The end-of-winter slump is definitely here, and it’s safe to assume that everyone’s minds are wandering toward warmer weather — and how to enjoy it while still having a job. And while many summer jobs are geared toward the college crowd, there’s no reason you can’t drop everything and take a break from the doldrums of office life for a sun-filled adventure — maybe even a paid one — no matter what your age.
From taking advantage of any special skills you may have (swimming, hiking, scuba diving, etc.) to trying something new like working on a farm for an extended period of time in a different country, we’ve brainstormed a few ideas that might inspire you to trade in your laptop for a suitcase.
If you’re a people person and there is a certain place that you know a lot about, being a tour guide for the summer could be a terrific option for you.
Whether it’s your hometown, where you studied abroad, or somewhere that you’ve always wanted to live, being a tour guide can open up some great travel opportunities. Plus, you usually get to meet people from all over the world, which can mean some great networking.
Au Pair / English Tutor
Anyone who is in college, has just graduated, or is transitioning between jobs may find being an au pair or English tutor (or both) in a foreign country appealing.
Lots of websites, like Go Overseas, AuPairCare, Interexchange, the International Au Pair Association, and GreatAuPair can help place au pairs and tutors all over the world depending on timeframe, destination, and experience. Not only do you get to spend time with children while living abroad, you can use the opportunity to potentially learn a new language yourself.
Being a camp counselor can take many forms. There’s the classic summer camp counselor job that summons images of wood cabins in rural New England, lots of kayaking, and archery lessons. But you don’t have to be a counselor at a sleep away camp — if you have a special skill or play a sport, that can come in handy when looking at different types of camp positions. This is for you if you want to get outside, be active, and love spending time around kids.
This one is a classic. If your perfect summer involves constant exposure to the sun and chilling pool- or ocean-side for the season, then this is the job for you. Just make sure you know how to swim and save lives, of course.
Working in the hospitality industry definitely has its perks. These positions are often seasonal, depending on location, so it can be a great in-between-jobs position — and can take you to a new, beautiful destination.
A handful of helpful websites like Work Away and WWOOF match workers with hosts. Instead of getting a paycheck, you’ll get a place to stay and food in exchange for lending a hand with things like farm work or housework. It’s a great way to get to know a new place and make new friends from all over the globe.
National Park Service Jobs and Internships
Every year, the NPS offers internships, full-time, part-time, and seasonal jobs to those who are interested in working with our nation’s beautiful parks. From being a summer intern to a seasonal ranger, it’s worth checking out the department’s career page to discover opportunities for students, volunteers, or those interested in paid positions.
While volunteer work is unpaid, it is a terrific way to take a break from your regular routine, get a fresh perspective on life, and learn about a new community. Check out websites like Working Abroad and Helping Abroad to find a destination and program that is a good fit for you.
Outdoor Immersion Leader
If you’ve got a love for Mother Nature and have an interest in outdoor education (as well as experience with hiking, rock climbing, camping, or the like), then look into working with organizations like Outward Bound and Wilderness Adventures. These types of programs could give you the chance to exchange your office for the great outdoors, as well as the opportunity to lead wilderness trips all over the world.
For those animal-lovers who are looking to get out of town and spend some quality time with pets, TrustedHouseSitters may be the move. This online service allows pet owners to find pet sitters for short or longterm periods who will care for their animals in exchange for a free stay — a pretty cool swap.
With pet owners seeking animal care from all over the world (138 countries) and durations up to six months, this exchange could be the perfect summer gig. Plus, you might make a new (furry) friend.