Category Archives: Seasonal or Contract Work

***Dream Job Alert!!***

Despite the US northeast being pummeled by snow au moment, it’s SPRING hiring season for summer seasonal employment.

If I was younger, more fit, yada yada etc etc., working at this location would be at the top of my list.  Then again, youth is a state-of-mind, right?

Go for it.

IMG_0985 IMG_0986 IMG_0999Seasonal Jobs at Soaring near Durango, CO


Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Learning Addict. Airplane Geek. Teacher. Certification Collector. Serenity Seeker. Semi-retiree in training.

The Degree Dilemma

So, you’ve retired from a traditional job and have either a pension or some income through your personal retirement funds.  Or, you just live really frugally.  Either way, you need more moulah, but you don’t want to tie yourself into a traditional management or other job?

Piece of cake, right?   Just go get a job as a greeter at Walmart or a Barista at Starbucks.

Not so fast if you have a Bachelors degree, or heaven forbid a Masters of Anything.

It’s a strange employment market out there these days, for sure.  On one hand, there are underemployed recent college graduates slinging coffee everywhere.  On the other, both I and several of my acquaintances of a certain age have received flat out rejections from companies without even being granted an interview.    Reason?

Overqualified.  Or, the real head-scratcher…not qualified.  Seriously?  To scan bar codes?

As frustrating as this is, there are a few ways to circumvent the plethora of “apply online” processes that are ridiculously complicated,  and impersonal.  Here are some of my suggestions:

In-Person Applications

Go TO the store or business where you would like to work and ask to speak to the manager.   It looks much better if you ask for that person by name, so calling ahead to get it, or asking while shopping there is worthwhile.

Introduce yourself, and explain that you understand they are seeking XXX employees.  You have applied online, but that you realize they likely receive hundreds of applications and you want to take the time to come in personally and distinguish yourself from the crowd.   Does he or she have five minutes for a brief introduction?

Be ready to counter the “overqualified” argument.  Keep in mind that many managers are anxious about hiring someone with more qualifications than they possess.  This isn’t always the case, but sadly does happen.  Reassure them that you understand the job responsibilities and have done your time in their shoes.  You are just looking for some extra income and benefits, or something to do, or you love books or crafts and want to be in that environment….just be ready to address the issue.

It should go without saying that you dress the part, right?

Strategic Timing

Right now, many businesses in the US are gearing up for summer hiring.   Even if you want a permanent job, be willing to start with a temporary one.   Again, apply online, but follow up with an in-person visit.

The same applies in the Fall for holiday hiring.  But keep in mind, most companies post in the positions NOW for summer, and in September for holiday season.  Don’t wait too long.


I’ll be honest, I have REALLY mixed feelings about this one.  I am big on honesty.  And also tired of being told I am overqualified because I have a Masters degree.  Yes, I’ve been tempted to simply leave it off an application.   I can’t advise you to do this or not.

My absolute advice is to never, ever, no matter what, never FALSIFY an application with credentials you don’t have, or failure to report a firing or criminal situation.


Do you know anyone who knows anyone who knows the hiring manager or someone who works there?   See if you can get an introduction or someone willing to run interference.    Some positions are just bombarded with applications and the manager would love a candidate to stand out.

Follow These Steps:
  1. Make a list of the ten places you would most like to work.
  2. Check all the local job boards, national job sites, and the corporate web page under the link for “careers” for posted openings.
  3. Contact your friends, acquaintances, club members and see if you can find a contact link.
  4. Get the manager’s name.
  5. Put in the application online if required.
  6. Make your in-person contact.

Don’t give up if you don’t hear anything back, or receive a rejection.  If there is somewhere in particular you want to work, frequent it as a customer and keep trying.  It’s trite, but businesses want people working for them who like their products.


Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Learning Addict. Airplane Geek. Teacher. Certification Collector. Serenity Seeker. Semi-retiree in training.

Just Take a Deep Breath and Hit Reset

I apologize for NOT being much of a blogger lately.

I am certain some will understand the notion of things just happening that set us back.  Nothing earth-shattering for me.  Just stuff, you know?

My computer hard drive failed.   Four weeks with the computer doctor and most of my documents and pictures ultimately salvaged.

I came down with a case of shingles.  Attention my friends!  PLEASE get the vaccine.  I don’t care how old or young you are.  Technically, I was not in a risk group, so my doctor had not suggested I get the shot.  We caught it early, and the medicine kept it from spreading, but I did still deal with a fair amount of discomfort for several weeks.

Pup is still a handful.

Finally caught up on my studies in my Educator Prep program for my teaching certificate – another victim of the damaged computer.  And, last week I passed the first of three state exams.  Whew.  One down.

So, how goes semi-retirement?

