One of the big decisions to be made when you commit to a St. Thomas relocation is ‘where will I work’?
This depends on what you currently do. I can tell you my experience, as some of you may relate.
When we decided to move I was close to beginning my fourth year in a corporate job, a small company south of Boston. I knew one thing about working in St. Thomas: I didn’t want to sit in an office for 40 hours a week. Tourism is a huge industry on the island, and I was excited to dust off my comfy waitressing shoes and start serving drinks to tourists. One question – where? A month or two before the move I put some calls in to a couple of places; the conversations went something like this,
“Hi! I’m moving down to St. Thomas in December, can you let me know if you have any open server positions?”
“We might have some open positions, contact us once you’re ‘on island’.”
The most I got from the phone calls were some names – that was about it. As soon as we arrived I called again and set up some appointments - as I was now ‘on island’ they were happy to meet with me and I secured a position.
There are many jobs to be had in the tourist industry – retail positions in the many stores, a variety of careers with hotels and resorts, joining the team at a tourist destination like Mountain Top or Coral World. Once you get on island you should be prepared to set aside some time to get in the car and go from place to place. Face to face contact always beats a phone call!
One thing that worked in my favor? We moved there at the beginning of the high season (Dec through April), so there were jobs to be had. Had we moved during the slow season I would have had a more difficult time as businesses cut down on hours and positions.
Looking for a job outside of tourism? St. Thomas has schools, government offices, healthcare options, real estate positions, law offices, banks…etc. If you’re currently working in a position in one of these fields it would not be as necessary for you to be on island to apply for job opportunities. Get on the internet and phone, fax in your resume, contact as many people as possible and let them know when you’ll be arriving, what your experience is and when you can start. Newspapers are a great place for research - check out the St. Thomas Source and the VI Daily News. One thing to keep in mind, the salary may be lower than you hoped.
If none of the above options appeal to you then it might be time to hit the water! Snorkeling, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, sailing, charter boats – these are all acitivities that you could be a part of. Join a resort and spend your days teaching people how to windsurf. Check out our beaches and encourage people to up their fun level by renting them jet skis and other watercraft. Go down to a marina and see who needs a mate on their ship. The opportunities are endless.
Still want another option? Tap into your entrepreneurial spirit and open a business on the island – think of something St. Thomas needs that no one has thought of yet!
Then run it by us