There’s no way to know for certain which events, jobs, or experiences will have the most impact on our future selves. But it’s a pretty good bet that spending a season or two working in Alaska will make us grow in ways we never imagined.
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Adapt to change
One of the most valuable skills anyone can learn is how to approach a challenge from a unique perspective. Thinking differently from the masses begets change and innovation. Working in Alaska isn’t your average seasonal job, so you may face unpredictable obstacles. Take the frequent wildlife sightings and encounters, or the ever-changing weather. Adapting to change is an especially valuable skill for someone working a transportation maintenance position at one of the lodges or on a passenger train. From basic repair and upkeep of trucks to more advanced electrical repairs on rail cars, every day presents a new set of challenges. But if you can adapt to the situation, remain calm, and carry on with business, you can deal with any unplanned factor life throws at you.
Learn to appreciate everyday moments
In Alaska, life is slower, and you’ll have more time to embrace the quiet moments. If you work in the marine and day boat division, some days will be jam-packed with tours and others will be slower. You can use the slower times to reflect on your experiences and the new skills you’ve gained while working on a tour boat. Practicing this kind of mindfulness can take a lifetime to master but what better time to introduce the habit into your routine? Take this exercise a step further and keep a journal where you recount how you spend your days so you can revisit the experiences even when your time in Alaska has passed.
Uncover the path less traveled
Depending on the location of your job, it’s likely you’ll have instant access to some of the world’s most breathtaking terrain and trails. On any given day, you might have the opportunity to fly fish, go on a hike, or sample incredibly fresh seafood, all after you’ve clocked out of work.
Pushing yourself to go off the beaten path and discover new aspects of your personality in the process is how you’ll grow the most. If you get a job with rail services, you’ll quickly see many new places in Alaska. And when you travel to many new places on your own, you’ll acquire a resilience and independence which are traits that many employers seek.
Embrace the daily challenge
Living and working in Alaska is an adventure, but it’s also quite challenging. While many towns offer the expected amenities, like grocery stores and gas stations, the creature comforts you’ve come to expect in the lower 48 don’t always translate up north. Drive-thrus, 24/7 convenience stores, and on-demand services like ride shares don’t always exist. But the reward for learning to do more with less builds character, which makes overcoming the obstacles well worth it. Besides, who wouldn’t want to start a story with, “That reminds me of my time working up in Ketchikan, Alaska”? Talk about an instant conversation starter!
Ready to take the plunge with a job in Alaska? Check out current job openings and begin your experience.