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Old 01-11-2016, 12:02 PM
2 posts, read 2,865 times
Reputation: 10


I'm 19, female, driving from a small town in Alabama. I'm looking for a small country town surrounded by nature, rodeos, horses, mountains, and hills. Simple and quiet. I do not have a job but am willing to drive no more than 40 minutes out of town to work. Someone recommended the town Polson. Know anything about it? Thank you for your help!
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:35 PM
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,894 posts, read 5,775,084 times
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With the exceptions of a couple of the larger towns, you just described about 2/3rds of the state.

You are faced with an embarrassment of choices here, without narrowing down the search a little. The most important one, and the hardest one to fill is a job.

Most of the small towns have very limited employment opportunities unless you want to waitress or work in a convenience store selling jerky and gas.

Winter isn't the time to come looking for jobs because it isn't tourist season and most of the places that hire seasonally are closed.

For the features you described, you can start at the Idaho border and go east as far as Lewistown, from the Canadian border to Wyoming to meet what you required. Drop the mountains, and the rest of the state works as well.

Taking a trip out here is a good idea, take some time, do some exploring, talk to the locals, see what jobs are available, then decide where you're going because frankly, I don't think you realize how large and diverse this state is.

If you have some specific questions about an area, I'm sure we can help, but as generalized as your questions were, it's pretty difficult because the western 2/3rds of the state is about as large as 2 of Alabama.

Maybe take a look at what you want, why you want to come here, what you expect, and give us something to work with.

Good Luck.
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:08 PM
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Alabama to Montana in January? You'll freeze your rear off.

The ski resorts will already have their employees for the season, so winter is not a promising time to look for a job.

Polson is dead in the winter. It is a summer town with a three month economy. I wouldn't choose it.

Rodeo is a statewide activity. Every town has a rodeo grounds & a football field.

Here is the "job service" website. It is statewide & listed by county. I think you might like Beaverhead County--Dillon. It has a college & is very rodeo oriented.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:40 PM
113 posts, read 120,018 times
Reputation: 115
I agree with historyfan- Polson is dead and dying. The winter is not the time to come searching for a job here. You would have better luck in the spring finding a job in Polson as a landscaper or something like that. Rodeos are everywhere. You should tell us more about yourself, so we can help you figure out a good fit for you.
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Old 01-12-2016, 07:21 AM
629 posts, read 1,441,497 times
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Agreed with the people who say that coming out in January is probably not the right time to do this.

I'd suggest getting a summer job working for the concessionaire at Glacier National Park.
Careers in Glacier Park | Glacier Park Inc.

You won't make much but they provide housing on-site and there's not a more beautiful location to be working. On the west side of the park there are weekly rodeos in Columbia Falls. Spend a summer doing that and if you fall in love with the area start looking for a longer term job or a winter job at a ski resort.
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Old 01-12-2016, 10:58 AM
Location: SW Montana
233 posts, read 455,977 times
Reputation: 208
Three Forks?


Big Timber?

So many choices.

This is mountain / high plains country...you'd better have winter driving skills and understand the weather can go from bright and sunny to "oh my God, the end is near" in just a few miles and minutes.

Summer is a great time for a recon...I believe.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:34 AM
8,199 posts, read 6,108,205 times
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Playing Devil's advocate as a non-Montanan, January might be the BEST time to do this. Would it really be a good idea for someone from Alabama to move to Montana after only having been there in the summer? Might be ideal to experience the worst of winter before deciding to make the move.

However, it is an excellent point that job prospects will be lower than in other seasons.
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:33 PM
5,792 posts, read 9,271,396 times
Reputation: 5993
Hmmm--did the OP's post actually say she was coming out in January?

Anyway, Birkinrug, if you do a search on Polson, you'll see that some forum members have had really bad experiences living there. I just know it from passing through, and it looks like a cool place to me, but living there is another thing entirely, I'm sure.

I agree, line up a summer job and come on out and drive around! My two favorite small MT towns are Thompson Falls and Ennis (much colder and longer winters than Thompson Falls), but finding a job could be a huge problem.
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:54 PM
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Is college in your future? If so locating where there is at least a community college would be a good idea.
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:21 AM
Location: Montana
387 posts, read 358,707 times
Reputation: 678
I think War Beagle has a point. We looked at houses in January and February specifically because we wanted to be sure we saw the worst case scenario (e.g. how accessible were they in the snow? did the heat work well or did they have to use space heaters in addition to the heat system that was built in? etc.). I think seeing what a Montana winter is like and the activities and what the availability of jobs is like is a real eye opener, especially if the OP is looking for work. For example, where I work down in West Yellowstone, half of the town is shuttered in the winter because there are so few people compared to the summer, due to it being a tourist town. Meaning that the job landscape changes drastically (as well as the housing market) in the off months. Even the number of restaurants is more than halved in the winter.

So, I think coming out here in the winter could make a lot of sense, especially if the OP is looking to be in a smaller place. Coming in the boom months of summer could give you an artificial expectation of life in rural MT.

HOWEVER, I think if you want a good job outlook with much less experience and still have that rodeo lifestyle, etc. you are better to look at a bigger place like Billings or Great Falls. They have a lot of options for jobs with less experience vs. somewhere smaller that will be looking for fewer people.

The other option if you are interested in horses would be to work on a dude ranch or a regular working ranch if you really like hard work. Here is a link for that (some of the resorts are pretty cushy): Montana Ranch Jobs | Job tags | Ranch Work.com | Get a Ranch Job
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