Eh…let’s be honest.  I am not EXACTLY where I want to be.

But, I am making progress.  I have been able to spend a great deal of time with my still-at-home teenage son, and he seems to be in a better place.   I worked six days during Spring break at the National Flight Academy.

Last weekend, I was very lucky to get to take a short cruise up the west coast.   One morning, my roommate and I got up early to watch the ship arrive in Victoria, BC, and I got to experiment a little with my new (used) camera.

I love seeing the sunrise (although alarm clocks, not so much).  It’s a good time to take a deep breath, and welcome the dawn of a new day.   I finally seem to be to a point where I am not so far behind that I think I’m in front.

It’s the season for summer job postings and applications.  I’ve got my summer gig lined up teaching middle and high school kids cool math and science through aviation.   If you want a seasonal job in the US, they are plentiful during the summer.   What will it be?  Driving a tour bus in Alaska?   Giving tours at the Grand Canyon?  Tending bar on the outer banks?

Why not give something new a try this year?

Lots of good opportunities at Coolworks Seasonal Job Site.


Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Learning Addict. Airplane Geek. Teacher. Certification Collector. Serenity Seeker. Semi-retiree in training.

**Dream Job Alert**

One of the things I love to do is showcase just how many fascinating part-year jobs are out there for the applying/taking.   While this one wouldn’t necessarily set my heart to pitter-patter, I suspect many would love this opportunity.

The pay looks decent too – $115 -350/day.

Check it out.  Even if this isn’t your cup of tea, it’s really fascinating to see how some businesses are set up, and what skills you might already have that they seek.  Frequently, degrees or formal education takes a backseat to good old-fashioned experience.

And, if you would love this, but DON’T have the required experience, contemplate how you might get it.  Find out how to get a Commercial Driver’s License in your state, and where you can get CPR certified.

Tour Guide to the National Parks – Private Company

Have a great day – you can make this happen!

Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Learning Addict. Airplane Geek. Teacher. Certification Collector. Serenity Seeker. Semi-retiree in training.

Micro-Entrepreneurship is Ideal for Semi-Retirees

“Starting a business” sounds daunting.  But, it CAN be surprisingly simple depending on what you want to do.  Don’t fall prey to self-anointed experts who tell you any of the following myths.  You may need to do some of these things, or not.

There are all kinds of statistics out there to scare you away from starting a business – particularly the ones about failure rates. But, like most numbers, this information is subject to a great deal of interpretation and manipulation. Don’t let one of these five myths keep you from moving forward with your dreams.

One – You Have to Create a Huge International Presence

You don’t have to be that big or that famous to make an impact. What if you only want to have a business that is successful in your community? Do you have to want to grow it into something huge? The answer is a resolute “No.”

Two – You Have to Borrow Money

Many of the statistics out there revolve around the Small Business Administration and the loans available. But, many small businesses can be started for next to nothing. In fact, there are small businesses that teach you how to open your own small business on a shoestring using mostly free methods of marketing and sales. This is particularly true of service and information products.

Three – You Have to Have an “Entrepreneur” Personality

This expectation stops so many potential small business owners from ever getting started. But what is this mysterious character that entrepreneurs have? While many of us perceive the classic entrepreneur as vivacious, outgoing, and a super salesperson, the reality is that passion and belief trump almost everything. If you have a product or service that solves a problem, you just need to find people who have that problem and are seeking a solution for it. Seeking a solution is critical though; they have to want to solve the problem!

Four – You Have to Answer all the Questions Before You Start

This is often referred to as “analysis paralysis” and keeps many businesses from ever being launched. Don’t let your perceptions as to how you think it has to be stop you from just getting out there and doing it. Do you love dogs and want to start a doggie day care? Go talk to everyone you know who has a dog and ask them, “What do you need?” Find a client. Now find another one. Congratulations, you are now a small business owner!

Five – Definition of “Successful”

This one is more personal. Don’t let the media’s definition of a successful small business be your definition of success. What are you looking for? Do you need enough to pay your bills, put some money away for retirement, and love getting out of bed in the morning? If that’s what you need, and that’s what you’ve got, you are a successful small business owner.

Many people could start very successful small businesses if they didn’t hold these myths as truth.  So, if you want to “semi-retire” but just seasonal employment isn’t enough to satisfy you or you can’t find what you want, then starting a micro-business MIGHT be a perfect solution.


Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Learning Addict. Airplane Geek. Teacher. Certification Collector. Serenity Seeker. Semi-retiree in training.

Income Ideas for Dog (Pet) Lovers

You can always start a business that is already clearly defined by how others have done it, such as pet sitting, dog-walking, or grooming. But what if you love dogs and you love being outdoors? Or dogs and being a nurse? Here are some ideas to get you thinking about the possibilities.

