This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

November 26, 2003

Lifestyle Change: "Retire," Travel, Work

As older workers, let's categorize them as 50+, explore alternatives for the next 20-30 years of their lives, they are choosing to stay in the world of work. They are working full-time, part-time, under contract for defined projects, job-sharing, and in seasonal jobs. A number of creative approaches are being designed by people who want to remain employed. Our research shows that an increasing number of people are continuing to work, in some fashion, into their seventies, eighties, and nineties.

One alternative enjoyed by semi-retired or independent workers is called "workamping." People live in motor homes, large recreational vehicles, traveling around the country like nomads---a modern version of migrant workers. In many cases, they've sold their traditional houses and live full- time in large rolling homes. These people work as they travel, taking advantage of part-time seasonal to full-time, year-round, to business and income opportunities, volunteer positions, and full-fledged careers opportunities.

There are several different categories of these no-permanent-address citizens. One category is comprised of people who keep moving most of the time. They may operate a business from their motor home, using modern technologies to keep in touch with customers, suppliers, colleagues, and employees. A second type of motor home traveler stops and works locally for days, weeks, or months. Sometimes their compensation includes a place to park their motor home and maybe even hook-ups for electricity, water, and telephone. A variety of perquisites make some of these employment opportunities quite attractive. Employers benefit from a resource of mature temporary workers.

People in the third category live in their homes on wheels, but work year-round at one location. According to the primary website in this field,, singles and couples are constantly in demand at campgrounds, resorts, national parks, marinas, forests, theme parks, lodges, state parks, ski resorts, youth camps, wildlife preserves, RV parks, guest ranches, canoe outfitters, circuses, race tracks, etc. Positions range from caretakers, managers, activity directors, musicians, chuckwagon cooks, property/house sitters, golf course attendants, wild west show actors, and tour guides.

People of all ages and backgrounds are taking control of their careers and their lives.

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