How do I find jobs? As part of Workers On Wheels and being a working RVer for over 25 years, people often ask how I find work. Here are some scenarios that produced job offers for me in the past.
I had always thought it would be fun to sell fireworks. There was a big new wholesale fireworks building just south of the city limits. I mustered up some courage and just went in to talk to them. I explained I didn’t really know a whole lot about fireworks, but would sure like to learn and work with them. They handed me an application, and said to fill it out and come back the next day at 10:00 a.m. I’ve found that method of finding jobs worked several times since then. Show some interest in the business, and let them know I would like to work for them. Employers would rather hire people who have an interest in their business than people who just need a job.
We stopped at a museum for the afternoon, and then all of a sudden, it was time to close. I was invited to come back the next day on the same admission ticket. I did, and spent most of the day. I visited with the staff and volunteers. They welcomed us to boondock in their yard for a week, waiting for an event that was happening on the next weekend. I helped set up for the event, and stayed and enjoyed it. Before we got ready to leave, they asked if I could help them out by working two days a week, for the next two weeks. This would include RV parking and hourly pay. They never let me go. I was employed there for the rest of the summer and into the following year. They also offered Coleen a job. We didn't go to the museum to find jobs, but that's how it worked out for us.
Many times I find work at restaurants. No, I have never worked at one, but while eating breakfast I find work. It is usually a small town restaurant. We usually eat at a reasonable time of day, when people who will soon head to work are there. We frequent the place a few days a week, sit near the locals' table, and become familiar to the local patrons. I dress like I am capable of working, and not in shorts, a golf shirt, and beach sandals. I let our server know we’ll be around the area for a while and that I'd like to find a job. She may know of something or she may tell someone who does.
I let people who might have work know about my education or experience, if it applies to the job, but not if it doesn’t apply. I may tell them about my hobbies, if they have something to do with the work. If applicable, I may mention particular skills. I work this information into the conversation naturally. Sometimes, people who have work available will out-right ask what I can do.
I took my truck into the shop for a problem that I couldn’t deal with myself. I told the mechanic what I thought the problem was; what I had done; what I thought needed to be done; and explained that I didn't have the tools to do the repair. He was the shop owner, and we visited some more. He could tell that I had mechanical knowledge and offered me a job.
Sometimes I find jobs, or job possibilities, while already working. Working exposes me to other employers. I was working as the handyman, welder, carpenter, electrician, man Friday for a small trucking company. I was picking up some scrap pipe at a peanut warehouse, when the superintendant approached me to work for the peanut company. During my time working with the trucking company, I was also offered jobs with a competing trucking company, a tire service business, and a steel building erector. Some of these were positions that didn’t exist previously. These employers saw what I was doing and felt a part-time position would work for them, and wanted me in it. While I don't like to abandon a current employer for a different job, I can still cultivate work for future seasons.
Looking through these examples, you can see that many of the jobs I was offered came about because I talked with people. I didn't brag or exaggerate what I could do. But, I did let them know about my interests and capabilities. Oftentimes, they could see me in action, and that made a big difference in helping me find jobs, too.
Coleen, the Workers On Wheels editor, comments: My husband, Bob Nilles, wrote this article about how he finds jobs while we are RVing.