The Chronicles of Traveling With a Travel Nurse
Let me begin by saying that if you are thinking of traveling with your travel nurse or health professional and finding work as you go, you are in for a special ride. When I began this site, I didn’t realize how difficult it was going to be to find employment. I’m smart, personable, kind, a jack of all trades; I clean up well and am not afraid of hard work. I have a BA in Political Science from Columbia University, am a semester away from a Masters in International Law and Human Rights, have traveled to really amazing parts of the world and have worked in everything from the military, the service industry, relief work and start-ups.
That meant diddly squat in Molokai Hawaii. I learned by day three that finding work was contingent on what I was willing to do. It’s not that it wasn’t valued by certain employers but my education meant nothing here. If you are reading this and pride yourself on your intellect, hear me now! If you are attempting to find work as you go, open your mind and humble yourself. I am happy to announce that after physically, emotionally and spiritually busting my ass for the past two and a half months on this island, I finally landed on my feet.
To date, here is a list of what I have done where I finally ended up and tips on doing the same.
1. The first morning after my arrival, I began going everywhere to fill out employment applications. Note to self: (Bring printed resumes with you so that you don’t have to go crazy in remote areas trying to figure out buying and printing on resume paper).
2. Apply everywhere! Keep an open mind. The idea is to begin creating income while you find a more suitable employment scenario. Read flyers posted in town because that’s a thing in remote areas. Look in the town paper. To express how important this was for my success I have to tell you by saying that there was no craigslist in Molokai. I mean, there is a listing for it but it wasn’t used or embraced. This island population prides itself on the preservation of humanity and the ways of old. You will find work through the art of conversation.
3. If you are on city, corporate, and a fast paced mode…slow down. Say hello to people. Wait for a response. Ask questions and don’t be judgmental. Don’t bother thinking about the way things are not and embrace the way things are. You might need an inner tube for a bike and will have to wait for the two days per week and the four hours the bike shop is open on those days because the owner is also a school teacher and he is the only bike game in town.
4. Through meeting people, embracing the culture and being genuine, the following is a list of jobs I have and in some cases am still doing.
A. One day digging and placing fence posts on a ranch that was being prepped for cattle. The guy called it filler work and it paid $8.00 dollars per hour. However, you can’t curse the dollar that comes your way because you are dismissing the better ones that may come after it. It was labor intensive but the land on that part of the island was reminiscent of the west you see in old movies. The Hawaiians I worked with that day brought amazing steak and deer meat and my new friend Kazu had given me a plate of Pork Loco Moko that I had brought with me. We ate like kings!
B. As a result of pounding the pavement for the first 4 days, someone called me to work on their land. It was a homestead and the owner had the vision to make the land a sustainable and an off the grid environment. It was a great cause that paid $12.00 an hour and he could give me about 12 hours per week. He often brought me dozens of bananas at a time that my girlfriend and I turned into delicious smoothies.
C. Through the same individuals that I met on my second night in Molokai, a woman hired me to clean condominiums for $15.00 per hour and was offering anywhere from 8-10 hours per week. Guests that checked out often left cool items they didn’t want to travel with such as beer, great snacks, produce or coffee. These things mostly came from a local farm and coffee plantation so they were indeed cool treats.
D. The same gentlemen with the homestead that was now my friend was a manager at a condominium rental property and I submitted an application there that one month later realized into a part-time at $11.50 per hour for 8-12 hours per week.
E. For the first month that I was there, I also assisted a doctoral student by editing his dissertation paper at $15.00 per hour for about 5 hours per week.
F. Through User Testing, I received my occasional $10-20 dollars.
G. I worked on this blog whenever possible and by the end of the second month was offered $150.00 per month to blog for them with regards to my content. That begins in September.
H. I took the 30–hour substitute teacher course and by the second week of August, will be eligible to work as a sub. This pays about $22.00 per hour or $155.00 per day from 7:45AM to 2:45PM.
I. This certificate made me eligible to work in an after school program that pays $22.00 per hour.
I came to one of the most difficult places to find work that I have ever been to and in just under three months positioned myself to have a pretty decent income on the island. After gas, food, rent and a few bar hops, assuming I have earned $2500.00-$3,000.00 in one month; I will be able to put away anywhere from $1000-$1500. It wasn’t easy but all of the hard work was well worth it.