I’ve talked….a lot about my adventures as a seasonal worker in Alaska. According to the Alaskan Research and Development Council tourism in Alaska generates about 1.8 billion annually in visitor spending. There is money to be made if you’re up to the adventure.
But how do you find these thousands of jobs, not just in Alaska, but Colorado, the National Parks, and even the Caribbean? There is one website, www.coolworks.com, that has been offering an alternative to the 9-5 since 1995. It’s an online job board promoting tourism and seasonal gigs, and their motto is “Jobs in Great Places”.
I spoke with their social media manager and self-proclaimed “Coolworks kid”, Kelcy Fowler. For Kelcy, it all started when she visited Coolworks.com in 2006 and found a summer front desk job at Grand Teton National Park which then opened the doors to a more permanent position as a recruiter which lead to her current job at Coolworks. She says of her Coolworks experience, “It’s been a real compass, I feel it’s very near and dear as a part of my story.” Here are some more of her thoughts on what Coolworks is all about.
Q. I’ve seen job postings from all over the country, can you talk a little about your market, do you primarily post North American jobs, or international jobs as well?
Currently, Coolworks has job offers solidly in the west. However, we are working to broaden our web presence. One of the challenges for international jobs is the visa situation. We do occasionally post jobs abroad, for example, English-speaking hiking guides in the Swiss Alps. We see a fair amount of volunteering opportunities for work in South America and abroad as that doesn’t necessarily require a visa.
Q. What are the typical jobs you can expect to get when looking into seasonal work?
Most of the jobs are service jobs, the majority in fact. A lot of the positions are entry level, guest service, and hospitality. There are more and more coming up outside of that. For example, in outdoor education, untraditional education, schools, programs, unique environments, summer camps. And professionals sector career positions like recruitment and HR.
Q. What are some of the most popular destinations for seasonal workers?
A lot in the west, Maine, Cape Cod, the Great Lakes. Coolworks is deeply rooted in the national Parks, and there are tons of jobs in Alaska.
Q. How does a company get his or her job posting on your website, can they post themselves or do they send the info to you?
It’s a combination of all those things. Bill was a recruiter in Yellowstone National Park and wanted to find a better way to get the word out about these jobs. Coolworks lets the employers come to them. We vet every employer and get to know the businesses as best we can.
Q. The website was founded in 1995 by Bill Berg, how has it changed since his original vision?
The biggest and truest change happened just around thanksgiving with the new website design. It’s the same website with a new face and wrapping. There are 6 of us in the team and Bill just left, The idea of jobs in great places has always been there, the website grew but the core value has stayed.
Q. What’s the coolest part of your job?
With every job, your favorite thing one day might not be your favorite thing the next. One of the coolest things working for Coolworks is that we work remotely, we can work wherever we want, it’s a flexible job. Being able to travel is huge. Even more than that is my title “The one who walks amongst our people” I was talking to a fellow Coolworks kid and I just adopted this comical title, it stuck.
Kelcy looks at Coolworks in the long term. For her, it’s also about giving back and sharing a little bit of the magic she experienced at Grand Teton National Park. Now at Coolworks, she has the opportunity to give back to a new generation. If this sounds even a little appealing to you visit Coolworks and check out what they offer and if you are already a seasonal pro, keep sharing your experiences because it really is a once in a lifetime opportunity.