By Allison Myers in Life AddictHello! My name is Allison Myers, and I like to consider myself an avid traveler. So far in my 24 years of life, I have traveled to Japan, England, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and France. I have also traveled all over the US and am currently living at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona! I was born in Eugene, Oregon but have lived all over. I have decided to start this blog with the love and support of my amazing fiance in order to share my experiences, tips and overall love for exploring. I would like to point out that I am NOT an expert, these are just my personal experiences, and experiences of people I have met.
When I tell people where all I have traveled and lived, they always ask me how I do it! I thought I would kick this off with my most recent and current living situation. And before we get too far, I would like to emphasize that I am by NO MEANS a rich or wealthy person. I often have been in the right place at the right time to learn about all these great ways to travel! I am the youngest of 4 children and you could say I was a bit of a surprise seeing as how I am 11 years younger from the 2nd youngest. By the time I was a teenager, all my siblings were already adults and living their lives. My second oldest sister who is about 16 years older than me had begun traveling through her work as a barista and server. She started out working at Crater Lake National Park then from there has lived in Alaska, Utah and California just from having customer service experience, a great attitude and a craving for adventure!
After graduating college and not having much of a direction, I began working in a call center near Portland, Oregon. I loved my co-workers! The job… not so much. I began feeling depressed and down with how routine my life had become and how stuck I felt working a job I truly began to hate. I kept having this feeling like I needed to run away from it all. This is when I looked into working for National Parks. There are plenty of companies and parks to choose from, however, there is not one company that works at every park. This can prove to be important once you start getting insurance or other benefits through one company but if you decide to jump to a different park (which happens all the time) and you need consistent insurance for medication, etc. then you may want to make sure the park you’re jumping to has the company you work for so that you can hold onto those benefits. Honestly, I didn’t think to do much research into what companies work at what parks but I wish I did. The Grand Canyon National Park is the first and only National Park I have worked/ lived at. It has been everything I have needed and more. Honestly, it’s a little too sweet of a set up and that’s why most people who start working here end up staying longer than intended or never leaving! I meant to only come here for 3 months and it’s already been a year! The downside is, other parks just don’t look as good to me when it comes to housing, pay rate, and food.
Housing, pay and food are 3 major factors to consider when choosing a park. I chose the Grand Canyon because of its beauty, majesty, and grandeur but there are so many other parks that are beautiful in their own way. The thing about this park in particular that keeps residents here so long, especially park jumpers who have often been to multiple parks, is the housing. Personally, since I traveled here with my fiance, we have pretty great housing. We are in couples housing which is kind of an apartment style building. Our room is basically the size of a master bedroom. We have a room with a closet and our own private bathroom but that’s it. I have Macgyvered a makeshift kitchen in one side of our closet, which definitely works, but is not as nice as an actual kitchen. There is an employee cafeteria which sells food at cost and can occasionally serve food that won’t make you sick, but the menu is pretty repetitive. Still, you can buy a burger and fries for about $2.50 and you just won't find that anywhere else. Typically for single employees, they have roommates. There is a separate boys and girls dorm where they have communal restrooms and are very similar to college dorm living. Even in our “apartment” building there is a section for roommates as well where they only have to share the bathroom with their neighbor and it’s not as bad. Another thing to mention is that my fiance and I each only pay about $40 a week for housing which just comes directly out of our paychecks. That covers, rent and all utilities! The only bill we pay for here is wifi.
The second reason people stick around so long is that the pay here is actually way more than other parks. Reason for that being, Arizona has a higher minimum wage which just went up to $12/hr. However, if you take Zion National Park which is in Utah for example, minimum wage there is only $7.25 and from what I hear from friends who have worked there before, though very fun, the housing and food don’t make you want to stay there too long either. I honestly lucked out in choosing the Grand Canyon because I did not even think about the different minimum wages and pay rates. My fiance and I are from Oregon and depending on where you work, minimum wage is usually around $15/hr. The other nice thing to consider is that this is a year round park. Not all parks are and it’s very important to keep that in mind! Crater Lake National Park for example is only open the Spring/ Summer months due to heavy snowfall throughout the rest of the year.
