Everyone loves to go on vacations, but invariably it always seems like your time away is just too short.  If only there was some way to combine your life of leisure with the “real world” or your nine-to-five job.  This might come as a surprise to us cubicle-dwellers, but many people have already managed to do just that by transitioning to a career in the vacation industry! 

Vacation-related careers can be as different as individual vacations themselves.  More importantly, there is almost always room for an experienced professional to take advantage of their developed skills.  In the fields of leisure, entertainment, food and beverage, lodging, or travel, there is literally a world of opportunities available if you know where to look.  Do you enjoy helping people get where they need to be?  Maybe a job as a bus driver, flight attendant, or ground transportation member would be a good fit for you.  For service-oriented professionals, a career in a hotel offers stability along with career advancement through the ranks of housekeeper, front desk personnel, bellhop, maintenance staff, or management.  And don’t forget that even when on vacation, people need to eat!  Chefs, bartenders, and well-trained waitstaff are in constant demand at hotels and resorts.  From travel agents to resort groundskeepers, there are literally thousands of different jobs associated with vacations.     

When viewed as a whole, these occupations can provide many career opportunities, with the added benefit that many positions have few entry require­ments for younger or less-experience workers who are still developing in their careers.  And it’s important to know that in many exotic settings, almost any previous occupa­tion can be converted into a job which allows for permanent vacations.  As an example, skilled electricians and machinists are always in demand aboard cruise ships, to ensure that the ship’s propulsion and navigational systems work properly.  All major travel destinations have gifts shops, and they all require retail workers to sell souvenirs to tourists.  On the business management side, accountants and procurement specialists help ensure that airlines, restaurants and resorts remain profitable while showing their guests a great time.

When deciding on a permanent vacation job, you should first start by doing your research, the same as if you were making any other kind of career change.  To gain a better insight into some of the available positions, and also how you can get started applying for these jobs, I recommend downloading a copy of “Working Vacations:  Jobs in Tourism and Leisure.”  This 10-page guide breaks down some of the most common ways to get your foot in the door in the vacation industry, and provides a series of references to help you get started applying.  Wherever your vacation job search takes you, good luck, and safe travels!