Six Benefits of Seasonal Jobs

why-i-like-seasonal-jobs1It’s no secret, I think my life is pretty awesome. All of the wonderful things about RVing brought up in the last post are great things to point to, but I realized there’s something I left out of that list that bears mentioning. Something I really didn’t consider a perk of constant travel that luckily worked out in my favor.

I love working seasonal jobs instead of having a regular full-time job. Here’s six reasons why:

  • Better relationships with coworkers. I talked about this before in my Seasonal jobs and Communities post last summer. When your social life consists pretty much entirely of your coworkers, you get to know them better and are more forgiving of their faults. There is no competition for raises, promotions, or getting to work on that special project, because we’re all only around temporarily which makes for a more fun work environment.
  • You can take more “vacation time” without feeling like letting the business down, and can choose jobs in such a way that you get that time when you want it. No having to hope you get in your time off request first, or worrying about trying to take time off during a black-out period. I say vacation time in quotes, because what I really mean is you get to decide how soon you want to start your next seasonal job after the current one ends. This winter and last winter I had a period of a month or so worked into my schedule so that I could visit friends and family and get work done on the RV. I’d like to see a full-time job that let you have a full month off in one big chunk. Plus I’d always have the problem at my full-time jobs of not wanting to take time off because I worried about how the business and my coworkers were going to cope without me – it’s not like there were people standing by to jump in to take my place when I wanted to take vacation.
  • Some people thrive in high stress environments, I am not one of them. I enjoy my work more when I can take my time and do it well rather than rush rush rush in the name of productivity but not be able to give the task my best effort. In seasonal jobs, there are less expectations, less pressure, and lower stress. That’s not to say that I don’t have a good work ethic because I do – I can truthfully say that I have never held a job in my life that would not be happy to have me back, but I enjoy my work much more when it’s at a slower pace. This also ties in with the not feeling like I have to impress the people I work with and for thing. If a seasonal job doesn’t work out for either me or my employer, I can simply move on. There is plenty of other work out there I can do, I’m not tied to one geographical location like someone living stationary and having a regular job.
  • Seasonal jobs reduce the boredom factor of working, a lot. There is some variation to this depending on what your full-time job is, but for most people eventually a new job settles into a routine after a while. It becomes ordinary and expected, yes there may be new situations that pop up every now and then, but the longer you work a job the less it’ll surprise you, the more your working day will fall into a rut of routine, and the more, well, boring it gets. A lot of seasonal jobs aren’t high skill, they’re the sorts of jobs that can get boring after a while – but luckily you won’t have to work them long enough for that to be an issue. And you can mix things up too, and alternate between different kinds of jobs to keep things fresh. I did retail last summer, warehouse last fall, and now outdoors maintenance/science related.
  • As a RVer, one of the reasons you’re traveling is to see new locations. Having to work while you travel at first might see like a hindrance to this goal, because you’re in one location for several months at a time instead of hopping from attraction to attraction like the vacationing RVers and full-timers without jobs might do. But really, working while you travel gives a pretty neat balance: You’ll get to see more things that the person just taking two weeks of vacation a year, and yet you’ll likely have supervisors and coworkers who have lived in the area you’re visiting long enough to tell you all the good places to eat, and interesting of-overlooked attractions that the typical RVer who stays for less time will never hear about.
  • Ever thought you might want to switch careers or just learn a new skill set? If you prefer the hands on approach to reading about it in books, then seasonal jobs are a great way to try something different without having to spend money for a teacher or make a long-term commitment with a full-time job. This past week I met a new volunteer at the OSBS. He’s looking to get started as a firefighter, but needs a certain about of forestry experience before he’ll be able to get anywhere near a firefighting crew. He’s taken a few classes, and those classes allowed him to sign on with the station to do volunteer work to further his goals. I was hired on for the simpler manual labor stuff that required no experience or education: trimming back trees from roads, maintaining fences, pulling up invasive plants under the supervision of someone with the know-how, but I pretty much have backdoor access to the more complicated aspects of working at the OSBS that would normally require these things. I’ve learned a lot about local plants and wildlife, how to drive an ATV, how to use motorized tools, forestry practices, prescribed burns, all sorts of things I’d normally have to pay to learn about (the OSBS is not open to the public), and I get to learn about them as part of my volunteer hours around other kinds of work.

What about the rest of you seasonal workers out there, anything to add?

