Actually, finding a winter job is about the same as finding one any other time of year. However, because there are fewer jobs, you’ll probably need to put more time and effort into finding one and possibly consider non-RV park employers if you want a paying job.
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by Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
There are only a few states that attract snowbirds in the winter, while most of the U.S. is a playground in summer. That translates to fewer jobs in RV parks and resorts for Workampers in the winter. Paying jobs are harder yet to find. Because of high demand, many parks in the warmer, southern states are able to require a larger number of hours just for your site. So how do you find a paying winter position?
Identify what income you need:
Focus on jobs that pay what you need. There’s no sense applying for a position that requires 24 hours each just for your site if you need an income. If you do work 40 hours a week, that’s only 16 paid hours. Figure what you need to earn per hour so you don’t waste your time or the employer’s by applying to jobs that are clearly not a match.
Some employers start their employment search well before they need workers. (For example, Amazon CamperForce usually begins their recruiting in March.) This way you won’t miss an opportunity.
Read ads carefully:
Winter ads may be mixed in with ads for another time of year.
Consider all types of employers:
Since there are fewer paying jobs at RV parks, look at other possibilities. Some ideas:
- Fulfillment centers during their busy holiday-season.
- Sell Christmas trees or pumpkins. You can make a lump sum in a short period of time.
- Travel centers like Bowlin Travel Centers.
- Concessionaires at national parks with winter visitation, like Grand Canyon Conservancy.
- Mobile field technicians for gas & electric utility projects.
- Businesses in snowbird towns. They often gear up for increased visitation.
- Tax preparation services.
- Gate Guarding.
- Brave the cold and work in a ski resort!
Contact RV parks where you’ve stayed in the past. The fact you’ve been a guest may be a plus. If you applied to employers last winter, re-contact them for this year even if you were not successful last year. They may have an opening and your name will be more familiar to them than a new applicant.
Consider starting there in the summer:
Employers that are located in the southern states are often open year-round and thus have openings in the spring/summer and fall/winter. Often at these operations, the Workampers already working there get “first dibs” on the fall/winter positions. If you truly desire to be at a certain location/operation for the winter, you may choose to endure a summer there to be able to stay on through the more desirable winter months.
Use the Workamper Experiences and Praise Your Employer tools at Workamper.com to identify employers where other Workampers have had good experiences. Participate in Facebook groups like our Workamping Today group.
Once you have sent a resume or made an initial call, follow up. Often employers place an ad before they are ready to find someone. Since it isn’t pressing and the day-to-day operations are the top priority, hiring is not. By following up you can get a better feel for their timetable and the process plus keep your name in front of the employer.
So often Workampers complain that they don’t hear from employers. Take the initiative and see it as a positive. You have a reason to contact them again. Each time, you become more familiar; you start to develop a relationship. I can’t stress this enough. See a follow-up contact as an opportunity to express your interest and to sell yourself.
If an employer has their winter workers lined up, check back a month or so before their season starts to see if there are last-minute openings. An email or phone call saying that you are still available if they should need you could be the reminder they need if there is a sudden opening.
Actually, finding a winter job is about the same as finding one any other time of year. However, because there are fewer jobs, you’ll probably need to put more time and effort into finding one and possibly consider non-RV park employers if you want a paying job. Since winter job hunting can be more competitive, remember to sell yourself during the interview and be enthusiastic. Send a thank you note afterwards.
If your job does not include an RV site, often you can find a mobile home park with an inexpensive site to stay in. Some Workampers report they actually end up with more money by taking this approach.
Many Workampers are successful at finding paying winter jobs. Focus on your goal and make it your job to find one and you should be receiving a paycheck this winter too.
Social networking are popular and ways to build an online community. Be careful what you post though. More and more employers are doing Internet searches on applicants. People have lost job opportunities because of photos or remarks that are in poor taste.
Type in your name at Google.com and see what comes up. A good rule is think before you post. Could this give someone the wrong impression about you or make them doubt your character? If so, skip it.
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