Workamping is usually a win-win for everyone, especially if you follow a few common sense workamper do’s and don’ts. Most employers have reasonable expectations for seasonal workampers but unfortunately, the workamping arrangement as we know it could be at risk.
Workampers are burning their bridges
Last year my workamper employer was left in the lurch when a young couple I helped recruit didn’t show up as promised. They never returned our calls and the business was left stranded. I screened this couple myself and felt awful for the stressed out business owners who didn’t find replacements until halfway through summer.
When screening for applicants, it’s hard to know who’s truthful and who’s a liar. That couple seemed especially excited to show up for the job, which paid a decent wage for all hours worked and included a free campsite and meals. I never would have guessed they would flake, but my employer wasn’t surprised, it had happened to them before.
Another workamping employer I recently talked to told me that times have changed for the traditional workamping arrangement. “Nobody seems to see the real value in it anymore,” he said. “In the old days, people were happy to work a few hours a week in exchange for perks like free rent, but not anymore.”
Now, he said, potential workampers get extremely picky about everything from the campsite, to the wages paid versus the monthly value of the campsite, and more. They pick through the agreement as if their careers depended on it. If a workamper arrives and feels dissatisfied, they often quit before making an attempt to work it out with management. This employer is thinking about nixing workampers and hiring from the local workforce instead.
The old full-time RVers’ adage “If you don’t like it you can just turn the key and leave” is taken to the extreme, without any courtesy given to the stranded employer.
Nobody wants to feel like they’re getting used by a boss, including me. However, I’ve found that the majority of workamping employers are honest people who just want what’s best for everybody. If growing numbers of workampers keep flaking out on these businesses, it’s only a matter of time until all employers find that it’s not worth the hassle for them either. Before we know it, the workamping arrangement will become a thing of the past.
If you are thinking about workamping, or are a regular workamper like me, follow these workampers do’s and don’ts to help keep this mutually beneficial arrangement alive. Workamping is such a great way to save on the cost of living. Many folks couldn’t enjoy the full-timing lifestyle without it.
- DO look for workamper jobs that you are comfortable and capable of doing.
- DON’T accept workamper jobs until you feel satisfied you know all of your employer’s expectations
- DO follow through on your commitment to show up.
- DON’T leave before making an honest effort to work with your employer for an arrangement you can both live with.
- DO give your workamping job the best you’ve got; people are counting on you.
I hope these pointers help you find your ideal workamping job. If you have more, let us know.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.