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Ben Southall - Hamilton Island Caretaker (aka 'Best Job in the World')

Ben Southall
'My love of the outdoors and ability to slip into a Queenslander’s way of life, along with having a try-anything attitude, definitely helped my application.'

English adventurer Ben Southall, 34, beat thousands of other applicants earlier this year for the ‘Best Job in the World’. He has now signed up for six months of snorkelling, eating and luxuriating his days away on Queensland’s Hamilton Island – all in the name of a job.



The real fun for you begins in July when you officially start your job. Can you explain what you will have to do in your day-to-day job on the island?

As yet the true outline of the role is still being developed. The final itinerary is in the planning stages but it’s safe to say that the first six weeks will involve a whole load of travelling to new islands, experiencing all the area has to offer and soaking up the atmosphere. I will report on all of these things whilst relaxing and looking over the beautiful ocean – well, in a perfect world anyway!

What made you apply for this job?

What caught my attention was the experience that was on offer with this role. I loved travelling in Africa last year and this job offered me the chance to explore another great continent and spend six months in a different part of our amazing planet we are so lucky to live on.

How do you plan on being successful in the position?

By taking every opportunity that comes my way. I want to jump in the deep end and fully immerse myself in the cultures, environments and activities that are available to me. In doing this, the blogs I produce and publish as part of this job will be a true reflection of how exciting this part of the world is and why so many people from around the planet want to visit it.

What’s the worst job you have ever had?

In order to fund world travels and expeditions, I’ve worked as a labourer on a building site and as a mould breaker in a concrete garden ornament factory. Neither of them were bad, just a means to getting somewhere better. Besides, bad jobs build character and toughen us up!

Can you tell me about your application to get this gig?

The initial one-minute video was a creation that my girlfriend and I put together in a day. We dreamt up the idea and script in bed, shot it in the afternoon, used Windows Movie Maker for the first time ever that evening and posted it on the Web that night. Being selected as one of the top 50 applicants from 35 000 others was one of the hardest parts of the entire process.

What do you think made you stand out from the rest of the applicants?

I think having a high average across all aspects of the application process was what brought the position to me. My love of the outdoors and ability to slip into a Queenslander’s way of life, along with having a try-anything attitude, definitely helped my application.

Do you think creative applications can work for a variety of careers?

I think this sort of application shows a lot more about an individual than any standard interview could. You have one minute to appeal to your interviewer, which is tough to do – maybe more jobs should use this kind of technique!

What advice do you have for people when applying for a job?

I think being honest and true to yourself and those around you is so important – throughout the selection process I never lied about who I was. I kept the mentality that ‘if they don’t want me as I am then so be it, I’ll just move onto something else’ – and luckily they did want me.

What are your future career goals?

What I’d like to take away from this whole crazy adventure is having the chance to educate people by taking them to some of the places I’ve visited over the years. Being an expedition leader would be a perfect career at the end of this!

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