Working on the road: find a job you like

RVers working at Fish & Wildlife Service

You are getting ready to start the RV lifestyle. You may need or want to work or find ways to reduce expenses. You’ll have no trouble finding work. Many employers prefer RVers because they know they are good workers. In fact, you’ll find hundreds of types of jobs and money-making opportunities to choose from. Along the way, you can have fun and adventures. Working can add to your RV lifestyle!

The first step to finding a job that’s a match for you is to identify your goals:

What are your dreams for traveling on the road?
• Spend time at National Parks like Yellowstone?
• Play golf or fish?
• Have peace and quiet?
• Explore or stay in a particular area of the country?
• Keep your expenses down so you can live within your income?

Working or volunteering can help you achieve your dreams, whatever they are.

How much money do you need or want to earn? Will your income be 100 percent of your income on the road or supplement other income? Are you working for a special trip or to replace a vehicle? Perhaps a free RV site will bring your budget into balance. Decide on an amount and in what time period you want to earn that. Some working RVers work much of the year with short breaks in between, while others work six months or so and then take time off to explore and relax.

What kind of work can you do on the road and want to do? Perhaps you can make the most money doing something similar to what you did before you hit the road. Maybe you want to try new things or something totally different. Become familiar with the types of seasonal and temporary work available so you can see what might work for you.

Apply to many jobs
Once you have targeted how much money you need to make, what part of the country you want to work in and what you would like to do, identify 20 or so employers and start applying. You’ll get a better feel for the job market and also have a choice. The goal is to find two or more employers who are a match, so you have a choice of job offers.

Be selective
When interview time comes, you are not only trying to sell yourself as the best candidate for the job but to evaluate whether or not this is an employer you would like to work for and a job you would like to have. Since the majority of interviews take place on the telephone, develop a list of questions to ask potential employers during the interview and have it in front of you. Here are a few examples:

• What are my duties? Hours?
• Will I get overtime after 40 hours/week at time-and-a-half?
• Will you provide needed tools, equipment or vehicles? Uniforms?
• Will I get any perks like free or discounted propane or laundry? Tickets to area attractions?
• How close are we to doctors or shopping?

If an RV site is part of your compensation, how much will you pay for the site? Employees at RV parks frequently work a set number of hours for their site, then get paid for the rest. Is it a fair amount?

You will likely have several job offers. Rather than take the first one and celebrate (and perhaps later be unhappy), pick the best out of several. Good questions will help you determine if this job is a good match. Both you and the employer lose if you travel all the way to a job and it wasn’t what you were expecting.

Learn from your experience
The more realistic your expectations, the better chance that this job will achieve your goals. For RVers who have held responsible positions, working for someone else can be frustrating. If that happens, it’s time to remember that your job is a means to an end: a chance to explore an area, fish, perhaps make money. You are only there for a short time. This job added to your resume will help you get a better job next season, as will a letter of reference.

There is so much work available for RVers, and anyone can find a job.