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This past Wednesday I updated my Amazon CamperForce overview post and brought it all up to date, plus added links to every CamperForce related post I’ve done since.  So if you’ve been thinking about trying Amazon out this coming holiday season, you should check it out!

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Thank you for doing your usual Amazon shopping using my affiliate link.

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32 Responses to Six Benefits of Seasonal Jobs

  1. John Pontsler (Ol Ponts) March 1, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

    Funny you should mention this today. I received a call today from Amazon Campforce for Fernely, Nevada. I am very excited about it, but didn’t know who else to tell. Now I just have to figure out part time work to hold me until the report date.
    Love your blog.
    Ol Ponts
    John Pontsler (Ol Ponts) recently posted..Welcome to the 21st centuryMy Profile

    • Becky March 4, 2014 at 11:36 am #

      Congrats John! I’ll likely be at Fernley myself this fall.

      I can understand the frustration about having exciting news to tell, but no one around you to tell it too. Most of my first year getting ready to go full-timing was like that. Like you, I discovered that online RVing communities were a good outlet for the news. Good luck figuring part time work out!

  2. Kim March 1, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    In my long career in nursing, I have taken 4 travel jobs that required living and working in the same locale for 12 weeks at a time. There is NO better way to become acquainted with a place than actually living there.

    Note: by the time I learned everyone’s first names, I was getting comfortable. By the time I learned last names, I was ready to go.

    I’m sure you know what I mean – LOL!
    Kim recently posted..Albany, GAMy Profile

    • Becky March 4, 2014 at 11:38 am #

      Yep, I know what you mean Kim. Can’t believe I’ve already been in Florida nearly two months, one more month and it’ll be time to go up to Atlanta. Sometimes it seems to go so fast, and sometimes, so slow.

  3. Run March 1, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

    Another great post. Thanks for sharing.

    • Becky March 4, 2014 at 11:38 am #

      Glad you liked it.

  4. PamP March 2, 2014 at 8:46 am #

    I can only confirm what you have said. Even if you’re not rv-ing, temp work means no need to compete w/co-workers for prize projects or pay raises. No performance reviews. If a job, or boss or co-workers become unpleasant you can just move on. For would-be gypsies like me, I get a new view of our land every few months. You can get a better understanding of an area when you can stay a month or so.

    • Becky March 4, 2014 at 11:39 am #

      Indeed Pam!

  5. Marvin March 2, 2014 at 9:49 am #


    Becky ,

    You are exposing some of the best kept secrets of the RV life style and will surely cause many people to re-evaluate their choices .

    Please stick with blogging , if you get a radio or TV show the roads are going to be extremely crowded !

    Thanks for taking the time to write and inspire – Be Safe .


    • Becky March 4, 2014 at 11:41 am #

      Thank you for the compliments Marvin and glad you liked the post. So far, full-timing before retirement hasn’t gotten mainstream coverage, but there’s always hope. 😉 If I would have considered this possibly before I moved down to SC, I probably would have stayed in Wisconsin, saved more, and went sooner.

  6. cozygirl March 2, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    A perfect post to get me geared up…we just got our FIRST camp host gig for this summer! I like Kim’s reply…learn their first name….by time their last name it’s time to move on :O) And Becky…happy belated birthday…so sorry I missed sending you a cheer! Many thanks for your reflections from the road…they are truly the best!
    cozygirl recently posted..The REVEAL….what’s next in our future!My Profile

    • Becky March 4, 2014 at 11:51 am #

      It’s great to hear from you again Cozy!

      I just went over and read your post, New England, how exciting. I bet you’ll love it, the best not so well kept secret to enjoying seasonal work is to remind yourself during those not-so-picturesque moments that happen while doing any job that this is a temporary thing, and so you should make the most of it while you’re here. You’re welcome for the post and take care!

  7. Mike LeBlanc March 2, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    Thought out well and written well! I would expect no less! Have a GREAT day!

    • Becky March 4, 2014 at 11:51 am #

      Thanks Mike, hope you had a good weekend.

  8. David Michael March 2, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    Nice post Becky. After seven years full time on the road, I am still thrilled by the possibilities out there. I agree with the seasonal work picture. Just about the time I get tired of working, I get to take time off. And when I get bored with too much free time, I get to work or volunteer in another beautiful place in the American West. Hope to meet you in Fernley!
    David Michael recently posted..Eastern Sierra NevadaMy Profile

    • Becky March 4, 2014 at 11:53 am #

      Looking forward to it David! I should hopefully be applying this week, and there may be another announcement in the works but I won’t get ahead of my horses. I am so looking forward to exploring the West. 🙂

  9. Reine March 2, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

    Although not related to seasonal jobs, your post has some words of wisdom for those of us that just travel in our RVs. Take the time to explore each location before you move on.

