Move from New York to St.Thomas - need advice
Hello, im looking to move to St. Thomas between December and February. I work in finance now but understand it may be difficult to dive right into a career so quick after a move from so far. I've heard that a lot of people my age, in their mid to late twenties, move down to the tourist areas to work in hospitality and enjoy the island life. Is it really that easy to get a part-full time job in that line? Can you really make enough waitressing full time? What other jobs are there easily available and where should I start looking? I've also heard great things about the Red Hook area which i've mostly been looking into. I'm also looking into apartments from capitalist to line up apartment viewings for when I visit next month. Is there a better way to go about this? Anything will help, thanks!
No, waitressing doesn't pay nearly enough for a person to live. Unless they decide to live with room mates to help share the cost of living. It might take a while to get a waitressing job because there are soooo many who come down without any skill set that would help in getting a job. Redhook is more condensed as far as bars and eating places.
I think it depends on where you work and your work ethic whether waiting tables or anything else.
However, you'll absolutely need a car and a good cash stash if you plan on living independently and be able to absorb relocation costs.
See if this link can provide any opportunities or has openings.
You can check Craig's List for housing ( beware of scam ads) and job openings.
When you're on island, you can check the want ads in the Virgin Islands Daily News as well as the Island Trader.
I've heard that a lot of people my age, in their mid to late twenties, move down to the tourist areas to work in hospitality and enjoy the island life. Is it really that easy to get a part-full time job in that line?
If you've got decent people skills and have plenty of youthful energy -- yes!
Can you really make enough waitressing full time?
That depends on your standard of living, but not usually. It is possible to do as a bartender. Most people have multiple jobs, and "working a double" (back-to-back 8-hour shifts) is not unusual. That may sound easy compared to 16-hour days in the finance world, but being on your feet all day can be pretty intense if you're used to office work.
What other jobs are there easily available and where should I start looking?
Tourism is our main industry. The best way to get a job is to move here and start networking. Word of mouth is the order of the day.
I'm also looking into apartments from capitalist to line up apartment viewings for when I visit next month. Is there a better way to go about this?
I assume you meant "Craigslist" and your autocorrect changed to "capitalist" 😀 Unless you have on-island connections already, that's pretty much all you can do from afar. As has been mentioned on another recent post, it is much easier to find seasonal work in October or November than in December through February -- but not impossible. People do wind up leaving suddenly and unexpectedly, and those jobs need to be filled.
Come, get a place to stay, get a job, have fun, enjoy the adventure!
Thanks! I guess my biggest concern is the unexpected length of time it could take from when I get there to having steady income. Do you think if I waited until next october, I could get a job within a week or two of getting settled?
Luck of the draw!
Nothing is guaranteed!
It's true, you never know. Odds are much better at finding work quicker earlier in the season, though.
What generally happens in hospitality is, people who already live here find their way into the best positions. When people move away every year, as the best jobs come open, people already on island take those, and the spots that are open then become available for newcomers. That all happens through word of mouth, and if you don't live here, you can't be part of the cycle.
There are certain places that have a lot of churn because they're not great to work there long-term for various reasons, but they make for fine "starter employment" for newcomers. It's not hard to get a job here in season, but you might not be "living the dream" right out of the gate.
If you can delay til next October, use the extra time to save up more money. It goes fast here! Best of luck to you.
Thanks! I may have a couple more questions for you if you don't mind. I was thinking on coming down to explore and see if its for me next month. I was thinking i'd go downtown and see how much work is actually available, and if some places were hiring, I would probably apply. I also read you need a health card to work with food. I think it says you need to go to the hospital for this. How does that work? Can you just walk in and pay to have the tests done?
It can be easier to pick up a restaurant or boat charter type gig but worth seeing what is available in your field too. You noted that you work in finance. If you were to look for work in your field, or in something related to your work experience and educational background - what range of jobs could be included?
There are some restaurants/bars in St. Thomas where the wait staff/bartenders do very well - and the same crew has been there for years - low turnover at those spots and people that go to those bars associate the bartender with the place. The majority of restaurants/bars however have a higher turnover whether its seasonal residents, or as people move around looking for a better/different gig.
Coming to visit is a great idea. When you get on island you can pick up an Island Trader (weekly newspaper with a bunch of classifieds) and then look at some apartments. You will get a lay of the land, and see the areas for yourself, figure out where you might want to live.
Red Hook and downtown Charlotte Amalie, both have a lot of bars and restaurants if you are sticking with looking in the food service industry. The hotels and resorts would be worth looking at too.
Health card is issued at the Community Health Clinic, which is in the Schneider Hospital. Requirements I found online are a photo ID, pictures, a social security card and you are required to take a stool test. There is a fee. Its done at certain times. Can try and call tomorrow and get the full details: 340-776-8311.
Thank you for using VIMovingCenter.com to help research your plans to move to St. Thomas.
Thank you! You have been a lot of help. Regarding your opinion on finding a job, I would definitely be interested in finding something in my wheelhouse, but I do something that I believe there are probably not too many opportunities in on the usvis. I work in a brokerage that helps credit unions and banks manage their monies. Do you know where I could start looking for jobs pertaining to these skills? I want to assume there are banks and credit unions on the island. Is this true? Is there any site I can start looking? Thanks again
Yes there are and I think there is a demand for people with your type of experience. Unless you are burned out by finance and looking for a career change you should look for opportunities in your field. VI is trying to attract finance companies.
Thanks! Any idea where the best place to look is?
If you'd like to work at a bank, you might try inquiring in person at the banks during your PMV, resume in hand. Show up dressed neatly, explain your interest, and ask if the manager is available for a quick chat. This may work better once you live here than when you're visiting, but worth a shot.
Also, depending on your exact job type, consider setting up telecommuting in a job with a stateside firm. More and more people are doing that from here every day.
Banks in the USVI - Merchants, FirstBank, ScotiaBank, BancoPopular. A quick Google search will add to the list if there are others.
You really need to have at least $10,000.00 in cash for moving expenses as well as buying a decent car and about $5.000.00 to carry you until you find some type of employment.