the summer greater than its parts? (ok, I got nothing punwise)
March 14, 2010 1:12 PM   Subscribe

Cool/fun/weird/interesting/unique temporary-ish jobs I can do (location immaterial) to take advantage of a liminal, rootless period in my life.

I'm in my early 20s, working and living in Europe, and will be permanently relocating back to my home country, the US, in late June. I have no particular obligations and no outstanding job offers. I imagine that come fall, I will settle down somewhere and search for a permanent job. In the meantime, what are some cool opportunities that, due to their transient or temporary nature, I might not have the chance to do later on in life? I don't need to make big bucks by any means, but I need to be able to support myself. I have a college degree but don't require that the job necessitates it (but fine if it does).

Some random ideas I was thinking of (but have no clue about), just to give you an example, are working on a summer music tour, or in the tourist industry in some capacity. I've farmed before and enjoyed it but in my experience there are few jobs that start in mid-season.

The more detail you can give, the more I will carve out a little piece of my heart and graciously present it to you. Inspiration -- good. Facts or links -- doublegood. Even if your idea is some weird niche thing that you think there's no likelihood I would have the one bizarre qualifier for, feel free to post it anyway-- someone reading might dig it.

Thanks a whole lot!
posted by threeants to Work & Money (11 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Join the circus.
posted by paulsc at 2:06 PM on March 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, interesting first suggestion!

One thing I realized that may be important which I didn't mention-- I don't have a driver's license.
posted by threeants at 2:21 PM on March 14, 2010

Get a job on a cruise line. No driver's license needed.
posted by patheral at 2:55 PM on March 14, 2010

If you would qualify, you could be an intern at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival this summer. Note though that the summer internship deadline is March 15. They also accept volunteers, and they need lots of them. Big caveat, no pay involved either way (though it looks great on a resume) so you would need to make some money via other more mundane and part time means.
posted by gudrun at 3:15 PM on March 14, 2010

Technically this is something that you could do while holding down a full-time job, but it's made easier if you have a lot of flexibility in your schedule, and you can start/stop whenever is convenient for you: model for art classes / artists.

Unless otherwise specified, expect to model without clothes. For a typical intro class, you'll need to hold a 20 minute standing pose (likely with a few 5min or 10min poses for the class to warm up) and should get a 5-10min break every 20mins of modeling. You'll need a robe for ease in un/dressing. Standard pay in my area for art classes is 13-15USD, but modeling privately for artists you can expect more (especially if it'll be a 3+ hour session and/or multi-week strenuous pose).

The easiest way to gain entry is to look up the art schools in your area--from your typical degree-granting institution to local orgs that just offer classes. Some might have a model coordinator readily listed while for others you'll have to ask the educational department's admin assistant. Once you land a job modeling for art classes, it's not unlikely to be approached by the instructor (or students) after the session and be asked to model privately, but you can always be proactive and ask the instructor or the model coordinator about other opportunities.

Lastly--be prepared to feel sore. Holding still in interesting positions is harder than many people think..
posted by ohruaidhri at 3:16 PM on March 14, 2010

My sister's boyfriend spent most of 20s performing as a musician on cruise lines. He said it was easy fun work, but in the last few years, the work has gotten a lot more demanding. He said musicians used to perform 1 show a day. Now they play all day as background music.
posted by malp at 3:37 PM on March 14, 2010

posted by GilloD at 3:59 PM on March 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

I spent one summer as a travel rep on a campsite, I did it in western France but there are sites all over Europe. It's low wage but your accommodation (a tent) is provided, and it's fun outdoor work. Here are three companies who I can recommend:

Canvas Holidays
posted by ellieBOA at 4:04 PM on March 14, 2010

One of the most fun jobs I ever had was selling Italian ices from a pushcart in Manhattan. You meet a lot of interesting people. I used to wear a sparkly top hat that I got at a party store, so I had a lot of people coming over just to start a conversation. Tourists used to take my picture a lot, too, because I was a "colorful New Yorker".

I honestly don't remember how much money I made, though. I used to bing a little boombox and play Stevie Ray Vaughn all day (it was around 1983), which helped bring in business. I was fresh off a divorce and living with my parents at the time, but I was also a single parent with no child support and paying a sitter, so it couldn't have been too bad. Being a bike messenger in Manhattan was fun, too.
posted by MexicanYenta at 5:58 PM on March 14, 2010

You can work in a National Park (U.S.) for the concessionaire doing stuff like normal restaurant work of all stripes, hotel work, etc. The pay is horrible. The benefits are you get to live in a friggin' national park and work with folks in their twenties from all over -- and you live in a friggin' national park! I did this at Denali N.P. By far one of the best summers of my life. I think CoolWorks has numerous other fun and low paying job opportunities advertised.
posted by fieldtrip at 6:23 PM on March 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

My askme here (is that a self link or a link to a relevant question? I hope the latter...) has plenty of relevant links, even if my question wasn't exactly the same. Particularly workaway and bunac.
posted by R a c h e l at 9:54 PM on March 14, 2010

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