Doggie Personal Trainer

Love dogs and fitness? Why not offer your services to people who have overweight pets? You could partner with vets, groomers, and sitters to make pet owners aware of your services. You could actually take people’s animals out for exercise, or create excursions making it easier for people to exercise with their pets. Is there a doggie day care in your area? Partner with them to provide an extra fee-for-service to clients.

Sick Doggie Care

Maybe you have a health care background, or have a particular affinity for working with wounded or sick animals. What about a visiting or sitting service for people who have to work who have a sick animal at home? Giving meds, providing necessary clean up, and even just companionship for the animal while the owner is unavailable.

Doggie Vacations

Love taking your dog with you everywhere, or want to? I bet there are many other pet owners who feel the same way. You could start a newsletter about pet-friendly hotels, cruises, or other vacations, or a website. Earn an income by selling advertising to people who want to reach owners who travel (like dog friendly hotels). But why stop there? Got somewhere you want to go? Why not design and offer dog friendly tour packages? You could even specialize to breed, or to something such as single pet owners.

Doggie Art

Love dogs and either creating or shopping for art? You could offer an online store of unique dog art. What about combining the therapeutic benefits of pets and art? You could offer a service to retirement homes or schools to bring in animals and do artwork with seniors or students.

Dogs and Food

Love to cook? There’s a gal in New England who does cooking classes for how to make healthy food for your dog. An idea like that could be turned into a seminar people attend at a resort, a traveling class that people could sign up for in various cities, or even a video series people subscribe to.

Dog Sitting Extraordinaire

Pet sitting in your town might not appeal to you, but what about in the French Alps or Tasmania?  If you have the ability to travel – this website has pet sitting requests from all over the world.  Some are for weeks or months.  They rarely PAY, but you receive a place to stay while you take care of the pets.  Might be a snazzy condo downtown, might be a chateau.  Not a bad gig if you can source the income for food and travel elsewhere.  Pet and House Sitting

Bottom line, you can turn your love of dogs into an income.  And yes, you can make this seasonal too.  ANYTHING can be seasonal – it’s all in how you structure your business, and how you will get it running again the next season.

Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Learning Addict. Airplane Geek. Teacher. Certification Collector. Serenity Seeker. Semi-retiree in training.

Income Ideas for Photography Buffs

So, you love photography, and would like to earn a living, or at least some income with it?  Here are five ideas you can use as a basis to build your own unique idea.

Teach Independent Classes

Finding a decent basic photography skills class is often limited to the local community college continuing education department, or  camera store. Why not create a portable class and take it to small groups, or lead small independent classes? Scrapbookers are a huge market that already gets together to assemble their albums and share stories. Partner with someone selling scrapbook materials, or organizing group crops to offer a variety of classes from basic skills on up. Another angle would be for a specific demographic such as kids, college students, seniors.

Lead Photo Expeditions

This doesn’t have to involve trekking around the world. Similar to the classes, but with the added allure of actually getting people out with their cameras to take pictures, and then receiving feedback. You could have theme classes, such as “photographing interesting doorways,” where you walk around with several students taking photos, then have a lunch and learn debrief where you upload the photos and critique them.  Sunrise or Sunset.  Dog Park.  Cars. The possibilities for this are practically endless.

Specialty Photography

Do you love taking pictures of something in particular? Why not become the known expert in your area for taking these photos? For example, one lady has a thriving business doing outdoor dog portrait photos. Heavily beach oriented, she takes photos of the dogs running, and playing, then creates a portrait photo or grouping of photos. She works on commission, makes a tidy income, and spends her days playing fetch on the beach with dogs, camera in hand.

Traveling Scanning Service

This one might be a better side-business to one of the above, than a passion in itself. But those scrapbookers I mentioned above, and many others, have reams of photographs in shoeboxes that need to be digitized. There are excellent quality high-speed portable multi-feed scanners than run less than $1000.  Priced competitively, this service could provide an entree to whatever other photography oriented income you choose.

Stock Photography

You want to work alone? Take some time and get serious about stock photography. While the old photography purists lament the loss of photography as fine art, the good stock photographers are getting rich. There are multiple sites, and you can choose to work with just one or several. The money here is made two ways – a few great photos that get downloaded frequently, or lots of photos that sell less often. Read the stock photo site’s information – they will usually tell you exactly what kind of photos they need the most. I know of one gal who was perusing a magazine rack, only to see one of her stock shots on the cover!

Yes, these all fall in to the category of an independent business, but there is no reason why it couldn’t also be seasonal.  Spend the season where you want and only offer your services when you are there.   If you are in a place during a high tourist season, that’s a built-in market right there.


Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Learning Addict. Airplane Geek. Teacher. Certification Collector. Serenity Seeker. Semi-retiree in training.