Home > Careers > I Took a Temp Job in Alaska!

I Took a Temp Job in Alaska!

temporary jobs in Alaska

Many people who read this blog are continually looking for new ways to side hustle or supplement income. We all know that multiple income streams are what save you during the lean times and allow you to build wealth when all cylinders are firing. Even though I am not actively looking for more work or a job change at the moment, opportunities seem to be searching for, and I recently found one that I couldn’t refuse. I’ve accepted a temp job in Alaska!

A Professional Regret

When I was doing my residency on the Navajo reservation back in 2000, I had an opportunity to be a travel doc in Alaska. The pay was exceptional. Case work would have been rewarding, and I could have seen lots of places most of us in the lower 48 never get to see. Ultimately, I chickened out because flying on a bush plane to the Arctic Circle was a bit much at the time. However, I’ve always wondered what that experience would have been like and vowed that I would accept if the opportunity every presented itself again.

As a private practice owner, there was never a time when I could have taken time off to work somewhere else. Even if I could find professional coverage for patients, running the office required my presence or at least constant contact. Now that I’ve shed the weight of business ownership, I have the flexibility to consider new challenges.

Alaska Calling

I now work part time as a government employee, and although that position will soon be ending, it has opened the door for other types of government work. When I got an email a few months ago that a clinic in Sitka was looking for temporary help, I sent an immediate yes reply. Being the government, we’ve had lots of back and forth and delay, but I found out this week that I’m all set to go to Alaska in mid October.

I love working with the Indian Health Service. Being in this type of clinic setting is right up my alley. The other amazingly cool thing about this opportunity is that I get a free trip to Alaska plus excellent salary for a week of work that I’d probably do even if I didn’t get paid.

Sitka will be nice because it isn’t in the Arctic Circle. You can only get there by air or sea, but they do have service from Alaska Airlines. Thankfully, I won’t have to use a bush plane! From what I understand, the climate is much like Seattle but cooler, so I can expect rain instead of snow. I don’t know how much time I will have for sightseeing, but hopefully this can turn into an ongoing opportunity. Maybe I can take my family if it works out that I can go back in the summer.

Even though this post is not really about personal finance, I hope everyone reading is working toward putting themselves in position to jump when amazing opportunities come their way. I would have never been able to leave my steady job to do this when we were in debt. Even though the temp job pays well, I could not have risked rocking the boat on my solid paycheck. I don’t think my working a temp job in Alaska is going to jeopardize any of the positions I now have at home, but even if it did, I could still afford to take the fun opportunity and let the rest work itself out.

What amazing things have come your way lately? How much pay would it take to get you to the Arctic Circle?







About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. So exciting! If you need a book for the ride up, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union (by Michael Chabon) is an interesting book for the ride. It is based in Sitka, Alaska and is a alternate-world book—during WWII there was a senator that suggested we give land in Alaska to the Jewish people (really did happen) instead of the land for Israel and in this book, that actually happened. It’s also a mystery/murder solving book but I enjoyed it. It’s great for a long flight.

    Good luck with the job!

    • That sounds like a book I would enjoy and I love reading stories set in places I’m visiting. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. This is awesome! To us, it’s reasons like these that make savings money and seeking financial independence truly worthwhile. I hope you have an amazing time and maybe you can even extend the trip after and do some sight seeing in other parts of the state while you’re at it!

    • I don’t think I’ll get to do much out of Sitka this trip, but if it goes well, there are usually other sites that need help. If I can swing a trip in the summer at some point, I will take the family and we’ll travel around the state.

  3. This is awesome Kim! I love seeing opportunities come about, especially when you’re able to take them because of the purposeful living you’ve done. You’re going to love Alaska! I spent a summer there myself and absolutely loved it. Like Mrs. Pop said, hopefully you’ll be able to get some sight seeing in.

    • I won’t have a ton of time for tourism but hopefully this can turn into an ongoing thing and I can take the family and add on a vacation at some point.

  4. That’s awesome Kim! I would love some work/travel opportunities. Right now the farthest I’m currently going is Long Beach, and I once got a work trip to Orlando (whoo-hoo-yes, kind of sarcasm there, although the food in the resort was amazing!). As I get better at videography, I hope some more opportunities present themselves. Have fun!

