Seasonal Job Ideas
November 12, 2016 12:22 AM   Subscribe

I'm a bit of a career jumble... but to be honest, I like it that way, and I'm looking to brainstorm ways to keep the ball rolling. So far, I've got experience in Outdoor Education, Tour Guiding, Non-profits, and politics. I can move anywhere and I like something intellectually challenging and with people, and have been entertaining the idea of moving back in a more non-profit or activism direction. I am, however, nervous to give up my seasonal life and current travel habits. Open to all and any ideas, the crazier the better.

I'm new here, although I've been creeping on the site for a while without posting, and looking for some help with a job brainstorming session. I'm looking for all and any ideas you have. My apologies if I've gone a little crazy on the background info.

I have a bachelors in Anthropology and Public Policy, and work experience at an Outdoor Education nonprofit and as a Tour Leader for a travel company. I also interned in political relations on a CA state Proposition campaign for a major nonprofit for several years in college. Oh, and those terrible 3 months I spent at a digital media strategy firm for political campaigns in DC.

The Outdoor Education I adored, minus 2 big drawbacks - living way out in the middle of nowhere and working 24 hours a day. The tour leading was interesting... amazing travel, but again, 24 hour a day work day, and no time left to pursue hobbies or have any kind of life outside of work.

In between these jobs I've been spending most of the money I earn in a season backpacking somewhere cheap.

I know that I love working outside, I love working with people (particularly kids), and I love a challenge. I've been looking at going back in a nonprofit direction but with more of a direct social services angle, but I am not sure I'm ready to give up my seasonal lifestyle and the travel opportunities it gives me (I'm already dreaming up a 6th month Asia trip, once I have enough money saved). I am also very interested in international relations and politics.

I don't mind working a lot, but I've been having a lot of mental health issues lately, and I think that I really need to step back from 24 hour a day work in order to deal with what's going on, and to have time to re-find my other hobbies and passions. I am also very incredibly privileged to say that with part luck/part extreme cheapskate style habits of living, I really don't need to make all that much money.

I've considered a whole host of ideas, and I'm looking for more. I am also interested in ways to earn passive income, or digital nomad for at least some of the seasons of the year. With my current track, summer is the easiest time for me to find something I like, and winter is the hardest. Interested in short term things I can do right now, but also long term ideas to work towards. Thank you in advance!
posted by Wanderwhale to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hi! You're like me two years ago before I settled into a stay-in-one-place full time job at a non profit, for better or worse.

But I'm not completely sure what you're asking for here? Ideas for seasonal work that you haven't considered? Ideas for seasonal work that won't take over your life the way outdoor ed tends to? Ideas for non-seasonal work that will allow you to keep traveling?
posted by geegollygosh at 6:37 AM on November 12, 2016

Much like geegollygosh I have some similarities in my career path to what you are experiencing.

I did a BA in Outdoor Education/Recreation and spent my 20's living out of my truck and various temporary housing situations while guiding (climbing) and doing odd jobs between climbing seasons. Inevitably, I "settled down", got a regular day job in nonprofits, got a master's in nonprofit management, and bought a condo. The allure of having a regular, permanent, year-round job seems to be harder to ignore as you get older. Message me if you have specific questions or just want to bounce ideas off someone.
posted by fieldtrip at 9:47 AM on November 12, 2016

Really any of those things you just mentioned. I just want ideas of other types of jobs might so that fit the general things I'm looking into that maybe I haven't thought about before.
posted by Wanderwhale at 9:47 AM on November 12, 2016

Thanks guys, sorry, I realize now that it's not midnight that my whole question was a bit vague.
I guess I'm just in a what the hell should I do next moment and every time I try to string together my question... I just realize how confused I am! I appreciate the attempts to help.
posted by Wanderwhale at 11:27 AM on November 12, 2016

Okay, so a few thoughts:

- not all outdoor ed is in the middle of nowhere, and while all of it seems to require fairly long hours, some places are definitely worse that others. Look for places that don't ever have you watch kids overnight; most of those places you work a few evenings a week but otherwise it's a little more like a 9-5. I once almost worked at camp Arroyo, which is a cool location and seems to have okay boundaries in that way. If you're not already familiar with it, is a good resource for residential environmental/outdoor ed jobs.

- Have you spent any time volunteering abroad? If you can commit to 3+ months often you can get room and board covered our covered for a small amount and I've found my stints volunteering have been in a lot of ways more interesting than behaving through because I become part of an actual local community. is a good resource of opportunities for free/low cost volunteering. I can recommend/not recommend a few south American places if you're interested in going this route.

-If you're american, you may be interested in NCCC, the Americorps program. You travel around a region of the us doing everything from weatherproofing houses to working with kids. This program tends toward the younger end of things, though.

Or just Americorps in general? Living in one place for a year is still enough time to explore and have that new place feel, but also have enough stability to develop hobbies and take the time to think about where you're going. Americorps is definitely a good experience if you're looking into working in non profits as well, though be careful with your program selection ( feel free to memail me about that).
posted by geegollygosh at 6:06 AM on November 13, 2016

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