Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Love This Time of the Year

Even though to most, spring has just sprung, in my mind we're already really close to the beginning of summer. Many of the job seekers on My CoolWorks will be leaving their homes, their friends, their pets, and hitting the road to their summer jobs during the next month. Certainly by May, well before summer begins according to the calendar, they'll be working and enjoying the national parks.

People on our network often say that their friends and families don't understand why they would want to leave them, the "safety" of an office job in their hometowns and spend 6 months in a national park. Well, here's a quote from one of our job seekers to defend her choice.

They can’t even comprehend why I move around so much, and live in tents for months at a time just so I can hike every morning to see the sunrise over the mountains. My friends from high school don’t understand how I can be closer to the people I only just met on a backpacking trip then I can be to them. But those same backpackers, those same people who take whatever job they can get just so they too can hike every morning to a once in a lifetime sunrise, they get it.

Read Kathryn's whole post here.

There are lots of folks like her out there and they're heading your way. Now is the time to embrace their excitement, enthusiasm, and plan to have the best seasons ever. In 2009, many of the national parks experienced record numbers of visitors. With the economy in a bit better, but certainly far from a perfect state, you may see big numbers again this year.

Here's a comment on Kathryn's post that also touches on the same feeling that kindreds can be found in the parks.

I live and breathe for my moments with nature's beauty..... my camera is the most expensive thing I own.... I love being close to the beauty of nature...And I'm learning how short life can be. I'm trying to experience more in where my life goes than I ever have before. Making new friends is a big goal for me... bigger than it used to be. personal connections rather than things...

So the question now goes to you, the HR Managers, the management team and owners, are you providing sufficient opportunities for your employees to get out there and do their thing? If yes, right on. If not, why not?

I always loved the tool utilized by a couple of managers at Holland America way back in the day. Each year at orientation, they would ask their new employees what their biggest dreams were for the season - a certain tour, a certain hike, to photograph a bear, whatever - and then it was their goal to help them realize those dreams. Now don't take this to mean that they were responsible for their actions or inaction as the case may be, but they would do what they could do to help those people leave that summer feeling like their decision to travel across the country or the state was worth their while. Choosing the right summer experience is important to college kids and older and bolders alike.

Bring on the summer job season 2010!