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Van- and RV-dwellers have some advantages regarding employment:

  • you can go where the work is
  • you can live on less income and can therefore work a wider variety of jobs
  • you can work for things other than money: parking, board, etc

Regular jobs

It is common for 'dwellers to work regular jobs like anyone else. Their commutes are just shorter. :-)

One topic of debate is whether to tell employers or co-workers that you live in a van. Reactions can vary from curiosity to hostility to jealousy at your freedom. The reactions of co-workers have more to do with their own relation to work than to your living situation.

Seasonal work

Coolworks has listings of a lot of interesting seasonal jobs in interesting places.

Many hotels and towns that are in or around National Parks in the Western states will need to hire staff for housekeeping, front desk, kitchen and retail positions for only 3-4 months of the year, and many will even provide basic housing. There's also often seasonal jobs with the National Park Service directly, doing trail maintenance or other minor construction work. It's very normal for the people doing these jobs to live in vans or RVs in the campgrounds while working, and the locations are typically very beautiful with lots of outdoor rec opportunities.

Ski Resorts are another frequent location that needs a lot of temporary jobs filled during the ski season which don't have a lot of preexisting requirements. They'll also often provide accommodation, giving the nomad a chance to settle down for a few months and earn some money before bouncing onto their next adventure.

Parachute Packing

Very large skydiving dropzones are a great place to find seasonal gig work packing parachutes, and dropzones are often highly accepting of van-life. Plenty of skydivers themselves live in vans, and many dropzones have campgrounds attached to them with varying levels of amenities. It's a highly physical job but isn't hard to learn, and can pay very well (often in cash). You don't need to be a skydiver to pack parachutes, although usually spending a lot of time at a dropzone leads to a desire to start skydiving (which leads to spending all your money).

If you're interested in pursuing “packing”, it's best to start at the larger dropzones which have a huge volume of jumpers passing through. The big two are Skydive Arizona and Skydive Chicago, a lot of skydivers and packers rotate between them on a seasonal basis. On the east coast, Paraclete in North Carolina and Sebastian or DeLand in Florida are the big places to start.

Digital nomad

Digital nomads are folks who “work from home”, but living in a van means they can be working from anywhere. Getting one of these careers typically follows these simple steps:

  1. Get skills that are in high demand
  2. Get any job that's probably in person, push yourself to learn a ton, and stay for 12-24 months
  3. You are now in high demand because you have skills and experience, so now you can find a fully remote job.

Typical careers that have good remote potential are usually highly technical in fields like Software Development and many avenues of IT.

If you are new to the IT field and your goal is to do remote work, it is HIGHLY beneficial to learn as much as you can about the large cloud infrastructure providers such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Learning more traditional IT skills isn't a bad thing and they are still useful, but if your goal is fully remote work than it makes sense to learn the technologies that enable that. Both Azure and AWS have official training programs (Amazon's is here), however an inquisitive nature and some googling can teach you almost everything you need to know for free. (Seriously, just go on Youtube and search for “Getting started on AWS”. You can spin up a Virtual Private Cloud and some tiny Ubuntu servers at no cost).

Some career paths like photography, graphic design, writing, transcription, or customer service/telephone support might not be as technical and have a lower barrier to entry.

Many telephone customer service position that were formerly done in call centers have gone fully remote. Companies like Apple, AT&T and Verizon are staffing their customer service departments with people working from home. These jobs require a quiet environment without much background noise, and a very good & stable internet connection.

In fact, stable internet connections tend to be critical for all digital nomads.



ad revenue

  • big youtube content producers can survive on that monetization
  • blogging sites like wordpress share ad for premium customers

affilliate income streams

While affilliate programs aren't going to generate a lot of cash, even a little bit helps. Sites like amazon, wordpress, etc, pay for referrals and it doesn't cost the consumer anything extra. You just get “a little taste” as they say in mob movies.

tax issues

These states have no income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.1) Note that the state you are in and the state where the company is located may both have tax claims.

lifestyle/work.txt · Last modified: 2024/01/18 01:01 by princess_fluffypants