Second Year of Work and Travel Program

After first successful summer of 2011 as Work & Travel USA ( J1 ) participant, I knew that year of 2012 I will in the US again. This time I wanted to work somewhere near the ocean. Based on positive reviews on I decided to work in Wildwood, NJ. This small town on the east coast was crowded with tourists and J1 participants. I had a hard time finding the perfect job at the beginning.


Morning job at Compass Motel


After jobs at Wally’s Pizza and Bar Harbour, finally, I’ve found perfect morning job at Compass Motel as a housekeeper. The owner was from Poland and she was very friendly.


Having a break with my Poland co-worker


The rate was $50 per day + tips. That was a very good rate because we were usually done in 4 hours. Tips were around $100 per week. I was working every day, without a day off. It was not easy, I admit it.


Alen, count them all

Official vehicle


Second job at Jay’s on Third


With pure luck, I’ve found my second job in Stone Harbor, NJ which was very close to Wildwood. Second shift I was working at Jay’s on Third restaurant as a dishwasher and busser. The owners, Jay and Anne, were young and very motivated. Jay as an executive chef was the boss in the kitchen and Anne as general manager was head of the front side.


The office

Jay’s crew


As a dishwasher, I was earning $9 per hour and as a busser, I was earning $4 + tips. I liked more to work in the kitchen because of less stress and jokes with the guys during the shift. I didn’t have that freedom when working on the front side with guests.




For the best experience of Work & Travel program, you need good jobs and even better roommates and I had both. I’ve lived in a house with 6 other J1 students from Serbia. We were really getting along. Our rent was $80 per week. I still remember late nights after work when we were sharing our daily job adventures.

Roommates at lunch


Looking Backward


Since this was my second year of Work & Travel program it was much easier for me. I’ve already known how to communicate, how to look for a job and I have understood the American way of life and culture. For sure that helped me to find better jobs. I was working harder but I’ve earned much more than the first year. I was earning weekly around $1050 for both jobs which is almost double than the first year. Notes with my earning can be found here.

As I was looking for a perfect job I applied for tons of them. I figure out the best way to it is to speak directly with the manager and not fill an application. After a while, I’ve lost my fear of failure and trying again. I think that’s the most important skill to have. That’s all about Work & Travel program is.


Compass Motel crew




Full stack web developer with business mindset. Blogging about technology, business and entrepreneurship from personal experience.

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