  5. Congrats! Alaska is so crazy and awesome all at the same time! I hope you love it! We’re in Anchorage, so we won’t be seeing you, but it’s still exciting to have someone coming North!

    • I hope to spend some time in Anchorage and the surround area at some point, but won’t make it on this trip. I’m very excited to see Alaska.

  6. Congratulations on your work opportunity! That is so awesome to see how the opportunity came around again, but at a time and in a matter that you could accept. Only one week of working away from home seems very do-able.

    • I will likely still have some Mommy guilt, but hopefully over the long run it will be a good learning experience for my daughter to see me travel around and work in different settings.

  7. That is so awesome Kim! I don’t have any opportunities knocking at my door like that but if I did, I would go for it; paid or not! I love to experience new things and would jump at the opportunity.

    Says the girl who cried all the way from Lexington to Louisville last year while we were driving to the airport….because I never thought that I would have the opportunity to board a plane and fly to Vegas or anywhere really. I just kind thought it was never in my cards. But life has changed…

    I am so excited that you are going to Alaska!

  8. I would love to work in the north actually. A friend of mine is living in Iqualuit and loves it. Truthfully Alaska is somewhere I’d love to go!

  9. Congratulations on the opportunity! I considered applying to teach in Alaska..great pay for sure! And what a great experience. I have visited Anchorage before and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to hearing about it.

    • I’ve had some retired teachers from Alaska as patients and their benefits are still awesome, even in retirement. If it wasn’t so cold and dark, I bet we’d all move up there.

  10. Kim, it’s like you’ve been have some good times! Congrats! Definitely! Jump when amazing opportunities come our way.

  11. Whoah, so cool! Can you keep us updated and post more pictures? I did a cruise up their once and saw the northern lights. Amazing. Just come home before Christmas, OK? Dark and cold up there in the winter.

    • I’m only staying a week! I don’t think I have what it takes to handle an Alaska winter, but I will surely take tons of pictures and update. I’m hoping it goes well and can become an annual or semi-annual position.

  12. Squee! I grew up in Sitka. Much of my family is still there. Feel free to shoot me an email if you’d like 🙂

  13. I grew up in Alaska, so assuming I didn’t have to be there permanently, I’d be amenable to an Arctic Circle experience. For a short period of time, preferably in the summer. Not sure even my well-medicated depression could handle SAD of that magnitude.

    BTW, I’m guessing you know this, but make sure you refer to them as Native Alaskans or Natives. Not Indians or Native Americans.

    • That is one good thing about Sitka. It looks like daylight hours will only be slightly shorter than what I’m used to. I don’t know if I could handle darkness all the time. I will certainly get in the know about local customs since I’m mainly used to Navajo and Ute tribes at present.

  14. Wow! This is amazing and I’m so proud of you for taking advantage of this opportunity when it came up!! I have always wanted to see Alaska, but I’m like you, I’d rather not see it via bush plane, those always seem to be the planes that go down in flames. I can’t wait to read about your Alaska adventure in October!

    • No kidding! Even in Colorado, there are always small plane crashes. I guess you’re still more likely to crash in a car but at least I feel somewhat in control there. I don’t know if I’m ready for bush planes yet!

  15. That sounds like a fun adventure, good for you! I know for physical therapy if I were to work on a reservation they offer a huge incentive to payback a large sum of our student loans. I’ve considered it, but of course I chicken out.

    • For what it’s worth, most people I know who go to work for IHS love it. There are some locations that are close to border towns, so you don’t necessarily have to live in the middle of nowhere.

  16. That’s awesome! My wife and I went to Sitka during our honeymoon cruise and it was nice. It was rainy, but the weather wasn’t all bad. I think you will enjoy it.

    • I am very excited, even if it rains. One thing I have plenty of is cold weather and rain gear, so I’m hoping to explore a bit regardless of weather.

  17. Sounds awesome! how long will you be there? Are you keeping your house?

    • Only for a week this go round but it has potential for longer stints. Jim says he will never move to Alaska, so I even if I love it, we won’t be moving!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.