Are you thinking of becoming a workamper? If so, be sure to give some serious thought to your personality type before you start applying for jobs — it’s just as important as your practical skills when thinking about what kinds of jobs you want to tackle. In fact, your personality type can make or break your happiness as a workamper. So if you don’t want to be miserable in your new role, read on.
Confessions of a Disgruntled Workamper
Nobody wants to end up in a workamping job where they’d rather not be but unfortunately it happens a lot with workampers, especially those who are new to the lifestyle. I know because it happened to me once.
Never one to turn down an exciting new work adventure, in 2009 I applied to work as a seasonal Amazon employee at one of the company’s fulfillment warehouses. Being younger, strong and fit, I met all of the practical qualifications of the job. I’m also a hard worker and for most of my adult life have been a self-supporting entrepreneur, so I assumed these traits were a perfect fit. But I forgot to consider one major aspect about myself: My personality.
Personality has so much to do with your happiness in a particular job. In my case, I’ve always been happiest working in small businesses where I wore many hats and one job title didn’t accurately reflect the range of responsibilities I carried. I didn’t think about that when I applied to work at one of the nation’s most rigid and structured employers.
Amazon is successful because it has a formula and if you work there you either follow it or you fail. Unfortunately for me, I had never worked in Amazon’s factory-like shipping environment where employees literally punch a clock and so-called superiors stand over your shoulder watching you work while a timer assesses how fast you can perform an activity. .
Once the excitement of working at something so foreign to me wore off, the drudgery and irritation set in. Even though it was only two months long, I felt constrained and enslaved and I dreaded every minute. Of course it didn’t help that the country was at the height of the recession and orders were slow, or that there was a dog-eat-dog atmosphere among the hundreds of temporary employees desperate to make some quick cash during hard times. There were many factors that played into my unhappiness at Amazon, too many to go into here but you can read about in my blog’s Rantazon posts.
Don’t Let Unhappy Workamping Jobs Happen to You
Life’s too short. I hope you’ll use my experience as an Amazon elf to your benefit so that it doesn’t happen to you. Workamping opportunities are always coming up and even though it might seem like there are tons of people clamoring for a precious few jobs, the reality is workamping jobs have a rapid turnover. Why? Because I think that it’s too easy to dismiss the seriousness of the application process.
After all, workamping isn’t a career move and we all know that. But for your own happiness, your personality type deserves careful thought before you send in an application.
There’s a common saying among workampers: “If you don’t like it, you can always turn the key and leave.” But really, why let it go that far? It’s a hassle for you and the employer and nobody wins. Spend a little more time thinking about whether or not your experiences and personality are a good fit for that great-sounding workamping job and you’ll find the happiness you dreamed of on the open road.
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.
I agree 100% with your article. Unfortunately we retirees are of an age where we do not participate in the dog eat dog world. We work hard & care about honesty & a job well done. Someone standing over your shoulder pushing for faster/better job performance only causes resentment & mistakes.then we feel like failures. From my own experience.
Gary Broughton says
We’ve worked at a Jackson Hole campground for about 10 summers and love it.
When people asked about getting a job, I tell them to go where they want to be, then look for a job. If you want to stay close to home or kids then go there. Money is not the big requirement, enjoying the area is what we’re after. We sit in the mountains all summer, for nothing, and get paid for it. If you have to work to survive then you should have stayed at your old job.
In 19 years, we have “worked” and been to Alaska 3 times, toured the northwest twice, and did Glacier 3 times.
Just find a spot you’d like to visit then go there and find work.
Rene Agredano - The Full Timing Nomad says
Gary you are working in some pretty spectacular places! Awesome!
I love this advice: “If you have to work to survive then you should have stayed at your old job.” So. True.
Thanks for reading.