Want the world’s best job? All you need to do is go through a job interview with a nine-foot python wrapped around your neck.
That’s what Greg Snell, an adventure tourism enthusiast from Oshawa, Ont., did to beat 120,000 people from around the world for “the world’s best job.”
Or at least one of six of the world’s best jobs, as advertised by Tourism Australia, which has been attracting global attention with its Best Jobs In The World campaign.
Snell won the South Australia spot, earning the title Wildlife Caretaker. Among the other “best jobs” are “Chief Funster” in New South Wales, “Outback Adventurer” in the Northern Territory, and “Taste Master” in Western Australia — which involves touring the state’s restaurants, vineyards and bars.
Snell’s job will see him "diving with Great White Sharks, cuddling Koalas, swimming with Sea Lions, and waking up Kangaroos," he wrote on his blog.
“It is difficult to put this feeling into words and onto the page. I am on cloud nine, sitting atop the world,” Snell wrote.
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The 27-year-old went up against 120,000 applicants for his job, for which only a few dozen were selected to be flown to Australia for interviews, the Adelaide Advertiser reported. The job interview consisted of him answering questions with a python named Olivia wrapped around his neck, the Toronto Star reported.
In all, there were 620,000 applications from 330,000 people for all six positions advertised by Tourism Australia. It was a reiteration and an expansion of the first "best job" competition, which Australia held in 2009. Interest in that contest was so heavy it crashed the website.
The point of the campaign is to help grow Australia’s tourism industry, and Snell appears to be entirely behind that goal. He says he’ll entice tourists to Australia with videos of him swimming with sea lions and in a cage tank with sharks.
"I would send home the video that I made of swimming with sea lions ... (and) anybody who watches that would be immediately enticed to travel to South Australia,'' he said, as quoted at the Advertiser.
Snell spent years working as an adventure tour leader in B.C., gaining certification in a number of activities like rock climbing and scuba diving, the Toronto Star reports, but his parents weren’t entirely certain what he was doing with his life until the Tourism Australia job came along.
“What was interesting was that when we looked at what he had done over the last nine years, he had been preparing for this job but none of us knew it,” Snell’s mom, Barbara Oram, said.
Tourism Australia hopes Snell’s selection will bring more Canadians down under.
"I think you'll see a definite spike in tourism from Canada as a result of his winning this prize,'' Don Farrell, the Australian federal minister responsible for tourism, told the Herald.
Snell starts his job in December, at the beginning of Australia's summer season.