Travel and Your Job or Career

Are you worried that taking a long trip would make you uninteresting on the job market and ruin your career? Do you think you should postpone your travel dreams until you retire? Is it a mystery to you how people can just leave the Rat Race and go traveling?

Actually, it doesn’t have to be career or travel. It can be both!

Today, extended travel is increasingly recognized as a valuable experience and more and more people put their travel experience on their resume. Employers are starting to realize that long term travel is not an escape and just a waste of time but quite the opposite.

Is your working situation no longer right for you? Does your job or career no longer excite you and give you the stimulation it once did? Do you feel less alive and enthusiastic than you once did about your work? Does your picture of where you want to be and where you actually are not precisely match? Or have you been laid off and don’t know which way to choose from here?

There are natural cycles of up and downs in our lives, working lives included. Sometimes you feel stuck and don’t know what steps to take to get into the flow again. This can be a perfect time to just leave the old and start something new. It’s a perfect way to get a perspective on your career as well as on your life in general.

Spending time away from home and from your job will make it possible for you to review what you have done so far, to get an update on what your opportunities are and to create a base for taking you to the next level in your work life.

The advantages of traveling in this situation (well, always) are many and on many levels:

1. You leave your work responsibilities

This gives you the opportunity to let go of your obligations and the mind set of your specific field (and of course also gives you time to relax generally).

2. You expose yourself to new environments

As you let go of old ways, you expose yourself to new environments, new people and new ideas to fill up the old space. You are more open to new things than when you are at home focusing on familiar problems and patterns, things that don’t require you to think outside the box.

3. You practice and learn many skills

You get to practice and learn many skills that can be of great value when you come back and return to your old work situation – or create a new one. Traveling will provide you with lots of opportunities to develop in many areas:

• You’ll be sure to strengthen your capabilities to be more flexible, to plan, to organize and to negotiate.

• You’ll improve your ability to be self sufficient and to improvise.

• You’ll learn to understand and deal with people from different backgrounds and from different cultures.

• You can learn new languages

Not to mention the globalization of the economy and the increased cultural and ethnical diversity where international experience is of great importance.

Long term traveling can actually be a fantastic business asset and a perfect investment in your career!

What about putting an experience like this on your resume?

What about putting an experience like this on your résumé?

Or this? Maybe this?
Or This ?
Maybe this?

Some people even plan their trip with their career in mind. Considering things like; what skills do I want to improve? What do I want to learn along the way? Are there any special people I want to meet? Seminars I’d like to attend somewhere in the world? Exhibitions or museums to visit? Languages to learn? Would Volunteering be something for me?

You could make your trip the perfect stepping stone to take your career to the next level or to start a new one.

Leave of absence or quit…

Taking a sabbatical from your job can be done in different ways. You can of course quit, but taking a leave of absence, with or without pay, is also an option to consider. What policy does your company have for taking long breaks? Do they have a policy at all, or could you be the reason they create one?

Today more and more companies are open to their employees taking some extended time off. It’s well known that happy, relaxed, enthusiastic and inspired workers do a better job and are more motivated to stay with their employers. It’s also usually far easier for a company if they can keep their old employees rather than having to find new ones.

Maybe you have a job that could be done anywhere? Then it might also be a possibility to bring it along with you, or parts of it, and continue to do some work along the way. Or maybe you can rearrange your job and do a more “travel friendly” version of it during your sabbatical.

Maybe you could make a travel friendly version of your work and bring your computer along on the trip.

A little warning though:

With all the new impressions and ideas you’ll have acquired and the growth that you’ll experience while away, your old job may not even be interesting to you when you get back! Maybe it’s time to get a new one.

Maybe you could make a travel friendly version of your work and bring your computer along on the trip.

You can of course also always quit. Remember, quitting is not only the end of something, it’s also the beginning of something else. If you know you don’t have your old job waiting for you when you get back, you’ll also be especially receptive to new ideas and possibilities that you meet along the way.

There are innumerable examples of businesses that have been started from ideas that people have had while they were traveling.

Dietrich Mateschitz from Austria discovered, when traveling in Thailand, that people were drinking a special drink to feel uplifted and get more energy. He took it to Europe and it is now selling around the world under the name “Red Bull”, the world’s most famous energy drink. Dietrich himself has become a billionaire.

Paul Morrison and Lyn Hughes loved to travel. During a long boring flight from England to South America, they sketched out a magazine that would contain everything they themselves would like to find in a travel magazine. From their home, they then started Wanderlust , today one of the world’s leading travel magazines for independent and adventurous travelers.

For us as well, we have had all of our best business ideas when we have been away from home on some journey. Ideas and contacts that we have brought with us and that have become a new fresh start (or continuation) for us and also have turned out to be an inspiration to many people in our country.

We have been exposed to many new ideas that we wouldn’t have experienced if we’d been just staying at home.

For example, we started our first business after having been inspired in a shop in Germany. The shop sold fantastic organic clothes of very high quality. We really loved these products and realized they didn’t exist at that time at home in Sweden. When we started our organic company with these things as the core product, we were the first ones in Sweden and we really got a lot of attention (and followers). So, you never know where some traveling can take you!

Visit Books we recommend for some reading suggestions.

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