seasonal jobs are the bread and butter of nomads like me: no trust fund, not an internet superstar, no crazy skills that lend themselves to travel. while seasonal jobs aren’t exactly hard to come by, for the most part, hardly any of them are worth a damn.
most seasonal jobs are in the hospitality/tourism industry which pays absolute peanuts (which i think is absolutely ridiculous since it’s an insanely profitable industry). and most are set up to take advantage of seasonal workers: paying them in lift tickets or free housing or a free rv spot for camp hosts… they want almost full time work for that and if they do pay, it’s minimum wage…
you can’t really make enough to pay bills, save or build wealth that way!
those jobs would be awesome for a retired person or a trustafarian ski-bum but for someone who actually has to make money to live? not so much.
for those of us who want adventure AND money, the pickin’s are pretty slim.
but don’t worry, here are somethings i’ve done to find jobs while on the go
how to find a seasonal job that’s worth a damn
most of this is a repeat from my other post about being a nomad, but it’s worth repeating for this specific topic, so… here you go:
- go directly to the source – something i’ve been doing for the last couple years is
- deciding where i want to live – i always take cost of living in to account… i learned that when i moved to Key West
- deciding what i want to do – i try to remember my strengths and limits when considering this. i’m great at talking and i also know that 6hr days 4 days a week is ideal for me… i don’t always get that schedule but i always try for it!
- applying directly to companies within that field. when i hit on a job that sounds like a Hell Yeah!, i apply right away! sometimes i’m qualified, sometimes i’m not.
- seek out a career that has location independence build in – like a travelling nurse or flight attendant.
- look at state and national parks! they pay ok and usually have short term job contracts if you’re qualified for them. but the competition is stiff so they’re picky.
- join facebook job groups – you can find some seriously sparkly gems here!
- look at job boards – especially those that cater specifically to seasonal workers. yes, you’ll still find the standard “opportunities” but sometimes you can find real gems!
- network, network, network! it’s all about who you know. you can rely on your own skills but having an awesome network of people will pay dividends when you’re looking for kickass jobs in cool places. i have people in Arizona, Idaho and Florida on the watch for any jobs they think i might love.
- be open to random opportunities! it’s how i ended up getting invited to guide ghost tours at a cool little old ghost town and how a recruiter ended up headhunting me for positions at grand canyon
when applying to jobs, it’s all about how you sell yourself.
ALWAYS send a coverletter. it’s your opportunity to brag about yourself a little. i bill myself as a quick and eager learner and i showcase how my current skills translate to the job i’m seeking (most basic skills can translate to anything especially if you’re willing to learn the minutiae that accompanies any new job). whether you’re qualified or not, if you can sell yourself the right way and then follow up with your promises, you can land some pretty sweet gigs!
consider things that are outside of your work history
for example: if you’ve always been in sales, chances are that you’re great a shooting the breeze, which means your talents could translate into becoming a tour guide at a small local company. You’ll get to share information with people AFTER they’ve already made the purchase, so the pressure’s off, you just get to go out and have a good time! These companies often pay well + tips (though you’re often paid per tour which can be feast or famine… learn to save!) and they’re more flexible and less strict than the gigantic tour corporations like Disney.
try looking up tour companies near you. some museums offer paid docent positions as well!
start a business
rack your brain to figure out what skills you already have and how they can translate into a product or service that will be helpful to other people. if you start it on the side, and it turns out that you like it, you may be able to take it full-time and never have to search for a job again! plus, depending on your business and the market, you’ll get paid what YOU decide instead of being at the mercy of someone else.
businesses you could take on the road:
- graphic design
- diy product genius
freelance like a boss
if you’re not a “one job only” kind of person and you have access to the interwebs, you could also hop on some freelance websites to get yourself hooked up with gigs one at a time.
still using the tour guide theme: there’s no easier way to make a buck than sharing where you are with other people. and extra brownie points if you have some way of setting yourself apart from the other guides! try