Need STT/STJ Career Prep Advise!
My husband and I are pre-planning a move to St. Thomas or St. John. We are very serious about making this work so we are REALLY planning AHEAD. We plan to move full-time within 10 years! In the mean time, we are on track to purchase a home in 4 years that we will use for a few months out of the year and rent the rest of the time.
We read this awesome message board regularly and it is such a wonderful aid! Thank you all so much for providing all of your knowledge, opinions and humor!
When we make the move, we want to be prepared work at something that provides a good income (we are not wealthy and will have a large mortgage, I’m sure) -- something that fills a void in the community.
So my question to all you lucky islanders is this: if you had more than 4 years to prepare yourself for an island career, what would you choose? We live within 15 minutes of a state university and therefore could obtain a degree in any area of expertise. I also plan to get a part-time job in the career area so I’ll have some experience to offer.
We are very positive, easy-going people that aren’t afraid of hard work. We’ve never met a challenge that we didn’t like or a job that we couldn’t have fun doing and we’ve explored many. We have most of our current experience in real estate (licensed Realtors) and hubby is a welder and mechanic. We don’t know if these areas of expertise are in very high demand though. I’ve considered returning to school for a law degree (already have a BA in Psychology) or a degree in business (maybe a focus on hotel management?).
So, what do ya’ll think? What pays the best? What would you train yourself to do in the islands? Any and all ideas are welcome -- we will sift through the possibilities keeping in mind that we'll want to enjoy our work.
Note: We are ages 34 and 37 now. (I’m not sure if that should be factored in any way.)
Thanks so much. We are looking forward to the wealth of advise that is sure to come!
Dear Planners: The "wealth of advice" that you seek is already available on this forum both through postings and the continuously-updated archival information which you can find by going to the first general announcement, "New To This Board." As slow as island life is, much can change in the next 4-10 years and I don't think anybody on this forum can really offer you any real advice at this time. I certainly wish you well but your best bet is to just sit back for the next few years and keep.logging on for more info as time progresses!
Experience is valued more than degrees here. Tourism related employment is more plentiful than non-tourism related employement. Many of the best paying jobs in the tourism industry are folks promoted from within and, in a number of cases, relocated from the mainland to the island. Who you know is frequently more important than what you know.
Which is why you need to continue reading this forum and then, when the time is ripe/imminent, do a good PMV.
Just as a general piece of advice, usually given to young folks searching for a first career...Do what you love and rest will fall into place. If you start looking for work just because it makes good money, what are you going to do if that job market crashes?
For example, I noticed that one of the older EDC companies is pulling out of the Virgin Islands. Now, the government has put a lot of stock in the EDC companies saving our bottom line. So, if all the EDC companies bail, then what?
On the other hand, it has been my experience that the following are always in demand: bookkeepers, hair dressers, nurses, teachers, sales people, good mechanics/plumbers/electricians/cabinetmakers.
I agree that you should do what you love. Start your own business possibly?
I have rather mixed feelings about "high energy" people moving to the USVI. On one hand, I want energetic young, professionals to come here and bring their skills and enthusiasm. I know they will eventually be disappointed and disillusioned. They might change the island time attitudes and make this more like the states, but... (on the other hand) they might change the island time attitudes and make this more like the states.
I know that many of us are frustrated by the "out of touch" virgin Island government and police. However the island life is what draws us here and makes it home.
The US Virgin Islands are changing and that is what scares the older native islanders ( and maybe younger as well).. That is why they vote for their cousins. and.uncles for senate. That is why things.. bad...and good...change slowly....or not at all