Now, I know I already mentioned food a little bit but it’s pretty important so I’ll give more details here. Food options here are pretty limited and you can’t always find exactly what you’re craving unless you drive the hour and a half to the closest city which is Flagstaff (this distance to the closest city may seem like a shock but is actually closer than most parks) but if you don’t have a car or the time, sometimes you just gotta make due. One I’ve already mentioned is the Employee Cafeteria which pretty much always has the same menu with a “special” thrown in every now and again. Not everything is a winner but it is usually very cheap and hot and when you’re cooking in a dorm room, this can definitely be a plus. Especially since we only have one Market that is extremely overpriced and you can only get a 10% discount if you purchase one of their green bags and use it everytime you shop. All the lodges have restaurants in them but oftentimes those, even with our 50% discount, can still be overpriced and not very good. But at least it’s something different for a change! We do have a Pizza Pub in the Maswik Lodge that sells pretty decent pizza and wings. Just outside the park is a small town called Tusayan which has a Pizza Hut, Wendy’s and McDonalds for your fast food cravings, as well as a Plaza Bonita, Big E SteakHouse and We Cook restaurants. Keep in mind that this is a touristy town so all the food including fast food is extremely pricey. Just two meals at McDonalds can run you close to $40.
That is just a quick introduction to park life and what it’s like living here at the Grand Canyon! If you are feeling lost, or drowning in debt and you like to travel, I do encourage you to give National Park living a try. Even if it’s just for a year to get away and spruce up that resume. Follow more of my posts to see how we are handling the COVID-19 pandemic and for more information on park living!
By The Guy in Aftwerwork Hub FeaturedListening to one of favorite songs right now as I write this to help me focus writing ("Blinding Lights" by The Weeknd.) While thinking more in depth on how we will meet the standards of the site and community we need a solid Roadmap that I and whoever is on the team to follow so that we know what we have to bring to the table overtime. I've decided that we will first release the services in phases as we grow. The issue is not having the proper marketing and word to ear of this place existence, so rather than pouring hundreds of dollars on dirt we will pour it on top of a gold mine, plus it's more shiny than dirt.
Basically I broke down the first roadmap into phases which will help guide ourselves to our main goals for what we want to come out of this business. These phases are made transparent so that the community as well public knows of what we plan to do. This in turn could last up to a 5 year plan given the success rate.
The first phase is when we accumulate 100 ACTIVE (keyword being active) users we will need to switch to a dedicated VPS so that our server can manage more traffic and users, as well as the files for the download section. In order to handle costs we would also need to have at least 5% of the user base on the VIP Subscription. Within that phase we will strategize ways to help small local businesses within the area and network where's those need help advertising and marketing their merchandise. Before we move onto the next phase we need to reevaluate the business structure and get licensed as a LLC.
In the second phase we will open up smaller businesses on this website to reach a global audience to share their business from all over the world. Using the Clubs feature each business will be able to share their product and have people sign up to setup their page. Afterworkhub handles the back-end as long as the business handles the front end. Before moving onto the next phase will need to be networked with several small to medium sized businesses. Partner up with job seeking companies and partners to better find employment for those who are still seeking work or workers for their businesses.
Our last starting phase is to help businesses use our shop to ship their physical or digital goods. Exclusively with us, members will get discounts and royalty discounts. Small businesses marketing will also account to the factor of the community as we expand to a medium sized business our selves. Our end goal for the first roadmap is be partnered with local and website entrepreneurs striving their business goals for success.
The startup roadmap may change overtime and be modified based on the results and outcome of the situation. COVID-19 has struck the world hard, we want to be the alternative to that issue. The mission to set out and make sure that stay at home is a viable option for everyone running a small business. While we do heal in time there are different avenues to explore and all we want to do is help businesses be risen up.
