Care Taking in Hawaii
We have been care takers in Hawaii for the past four weeks.
Yes, we feel very lucky to have found a position in paradise. How do you become a care taker you ask? I’m not sure there is a definitive answer for this question. We can only share with you the path that we traveled to find ourselves in our current position…
It was several years ago that in a conversation with some close friends it was mentioned that you could make a good wage and travel the world with a unique job called ‘care taking’.
After some on-line research we soon discovered that not only were there care taking positions but job postings for ‘Care Taking Couples’.
The job boards that offered care taking positions are pretty evenly matched with a number of job applicants. As with any job, applicants came with varying backgrounds and experiences but there was one common denominator, they all had references from previous care taking positions.
Where do we start?
With a minimal amount of actual care taking experience under our belt, it seemed like a long shot for us to make the transition from an inexperienced applicant to a real contender for these unique job openings. We turned to house sitting web sites instead and put together our first profile page. This included a streamlined resume with pictures of us and a brief description of our experience with animals.
Once our profile was put together we started applying for several house sitting positions. The postings that made the most sense for us were the ones that were located close to where we lived at the time. It was exciting to actually get to speak with our first potential client.
Phone conversations and Skype have become an integral part of the screening process for both the applicant and home owner. The home owner wants to know just as much about you as you do about the job and what expectations and requirements are expected.
We have completed a total of five different house sitting assignments to date. One of the home owners we actually house sat for a total of three different times! He gave us an excellent recommendation and we feel a certain friendship has evolved over that time.
Now let’s be up front about something here. We did not receive any monetary compensation for any of the house sitting positions. We were guests in the home owners house and we fulfilled any light duties that were required of us in the job description. It was always an enjoyable experience for us because we actually got to live for short periods of time in areas of the country and towns that we may have never explored otherwise. All this in exchange for maintaining a home and watching over their most loyal friends, their pets.
The big jump to care taking.
We felt pretty confident that with our list of referrals and new found experience we were ready to switch over from house sitter to care taker. Care takers have more responsibilities and usually stay on a job site a lot longer than a house sitter would.
Care taking positions vary and the locations are everywhere across the globe. One of the first care taking position we applied for was in Canada. We began to correspond with the owners and were soon asked if we had work permits so we could stay in the country long enough to fulfill the time line (about 6 months). The paper work for this process was way to confusing and we ended up turning the position down.
The ace up our sleeve.
With so many people applying for these sought after care taking positions it seemed that the only way to even be considered to the job was to have something that would set us apart from the crowd. That ‘little something’ for us was a blog that we started a long time ago. Who knew our own personal blog, Jagerfoods.com, turned out to be more than just a passing hobby?
You have to do is put yourself in the prospective employers frame of mind. For us we figured a person looking for a care taking couple would ask: “Who are Nick and Silke?” What better way to give people an insight into our own personal life than to share our journey with them. If you were to even skim just a few of the articles that we have written on this blog you would have a pretty good understanding of who we are and what we do. It also helped that Silke had written a whole section just on house sitting.
Any additional information provided to your potential employer will help to represent yourself as best as you can before even contacting them directly. If you can give yourself any additional leverage over your competition than by all means do so.
You don’t have to go out and start a blog, if you don’t have one, but rather utilize the things you already have. If you utilize a social media site that you visit regularly then include that in your profile. Letting someone look at your Instagram photos or Etsy store will let them get a pretty good idea about who you are and the thing that interest you.
Do your home work!
If you’re going to start a career in this line of work you must do the research to ensure your success. We signed up for a few different house sitting websites that offered job leads, but then the sites turned up with nothing to offer us. Most online sites for care taking jobs will ask for a fee to be listed, others will let you read the job listings but you can only apply if you have a paid account.
Apply to several different jobs at the same time and be patient. Consider applying to any care taking jobs that appeal to you, since you will probably have to compete with many other applicants and it can be a lengthy process. We were picked out of 300+ applicants for our care taking job in Hawaii and it took more than three months from when we first applied until we were certain we had the job.
Good luck on finding your own care Taking Job in Paradise!
In the following weeks and months we will share travel tips, restaurant reviews and lots of photos from our stay here on the Big Island of Hawaii. Until then…
Nick and Silke
Are you a care taker or do you have questions on how to become a full-time care taker? Leave us a comment below.