it where you can also keep a fly rod in your office.
A big segment of the fly fishing industry is making sure customers are happy, just like in any other business, and our own Customer Success Manager Erin Foley has that down, keeping the Postfly Tribe happy day in and day out. If you’ve ever called the Postfly office, you’ve talked to her.
The Life Of A Postfly Employee
Foley was working as an administrative support specialist at a government job, “serving the public,” pretty much as far away from fly fishing as possible. She came across a job listing for Postfly’s Customer Success Manager at the same time she was offered a promotion and a pay raise at the old job. What do you think you’d do if you had the chance to work for more money or get a gig in the fly fishing industry? Exactly.
Before she worked here, Foley was a Postfly Tribe Member. “Fly fishing first popped up on my radar when I was spin fishing at a farm pond and my buddy (normally a religious spin guy) showed up with a Martin setup he snagged from Wally World,” said Foley. The learning curve was steep, but very quickly Foley realized fly fishing was something she had to try. “Even though he could barely cast he was reeling in the kibbies like crazy,” she said. “I’m a fan of reeling in anything with gills, so obviously I was highly intrigued.”
Like a lot of other fly anglers, after Foley watched, “A River Runs Through It,” she was a goner. “I went out the very next day and got the same Martin setup and have been addicted ever since,” she said.
A few years later, after being offered the promotion at the government job, Foley decided to take a leap and work for Postfly instead. “Fly fishing for me, as it is for many, is a complete obsession; I can’t go 15 minutes without thinking about it,” she said. “I figured if I was going to be thinking about it all day I might as well be working at a fly fishing company.”
Fish To Work, Work To Fish
Like any other office job, a typical day at the Postfly office is full of emails…and emails…and more emails. Luckily for Foley, here in the Boston HQ that day also includes office beers, music constantly cranking out #ThrowbackThurday tunes and getting on the water as much as possible.
Besides emails, “a typical day at Postfly for me consists of checking in on our social media channels, tracking down inventory, fulfilling orders, helping customers on the phone, providing support to our ambassador team, and pretty much doing whatever else the company may need,” said Foley. Working at a startup company like Postfly offers the unique opportunity to grow with the company and feel the excitement of the Postfly Tribe Members every time they call, sometimes just to chat about fly fishing. “We are constantly learning here, so everyday brings a new challenge.”
On Wednesdays we wear waders. Just kidding. Actually, we fish any day that the weather is nice and we can convince El Jefe Brian Runnals (he does a lot of that convincing himself). At least once a week the gang heads out to test new fly patterns or new gear and to take photos/video that we’ll use on the Postfly Blog. “I try to hit the water at least twice during the workweek and then at minimum once over the weekend,” said Foley. “Every once in a while the fishing gods smile down on me and everything lines up perfectly and I’ll get 4 or 5 days in during the week.”
First Step To Get The Job: Passion, Passion, Passion
Throughout the fly fishing industry, whether you’re talking shop at the local put in, on the phone with a customer, or walking the floors of a fly fishing trade show, passion is everywhere. Nearly everyone we talk to is stoked about fly fishing, so every phone call usually ends with a brief (sometimes not-so-brief) fish story or invite to hit the water.
“I’d have to say constantly being surrounded by people who love fishing as much as you do, and the fact that work never actually feels like work, that’s the best part,” said Foley. As for the worst part, she said, “I can’t honestly think of one.” [Full Disclosure: Foley’s desk is three feet away from the boss’s…but I agree (mine is five feet away)].
If you’re sick of your job or just looking to work in an industry you’re passionate about, then what are you waiting for? It’s never too late to make the switch and give it a shot. “If you love fishing then don’t stop trying,” said Foley. “Just like fishing, landing your dream job will take time, patience, and dedication, but once you get it it’s #WorthTheWade.”
The climate in the fly fishing industry is also like nothing you’ll find elsewhere. “The fly fishing industry has a real sense of community,” said Foley. “It’s not too dog-eat-dog, we’re just a bunch of people who love to fish, are doing what we love and will help each other out whenever possible.” Who wouldn’t want to work at a place like that?
This is part five of a series on the best jobs in fly fishing. Stay tuned for a full look into A Day In The Life Of A Professional Fly Tier and find out if you have what it takes, coming out Friday, August, 12 on the Postfly Blog.