Understanding the Workamper Lifestyle is Key!

As more and more people decide that traveling in an RV is what they truly desire to do, more and more people begin to realize they lack the basic understanding of the Workamping lifestyle. Workamping has grown tremendously in popularity and with that growth has come a new set of misconceptions, biases and new ideas as a whole.

For instance, the idea that you have to be retired and living well off of savings income or monthly retirement checks has been debunked as more millennials and working-age RVers transition into the workamping lifestyle. Other concerns about realistic living expenses, working for your site and being overqualified for basic jobs, give new Workampers unnecessary worries before starting their big adventures!

Entering the world of Workamping can be a fun and exciting part of your life! I know when we first started we were filled with the joy of location freedom and the dreams of finding nooks and crannies across the map to explore with our kids. Workamping allowed us to pack up and go as we pleased. It allowed us to discover America on our own terms while making some income along the way. It can and will do the same for you if you understand first how it all works!

Making Sense of Dollars

Workamping is a niche lifestyle. It’s an alternative way of living for some and a way to travel for others. For most folks, it is a combination of the two that seems to allow the best of both worlds.  Workamping can be your ticket to travel when you have limited income from outside sources such as small businesses or hobbies that generate very little. It can allow you to take to the open road pre-retirement and stay afloat, so long as you are willing to make necessary adjustments to how much you pay out in respect to the income you have coming in.

Living in an RV can obviously lower your living expenses and free up cash to do fun things like exploring your new destination, but for some it can also provide the needed slack to pay off debt. Many people have found this to be true and continue to use it as such.

One thing that has remained the same if not pretty close to constant over the years, has been the cost associated with RVing. It’s not free living!

It can be cheaper than a traditional travel lifestyle filled with hotels and even gives the American Dream of owning a home in the suburbs a run for its money, but let’s be clear… it’s not free living!

Many of the costs associated with RV travel can be greatly reduced and sometimes erased through the decision to workamp along the way. Workamping lends its hand to help RVers save cash on things like housing expenses, site rental costs, paying for electricity at monthly sites, and having to pay for use of onsite amenities. Another huge savings is the fuel, as you will not be driving your RV daily from here to there while you’re workamping. In fact, workamping will allow you to stay for extended periods of time in some of the most desired locations in the US, where only local driving will be necessary.

Understanding the Workamper Lifestyle is Key! 1
Make sure you have the perfect workamping lifestyle photo!

Workamping Lifestyle Resume Photos

Many employers will ask for you to include a photo of yourself and your rig along with your resume. Many Workampers are instantly put off by this practice and question if it’s merely a method of discrimination for one reason or another. I have to say I both agree and disagree with the validity of sending pictures to employers. And while I have participated (in my own way) and encouraged the participation of this recruiting practice, it was for one reason and one reason only… to avoid myself or any fellow workamper arriving at a job site only to be turned away.

With an ancient motorhome and 4 kids in tow, my husband and I never wanted to arrive at a new workamper job with the employer not knowing exactly what they were getting. In the beginning, I would silently refuse to send photos, but would casually include a link to our blog with an invitation for the employer to get to know us… after 2 instances where the employer was shocked after arrival that we were so young and had multiple children, even though they still worked out well, I promised myself I would never drive anywhere until I had clearly laid out in an email with a time stamp, that we had 4 kids, this is what we look like, and this is what we camp in.

There is no way I wanted to drive any distance with the lingering fear of denial or rejection. When people ask me about why I think workampers should just send the pictures, this is what I tell them.

Workamper employers are hiring you virtually. They are not taking the traditional interview route, which would require you to be present for at least one face-to-face interview. In return for not having to travel to their business for an in-person interview, which I was actually asked to do one time, do yourself a favor and send the photos or agree to a virtual interview over Skype or FaceTime!

Photos that are considered acceptable for employer review:

-Professional headshot
-Basic headshot
-Selfie showing the full face
-Outdoor pictures with 1/2 body
-Indoor picture with 1/2 body
-Professional full body shot
-Selfie with multiple people showing full face.

Photos that are not considered acceptable for employer review:

-Action shot where you are barely visible
-Outdoor photo of just scenery
-Multiple persona selfie with partial face
-Pictures where your tongue is sticking out
-Full body shots in anything less than business casual
-Pictures where you are making a funny face, such as a pouty lip

Understanding the Workamper Lifestyle is Key! 2
Get clear about the workamping lifestyle you want.

Understand the Job

It’s important to understand the jobs you’re applying for too. No one workamping job is alike, so really do your research on what the employer is looking for and what they expect. You also don’t want to settle for a workamping job you don’t actually want either. If you hate cleaning, don’t bother with housekeeping positions. Not interested in heavy interaction or computer work, try maintenance or landscaping.

Workamping employers are running a business just like any other employer. They are seeking the right people for the job who will respect the work their doing. Do your research and make sure you’re applying to jobs you actually want to do. But also, research the company and make sure it’s a good fit for you. Nothing worse than getting excited about a job only to find out it’s not a good place to live or work!

Live and Work in the Same Place

It’s good to remember that when you choose the workamping lifestyle, you are also choosing where you live. Do your homework and make sure the positions you take are in a place you’ll enjoy. Looking to explore San Diego or LA, then find a seasonal position somewhere in between. Don’t feel like living in Florida, then don’t be swayed by all the available workamping jobs. Take the time to find something in a place you actually want to visit.

Now, that being said, you may have to take some locations just because they make sense. But the bottom line is that you find workamping jobs that are in a place where you’ll be safe, comfortable, and have a chance to explore the places you want to.

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Make sure you’re enjoying the workamping lifestyle in a place you want to be.

There are a few tips and tricks that can get you prepared for the workamping lifestyle. From where you live to how you can afford everyday life, it’s important to have an idea of how it all works. So do your research, learn what works for you, and find a place you’ll love. The workamping lifestyle is for anyone who loves to travel and doesn’t mind working on the road.

Need some extra workamping advice? Check out these other workamping lifestyle blogs:

Workamping Interview Questions

Workamping First Impressions: How to Land Your Dream Workamping Job

Know Your Stuff & How to Negotiate Workamping Positions

7 Workamping Myths & Mistakes You Should Avoid

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