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Fun Way to Try New Jobs: Vocation Vacations

Updated on September 30, 2019
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish is a successful Employment &Training pro, setting Midwest regional records with tens of thousands placed in gainful employment.

Large animal ranching, anyone? Bison ranching is becoming popular in America. Ranch interns find the work interesting.
Large animal ranching, anyone? Bison ranching is becoming popular in America. Ranch interns find the work interesting. | Source

A New Way to Find a Dream Job

Vocation Vacations® allows interested and eager individuals to try an exciting new line of work for two days, a week, or even longer, and determine whether that career is a good fit. This kind of opportunity can be inserted into a longer vacation, a sabbatical, or a time of lay off. In fact, participating in Vocation Vacations® can appear on one's resume as an activity to fill gaps of unemployment, just as volunteer work can do.

Based in Portland, Oregon, the company has been active successfully for several years and offers an email newsletter and Facebook page to help job seekers.

This activity combines a vacation with a mentorship with a genuinely interested employer for new graduates, workers that want to change fields of work for a second or third career, laid off and downsized workers, retirees that want to work, and anyone else that would like to try something different in the world of work.

An Amazing Array of Job Internships

The Facebook site for this organization shows that even radio broadcasting is available for a try. One of these opportunities is on Martha Stewart Radio in New York City. That is pretty exciting! Another set of openings involves travel writing in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Some farms offer openings to learn about alpaca ranching for two days or more. The animals' hair is used a high quality craft yarn.

A number of mentorships are available for vineyards operations and ownership in the autumn of each year as well.

Other occupations that one can try through Vocation Vacations® include photography, song writing, fashion, Broadway play direction, small business ownership, tour guiding, and dozens of others. If not interested in the service for yourself, you can arrange a vocation vacation for a friend or family member as a gift. Many of these activities are a bit shorter than senior citizens' Elder Hostel educational trips for which one must pay, and a whole lot less expensive.

Vocation Vacations® staff and owners feel that they can help just about anyone find a new Dream Job. During the Great Recession of 2008 - 2010, job seekers were anxious to just find any job, whether it was a dream or a nightmare!

While some areas of the US remained low low on jobs from 2011 through 2020), many states and metro areas are lacking workers instead. Unemployment is low and there are more jobs that unemployed job seekers. In either case, Vocation Vacations® may be able to help.

Freedom of Career Choice

The company offers nearly 200 careers in which clients may enter for a short period of time as a combined vacation-mentorship. After one or more of these experiences, a client can call for Career Coaching (an element of mentorship) from staff members that can help place the individuals into a job in the line of work he or she desires..

This would seem to be an enjoyable and effective activity for newly graduated high school seniors and those taking a gap year before college, vocational, or military training. A high school graduate could see the world of work without being swallowed up in it by a long term commitment. A young adult could see the potential for opting into business ownership, for example, rather than a minimum wage job that he or she would grow to resent. Work should be neither punishing nor boring.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
An alpaca ranch.Increasing numbers of vineyards offer internships.
An alpaca ranch.
An alpaca ranch. | Source
Increasing numbers of vineyards offer internships.
Increasing numbers of vineyards offer internships. | Source

The Career Coaches on board are well trained and use a variety of approaches in guiding career choices, options, and possibilities. A long list of them are available on the company website and as I read through their resumes, I saw that I recognized several as very effective and personable in their accomplishments in workforce development.

Career Coaches can help you find a job, but the job candidate must still apply, interview, and win it. Participating in a vocation-vacation is often seen as highly creative and proactive by potential employers, even if the experience was for "just" two days -- caring for cattle for two days is a BIG job!

Radio broadcasting can be a fun and practical internship experience.
Radio broadcasting can be a fun and practical internship experience. | Source

Job Development - If You Cannot Do a Vocation-Vacation

An alternative to this mentorship activity in cases where the unemployed cannot afford a short trip is available to some job seekers.

A job seeker can approach a local employer about working on commission-only or on contract in some positions, rather than for an hourly wage or yearly salary, for a period of time. An effective time period for this is 60 days or 90 days (one business quarter). Additionally, the job candidate might volunteer the initial week of work free-of-charge in order to learn the basics of the position. This plan saves the employer money and opens a possibility for employment.

Caveat: I suggest not working longer than one week free-of-charge, and not accepting a 3-month contract in which you would be paid only at the end of the 90 days and only if you fulfilled the entire contract - payment every 30 days is reasonable in either commission or contract, but longer is unreasonable. Payment every two weeks is much better.

In state, county, and city operated employment programs based on Stimulus Funding and regular Jobs Funding, arranging the contracts and commission positions listed above, along with procuring internships for youth, adults, and senior citizens are accomplished by Job Developers.

Job Coaches in the government jobs programs mentioned above help the newly employed stay on the job. If you can develop an internship or job in your own, the accomplishment is large.

At the same time, anyone can contact Vocation Vacations® and suggest additional job/career titles to explore.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Patty Inglish MS

Comments and Experiences

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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Sometimes, job seekers can find one of these Vocation Vacation opportunities right in their own city. More internships and cities are added every week.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      I think it is great idea. Thank you for this fantastic hub and advice.

    • Recipe Gal profile image

      Recipe Gal 

      8 years ago

      That's very interesting! I had never heard of programs like this! I would have loved to do something like that right out of high school or even for the summer during college! Your experiences in college can be so different from your actual work experience - it would have been great to try out my profession for a while!

    • seanorjohn profile image


      8 years ago

      This sounds the very sort of scheme that would work well in England. We are going through the same pdifficulties as the USA. Voted up

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Do it yourself job shadowing! Thanks, Maren!

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Great research. Another possibility is to ask if you can shadow for just a day a local person in a profession to which you attracted. My brother was considering switching from corporate accounting to teaching high school business. After one day of following a teacher around, he realized it was not the job for him.

      Voted up.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Too old at 35!? I was told I was too old for a restaurnt manager at 26. Supid comment, that.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      8 years ago from Jamaica

      A couple of years ago I wanted to try the Apple picking vacation in New Zealand but was told I was too old. I needed to be under

      You have some very good ideas for career. I would like the travel writing, of course I would need to travel a little more and do a lot of research.

      Thanks for the info.

    • breathing profile image


      8 years ago from Bangladesh

      This is a good hub...also very useful.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      8 years ago

      I know of a lot of people who would have loved this opportunity before spending a lot of money on education for jobs they will end up not enjoying. It is amazing the number of topics that are fascinating to study, but the actual practice of the job would not be something I'd want to do.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thanks, Dardia! I think quite a few people will like this service.

    • Dardia profile image

      Darlene Yager 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      wonderful hub! I think I have to share this with my facebook friends. Thanks for all of your research and for sharing. Voted up as well.


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