I Took a Temp Job in Alaska!
Many people who read this blog are continually looking for new ways to side hustle or supplement income. We all know that multiple income streams are what save you during the lean times and allow you to build wealth when all cylinders are firing. Even though I am not actively looking for more work or a job change at the moment, opportunities seem to be searching for, and I recently found one that I couldn’t refuse. I’ve accepted a temp job in Alaska!
A Professional Regret
When I was doing my residency on the Navajo reservation back in 2000, I had an opportunity to be a travel doc in Alaska. The pay was exceptional. Case work would have been rewarding, and I could have seen lots of places most of us in the lower 48 never get to see. Ultimately, I chickened out because flying on a bush plane to the Arctic Circle was a bit much at the time. However, I’ve always wondered what that experience would have been like and vowed that I would accept if the opportunity every presented itself again.
As a private practice owner, there was never a time when I could have taken time off to work somewhere else. Even if I could find professional coverage for patients, running the office required my presence or at least constant contact. Now that I’ve shed the weight of business ownership, I have the flexibility to consider new challenges.
I now work part time as a government employee, and although that position will soon be ending, it has opened the door for other types of government work. When I got an email a few months ago that a clinic in Sitka was looking for temporary help, I sent an immediate yes reply. Being the government, we’ve had lots of back and forth and delay, but I found out this week that I’m all set to go to Alaska in mid October.
I love working with the Indian Health Service. Being in this type of clinic setting is right up my alley. The other amazingly cool thing about this opportunity is that I get a free trip to Alaska plus excellent salary for a week of work that I’d probably do even if I didn’t get paid.
Sitka will be nice because it isn’t in the Arctic Circle. You can only get there by air or sea, but they do have service from Alaska Airlines. Thankfully, I won’t have to use a bush plane! From what I understand, the climate is much like Seattle but cooler, so I can expect rain instead of snow. I don’t know how much time I will have for sightseeing, but hopefully this can turn into an ongoing opportunity. Maybe I can take my family if it works out that I can go back in the summer.
Even though this post is not really about personal finance, I hope everyone reading is working toward putting themselves in position to jump when amazing opportunities come their way. I would have never been able to leave my steady job to do this when we were in debt. Even though the temp job pays well, I could not have risked rocking the boat on my solid paycheck. I don’t think my working a temp job in Alaska is going to jeopardize any of the positions I now have at home, but even if it did, I could still afford to take the fun opportunity and let the rest work itself out.
What amazing things have come your way lately? How much pay would it take to get you to the Arctic Circle?
Sounds awesome! how long will you be there? Are you keeping your house?
Only for a week this go round but it has potential for longer stints. Jim says he will never move to Alaska, so I even if I love it, we won’t be moving!
That’s awesome! My wife and I went to Sitka during our honeymoon cruise and it was nice. It was rainy, but the weather wasn’t all bad. I think you will enjoy it.
I am very excited, even if it rains. One thing I have plenty of is cold weather and rain gear, so I’m hoping to explore a bit regardless of weather.
That sounds like a fun adventure, good for you! I know for physical therapy if I were to work on a reservation they offer a huge incentive to payback a large sum of our student loans. I’ve considered it, but of course I chicken out.
For what it’s worth, most people I know who go to work for IHS love it. There are some locations that are close to border towns, so you don’t necessarily have to live in the middle of nowhere.
Wow! This is amazing and I’m so proud of you for taking advantage of this opportunity when it came up!! I have always wanted to see Alaska, but I’m like you, I’d rather not see it via bush plane, those always seem to be the planes that go down in flames. I can’t wait to read about your Alaska adventure in October!
No kidding! Even in Colorado, there are always small plane crashes. I guess you’re still more likely to crash in a car but at least I feel somewhat in control there. I don’t know if I’m ready for bush planes yet!
I grew up in Alaska, so assuming I didn’t have to be there permanently, I’d be amenable to an Arctic Circle experience. For a short period of time, preferably in the summer. Not sure even my well-medicated depression could handle SAD of that magnitude.
BTW, I’m guessing you know this, but make sure you refer to them as Native Alaskans or Natives. Not Indians or Native Americans.
That is one good thing about Sitka. It looks like daylight hours will only be slightly shorter than what I’m used to. I don’t know if I could handle darkness all the time. I will certainly get in the know about local customs since I’m mainly used to Navajo and Ute tribes at present.
Squee! I grew up in Sitka. Much of my family is still there. Feel free to shoot me an email if you’d like 🙂
Thanks! Will do before I go. So many Alaskans I didn’t know about!
Whoah, so cool! Can you keep us updated and post more pictures? I did a cruise up their once and saw the northern lights. Amazing. Just come home before Christmas, OK? Dark and cold up there in the winter.
I’m only staying a week! I don’t think I have what it takes to handle an Alaska winter, but I will surely take tons of pictures and update. I’m hoping it goes well and can become an annual or semi-annual position.