Thank you for reading and I only hope that this helps clears some of the potential of what I aim to do!
By The Guy in Aftwerwork Hub FeaturedHappy New Years!
It's 2020 and its time to start things off with a BANG, I am giving away $100 to anyone who who reaches 100 quality posts. This is just the beginning though! Throughout the year of 2020 we will be doing some awesome things, one thing in Particular is to team up with Companies that relate to Job Searching and Skill Building.As I look at this year we have a big opportunity to help work development and peer advisement.
We have a but a few tasks this Month Alone (January) and that is to make sure growth is optimized. We already have a VIP feature will allow Patrons like yourself to gain access to other greater things to come.
We hope everyone enjoyed their holidays!
05/13/2020 EDIT: Due to COVID-19 this contest may be delayed.
By The Guy in Aftwerwork Hub FeaturedMany things were abandoned in this pandemic and while we are all trying to strive upon to find work or make money to pay that darn utility bill we try our very best at survival--afterwork hub is no exception. Managing the site was just not doable in this nasty time of history so I left it running without any real work done. I alone have completely forgot it's existence since family was #1 priority. Spending time outside of the website had me thinking; is it all worth the trouble running a community again, should I just abandon my online passion project? What good will this community come out of? Why is it so hard to nail the perfect niche of this site?
It came clear to me that this COVID-19 seems to have no light at the end of the tunnel so I wrapped things up and visit all I can with my family and try my hardest to get a online presence with this site. The first thing I really want to concentrate on is the identity of the community and why it is on the web. Secondly I want to try at least find people who could be interested in a community such as this that would help me run it--but not just run it but lead it in the right direction. Lastly, my vision is clear and it is to only help people find ways to get work and money. Struggles and tribulations can be overcome, we all had to experience it one way or another. One fact remains clear is that we have to continue to strive as a species, climate change is also a factor in these trying times, so picking the right job in the climate you work also accounts for the economy as a whole.
Hopefully one day I can see the light of day on this website project and finally make something of it. But how would I make it so unique that people want to partake in such a website? The Niche isn't everything that website critiques say that is required. As long as their is a purpose, goal, and setup in place you should be golden. Looks yes have a small factor but should it really be the focus? These are the questions that keep me up to 5 A.M in the morning.
While I am going to be active the next few days I am going to work on this site and put my work into the site at long last!
By The Guy in Aftwerwork Hub FeaturedIt took strong-strong thought and consideration as to what the heck I am doing with this place but I finally have a general purpose as what it can be. A vision sparked in my head at last. Without further ado I give you the mission statement for Afterwork Hub.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
Afterwork Hub is about the people who seek work in the real world, a place online where normal folks seek employment. There is over a thousands different kind of Industry and millions of different jobs and positions out there willing to be filled. With Afterwork Hub our mission is to help others in finding work, we can't always promise best results with each individual but we can at least guarantee that we will provide the best peer support that most websites cannot provide at a free rate. Our subscription services is only there to support the owners of the site to maintain website maintenance , updates, tools, hosting costs and security.
Our services are purely in the hands of the community on when, where, and how the community proceeds to grow. Without it's user base this site ceases to continue it's mission. The Staff are simply here to enforce rules, moderate discussions, modify the site at see fit, and proceed adding on resources that would fit the community at best. Afterwork Hub is a independent ran website designed around the idea of making services more convenient for the average user in mind. We strive to find what the user is seeking out in the world without exploiting their true identity on an anonymous peer community.
We are a Union Safe Website, we believe that Unions are a key factor in most jobs of Industries. This does not mean we are firm believers on one side of Political Agenda's, nor do we promote a particular side of political behavior. Social Media already controls that domain and Afterwork Hub keeps out of any political spectrum. We are only promoting groups that increase jobs and even wages in some cases. Furthermore we will not lean on ideology that would compromise workforce, unions, career seekers, and Job Seekers.