    On our first two or three long trips (like a month at a time) Paul and I would stay somewhere for two or three nights and then move to the next spot for two or three nights. We spent more days driving than enjoying. The last couple of trips we’ve planned a lot more loosely and stay 4-7 days in one place. It gives us time to really explore the area, do some hiking and biking, take naps in the afternoon, see museums or visitor centers, etc We find we’re enjoying our trips more and come home with more memories and less stress than when we were “hurrying” from place to place.

    • Becky March 4, 2014 at 11:56 am #

      A very good point Reine. I remember talking to tourists at the Badlands last summer who looked all frazzled and said they couldn’t wait to get back home and rest. In my opinion if that’s how a person’s vacation goes, they’re doing it wrong. 😉

  10. Donald N Wright March 3, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

    I have a long way to go before I can be free to chose. Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Becky March 4, 2014 at 11:57 am #

      You’ll get there though Donald, no matter how far away it seems now. I remember being in that position myself. You’re welcome, safe travels and happy trails.

  11. Gerard March 4, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    Hello Becky,
    I’ve been following your blog for some time now and it is really inspiring.

    I was wondering if you have posted a list of seasonal jobs anywhere? You have spoken about the Amazon jobs at length, but did I miss some posts along the way dealing with other possibilities?


  12. Bill Davies March 4, 2014 at 11:18 pm #

    You nailed it! This is the most inspiring article I’ve ever seen about the lifestyle. I wish every young person who is nearing graduation would read this. A few could “find themselves” as they explore opportunities near and far and earn a few bucks at the same time. NPS, concessions, temp. employment are all great ways to get a taste of different occupations. Coupled with travel to different places even with a very basic rv… The memories and friends they would make would last for a lifetime! Like I said, terrific article. Thank you.

    • Becky March 5, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

      You’re very welcome Bill, glad you found it helpful! When I first hit the road it was just a means to and end, I didn’t know I’d end up liking it more than a regular job but had to earn money so that’s how I decided to do it. What a pleasant surprise that it worked out so well for me.

  13. mike german July 2, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    The part that sounds so great is actually staying a site for a few months and really learning about the area.

    • Becky July 6, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

      I sure like it Mike. There’s less anxiety that most people’s vacations in which they feel pressed to do it all in the short time they have and inevitably end up feeling worn out by the effort.

  14. Terri August 24, 2014 at 7:54 am #

    I am so thankful that you put this “useful stuff” page together – and I have to admit, listening/reading to the way you talk about seasonal employment makes it very tempting. Enough that I have been playing with numbers and pen and paper a lot lately, trying to figure out if I could make it work. I like the idea of learning on the job more than paying a lot for school too (been there and done that) – the main reason I had been considering going to “School” of some sort (recently) had been because I wanted to make contacts in an area that i was completely new to. I really love the idea of working in the national parks too, but do realize how competitive those jobs are.

    Has anyone ever given you trouble when you have applied for a seasonal job that you seemed overqualified for? Or that you had way too much education for? That is a concern of mine – I have a law degree and masters in library science so am worried people would think “why in the hell would you want to apply here since you have those degrees? What are you, lazy??” And believe me, I’m the furthest from it. I have a very good work ethic, actually.

    How do you deal with the stress that also comes with seasonal employment? i.e. the uncertainty?
    Terri recently posted..Getting Rid of my Debt (What # am I up to now?)My Profile

    • Becky August 24, 2014 at 10:56 am #


      One of my favorite unconventional living bloggers, Jonathan Fields, wrote a book called Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into fuel for brilliance. It’s a very useful book for RV living since so much of the RVing equation involves uncertainty to some degree. I go back over it on a regular basis when I need a reminder.

      But most of what I do to get around it can be summed up in this blog post I wrote about fear ages ago: which I guess I should add to that page of useful links. 😉

      I ask myself what’s the absolute worst that could happen if I fail (I’m unable to find a seasonal job, and run out of money and am destitute). What happens then? (If I ever ran completely out of money, I could park my RV at my parents house or stay with friends – not the end of the world) What do I do to keep that from happening? (I apply to multiple seasonal jobs, and months before my current job ends to give me plenty of time to find something). What would happen if i didn’t take the chance with seasonal jobs? (I’d have to work full-time job, leaving me much less travel time to follow my dreams). When put like this, seasonal work isn’t such a scary process.

