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How do You Find a Job?

Written by Phil Payne
Saturday, 28 February 2009

Lately we have been getting questions from a lot of people about how we are finding work in our travels. And since we have had a little success we can actually answer the questions.

First, if you have any specialized skills or professions, use them. I studied massage and have been getting work as a therapist here and there. Later on I plan to find a spa or resort to work in for awhile to build up a nest egg. We had a friend in Austin who is a butcher and has worked at several places as they move around the country. We have met several traveling nurses along the road. And I talked with someone online who is an accountant and works four months during tax season wherever he is based. So just because you are traveling and/or retired, doesn’t mean you have to stop the work you are trained to do.

So far we have found work through three sources:

  1. Workamper News

This is THE print resource for anyone trying to find a workamping job. Most of the postings are in some way related to campgrounds, sights or destinations along the road, or national and state parks. The jobs very from volunteer work to paid employment and also range from part time seasonal to full time year round work and everything in-between. We were able to find our jobs at Yellowstone through this periodical. They have a website, www.workamper.com, where you can sign up, but you can only see the listings in the bi-monthly magazine.

  1. Temporary Agencies

When you are camping around a town you can also find jobs through temp agencies. You might not strike it rich at one of these jobs, but it does help supplement your income. When you apply you have to take about three hours of tests, depending on what skills you list, before they place you. Sue was able to get a steady job through an agency in Albuquerque that has offices nationwide. So hopefully she will be able to sign up with these guys in another town down the road and not have to re-test.

  1. Word of Mouth

It does not hurt to talk with people while you are on the road. Many people are happy to refer you to friends and acquaintances if they know where you are going. This has helped me get some massage gigs while we travel with little or no outside advertising. I will also add to this section nepotism. I’ve been lucky enough to get some work from my father that has helped pay for our travels. So don’t forget the people you know and they hopefully won’t forget you.

There are many other ways to find jobs in your travels. The federal government has thousands listed at www.usajobs.opm.gov. You can also look on the state and local government websites for jobs in the area you plan to go. And there is online job markets like monster.com that are growing everyday.

The key thing for finding work on the road is to plan ahead. Know where you want to go and start looking for work at least six months in advance. While you can sometimes find jobs at the last minute, it is not the best way to go if you are on a budget and count on working to supplement or provide your income. It is also important to know how much you need to be bringing in each month. If you know you need to earn $3,000 per month after taxes, you might not want to sign up with a temp agency.

Otherwise keep in mind the basics of job hunting:

  • Everyone wants someone with good communication skills.
  • Appearances matter – both yours and your rig’s.
  • Follow through on promises and expect the same from whomever you work for.

The jobs are out there, so don’t be afraid to step out and find them.

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