The wide world and the opportunity to work and travel came calling, and John answered, using a seasonal job in Alaska to kick-off a lifestyle change, a career change, and a whole new path in life. Read John’s story to learn how he did it!
To try and answer “how a seasonal job has changed my life” in just one page would be a feat in itself. Because quite frankly, working at a seasonal job has changed my life in almost every conceivable way, and it’s been nothing short of amazing experiences all around. I’m currently writing this testimony at a café in Bangkok, Thailand where I’ve been traveling all over Asia, experiencing all kinds of new cultures, wholeheartedly enjoying the life I have, and it’s really all thanks to taking that crucial step towards uprooting myself and plunging into the world of seasonal work.
Before entering this industry, I was working at a pizza restaurant. It really wasn’t a bad job; I was generally content with life. I just had this overwhelming feeling of being “stuck.” I felt like I wasn’t getting enough out of life and that one day I would wake up and realize I’m 60 years old without having any kind of noteworthy experiences. I didn’t want life to pass me by. It was at that point that I realized I had to do something about it. The best time to make a radical change in your life was yesterday. I figured that I’m in my mid 20’s, I don’t have a wife and kids, no mortgage, so there’s really nothing holding me back. I had heard about seasonal jobs from a friend, and I thought maybe this would be a good idea. It’s a short-term commitment, so if I don’t like the job – no sweat. It’s only a few months. Plus, it would be a great way to experience somewhere I’ve never been. The only things I had to figure out were: where I would go, what I would do, and how I would go about doing it. That’s where Coolworks came in.
I reached out to a friend of mine who had spent a summer working as a zip line guide to ask him how he went about finding a job like that, to which he sent me the link to Coolworks.com. Once I got to the site and saw that there were many different jobs to choose from, I had to first figure out where I would be starting this next chapter of my life. You see, I’ve always had this dream to visit Alaska. It started when I was in 8th grade, and my science teacher showed us all kinds of incredible footage of Alaska with all the beautiful nature and wildlife in abundance up there. So, I figured, why not? I sent out my resume to a few different jobs, interviewed with a few different companies, and within a couple weeks, I was offered a seasonal job as a tour guide in Skagway, Alaska. Little did I know that this was going to be a decision that completely altered my life’s trajectory for the better.
My best friend (who also got a job at the same company) and I set out for this journey to Alaska by starting in Florida. We road tripped across the entire country for weeks, seeing some of the most beautiful national parks and monuments along the way. When we finally arrived in Skagway, we both shared this warm feeling of knowing we had reached home. That summer was an incredible one, to say the least. We learned so much about the history of the city, the importance and diversity of the surrounding ecosystems, and met some truly incredible people. I’ve made friends in Skagway who I will hold dear to my heart for the rest of my life. When that summer was coming to an end, I really didn’t want it to be over. I had found everything I was looking for. I was doing exactly what I had yearned to be doing just months prior. I knew, no matter what, that I was going to keep coming back to Skagway, and it made it all that much easier when I was offered a promotion to become the Tour Manager at my company, Alaska360.
Nowadays, I’m responsible for training all incoming tour guides and maintaining the quality of tours that our company offers. I’m also responsible for conducting the hiring, and I’m sure you can already guess which site we use to host our job postings. It’s funny how this all comes full circle. What started as a way to just get out and explore somewhere new for a few months has now become a full-time career that still affords me the opportunity to travel and see more of world. Writing this testimony is surreal. I never would have thought a few years ago that I would have met the people I have met, seen the things I have seen, or experienced the feelings that I have felt. Every decision I’ve made that has led me to this point were ones that sometimes had me feeling unsure or nervous, but through this I have found that there are good things waiting for you on the other side of fear. If you’re hesitant to make this transition into seasonal work, just know that there are many of us who have felt the same. And, most importantly, we’ll be waiting here with open arms to welcome you to whichever part of the world you choose for your next adventure.