Roughly twice a year, we go on the job hunt. As workampers, we typically stay in an area 4-6 months on average and we start looking for the next opportunity 3-6 months prior to the next season. So basically when we get to a new location, we are already beginning to scout out the next season. While in our early days of workamping, we made sure we had jobs lined up for st least 2 seasons if not more, today we take it season by season. Life has a funny way of throwing unplanned adventures from time to time that make it harder to plan for more than a few months. We have found that for the summer months, finding work is much easier than in the winter. This is basically a supply and demand issue since most of us who full time, prefer to be in warmer climates for the winter and there are far fewer campgrounds in the south that aren’t already full from the snowbird migration. The other problem in the winter is that many workampers have their favorite places that they return to year after year while using the summer months to explore new areas.
When searching for the next assignment, it is much like searching for a traditional job. The major difference is being able to choose a general location. Compensation tends to be about the same everywhere you go in terms of pay, hour requirements, site accommodations and employee discounts. While there are certainly differences, generally you know to expect when applying for a position. The other difference is there is a bit more flexibility when it comes to things like job options (guest services or housekeeping) and commitments.
Having both retired from the Navy, our first real experience as adults in a job interview was our first workamping assignment. The trouble was, we didn’t know what to expect or what was expected. What we quickly learned was that much of our career as well as homeowners translated to many of the skills required in workamping. It isn’t about having a specific skill set, but rather a general knowledge of primarily customer service, cleaning and general maintenance. Since we are not applying for a corporate job our resumes are a bit more lax than a traditional resume trying to beat out rich competition and while a specific skill set may be required and most certainly requested, we learned that personality plays a much bigger role. Our resume after 5 years full-timing, reflects our general duties as workampers rather than nitty gritty details of our former careers; in our case, the US Navy.
The most important thing we have learned over the past 5 years workamping is quite simple, and we have learned to embrace a phrase we learned from the Amazon camperforce recruiters, “It’s a job, not a career”. Workamping allows those of us fulltiming to see the country, moving season by season without any long term commitment or with the pressure of moving up with a company. We workamp because we enjoy serving people, we like to stay busy and of course it never hurts to have a little extra jingle in our pockets.