      And no, seasonal jobs I’ve applied for have never given me a hard time for my education. Sometimes they’ll ask you why did you decide on their location or their company, just have something prepared ahead of time for those questions. Usually during phone interviews it’ll come up that I’m younger than the average full-timer and when I explain my unique lifestyle they think it’s really neat! And to be honest though an interviewer isn’t suppose to make judgments based on age, being younger means you’ll be able to handle a 40 hour workweek much better than retirement aged folks who work at parks and such and you’ll have less physical restrictions – most parks are happy to get their hands on a younger RVer who has completed college (thus proving that they have dedication and can follow directions) and yet not so old that they can’t do some things.

      • Terri August 24, 2014 at 11:20 am #

        That is very good to hear that they have not given you a hard time. When I tried to leave the legal world, it was so hard – no one could understand why i would leave such a “glamorous” life of being a lawyer or working in a law firm…little did they know… And while I am 41, most people don’t think that at all, and some even insist on seeing my driver’s license as proof. I don’t act my age, and have a ton of energy which I am sure I can get to come across in a phone interview.

        I think you and I are a lot alike. I would also be the type to have jobs lined up way in advance (as far as possible, actually.) I’m already thinking of how to get my resume together to apply for Amazon for next fall, when the job application process starts in February. And I’m already working as many hours as I can to save up a treasure chest before I hit the road. I feel like I have to have a fair amount saved up before I leave. Keeping next fall in my mind as the deadline definitely helps me to prioritize when it comes to spending.

        Everyone thinks I should be a park ranger (but at my age I could only be an interpretative one which is fine with me) but I also know how the competition for those jobs can be, and I don’t have a background in environmental sciences, etc. So at least if I were to work in a job at a national park, I would get some exposure to that world, anyway. That’s my thinking anyway.

        And thank you so much for the links in this latest post! I love Jonathan Fields! I have subscribed to his Good Life Project for quite a while. It was through him that I saw this film called “Opening Our Eyes” which really made me want to make some big changes in my life (or should I say, fueled my fire even more) and make a difference in this world! I will definitely check out his blog and your post.

        You have been so helpful, I wrote about you on my latest blog post – I don’t get nearly the traffic you do, but hopefully it’ll drive more people to your blog too. Thanks for being so realistic about stuff and down to earth. The world needs more people like you! 🙂
        Terri recently posted..I want to do this..wait, no, that…wait, no this!!! (Decisions, decisions)My Profile

        • Becky August 26, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

          Thanks for the shout out Terri, I think you and I do have a lot in common. Yes, competition for park service jobs is very strong, i never managed to bust through that wall. No, you don’t need to make your resume for amazon real complicated, it’s a pretty laid back process actually.

          Take care!

          • Terri November 29, 2015 at 9:42 am #

            I just reread through this post of yours and our comments back and forth. Just going through all the possible scenarios as to where to take the next turn in my life, and I do like the benefits of the seasonal jobs that you mention, most of all, that it doesn’t turn into routine, or if it does, not for long, because then you are moving on. And not having to deal with the office politics, etc. That’s very much a plus.

            I like the idea of seeing some of the stuff that otherwise would be much more competitive, and the fact that you were able to learn so many new skills. I always like learning and bettering myself, and like you, I would still bust my ass at a seasonal job. It’s the work ethic that was instilled in me by my mom, and it’s part of the reason why I was hired at the sanctuary, I believe.

            I realized, reading through our comments, I’ve been reading your blog now for at least a few years – I was 41 when you first wrote this! 🙂

            I hope you had a great Thanksgiving.
            Terri recently posted..Zion National Park’s Pa’Rus TrailMy Profile

          • Becky November 29, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

            Glad you got some more use out of this Terri and I can understand wanting to switch things up (although it sounds like you’re getting out and enjoying Utah which is great!).

            I’ve come to the conclusion that 3 months is about the ideal amount of time for me to be at one job before I’m ready to move on and most summer jobs will want a person longer than that, but 4-5 months isn’t so bad either. There’s just so much to learn and do, I get anxious. 😉

            Yeah, time sure flies when you’re having fun! I really do hope we get the chance to meet up in person someday.

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