So you want to be an outdoor seasonal guide, do you? ( Or maybe you don’t and you are just one of the handful of friends and family who follow my blog. Thank you for reading my posts!)
The experience of a lifetime is waiting for you there and you have so much to get out of it. But where are you going to live for the season?
Many seasonal jobs offer employee housing for their guides. More often than not, you are sharing that space with a few to many, many other guides. It can get crazy. It be wild. It can feel really stressful.
But it can be one of the best times of your life! A beautiful chaos, much like being caught in a backcountry storm. The thunder is loud, your gear is all wet, it gets a bit uncomfortable and you’re a long walk from home. But when the sun shines you realize you’re having the time of your life because the experience is raw and real and full of personal growth/friendship.
Here are my ten best tips to help you make the best of your living situation for the season.
- Do your part – and your dishes!
This is the number one source of distress in any communal living situation. Not doing your one weekly chore or, especially, being the one to constantly leave your dirty dishes for days can cause the demise of a happy living situation. Respect the space and your fellow guides/house mates by making the time to clean up.
- Be open to sharing
What goes around comes around! Be the one to bake some muffins for everyone or offer to share your snacks. Sharing shows you care about others and helps in building positive relationships. Plus, if you share some of your super yummy food most likely others will be happy to share theirs with you.
- Hide the beer you don’t want to share under your bed
Mitigate the problem of your missing beer before it even happens. It is okay to have your own secret stash of things.
- Buy some ear plugs!
Everyone is up having a good time but you just want to sleep? Don’t get angry. It won’t help. Just put it some ear plugs and ignore it best you can. Sometimes it is fair to ask people to quiet down, and sometimes it is close to impossible to get it to last for more than five minutes after asking. If all else fails, you can always take a night to sleep peacefully under the stars.
- Say “YES” to doing fun things with the group
Resist your inner hermit and get out there! The bonds you make over a season have the potential to last a lifetime. And even if the friends don’t, the memories you made will. So go have fun. Everyday.
- Take care of you and be positive
Wash every couple of days and eat as well as you can. Make the time and space to do things for yourself that make you feel good. Burn out is practically inevitable by the end of month four. Everyone feels it, so why bring it up? Remember expedition behavior. It works in the front country too. Make jokes, laugh, smile. Be the person everyone wants to work with/be around because you bring such a positive and caring atmosphere along with you.
- Take care of your fellow guides
They are your new made family. Reach out if you see some one having a rough time. The love will come back your way when you need it too.
- Practice positive and effective communication
Bottling up your feelings and getting to blow up mode is never the best way to go. Living and working with the same people for months in a row, there is bound to be something somebody does that really rubs you the wrong way. This is a perfect learning opportunity to practice good communication skills. Not sure what that looks like? There are plenty of free online resources to help. Maybe you notice someone close to you who seems to have great communication skills. Ask them for some helpful tips!
- Always do more than your fair share
Expedition behavior in the front country – people take notice. Doing extra for the group is a strong leadership skill and something you can go to bed feeling proud of at the end of the day.
- Do not sweat the small things
If you come from a very tidy and quiet home, like me, transitioning to a house with many people and bigger messes can be really difficult. Go in with the mindset that it will probably be like that – loud and messy. If it is not, hooray for you! If it is, you went into the situation mentally prepared. If you do find yourself in a loud and messy house, remember that you cannot control everything or everyone and getting mad only makes things worse. Pick your battles and figure out what you’re better off just letting go of.
I hope this guide has given you some helpful insight and encouragement to try out the seasonal outdoor job lifestyle! Choose to live a happy life under the sun.