Like most women, I’ve often been told that I can’t have it all. When I first announced my intention to go traveling, concerned friends and family lined up to tell me what a mistake I was making. How gaps in my CV would put employers off hiring me. How if I didn’t get started on my career now I’d never make it to the top.
They were wrong. Far from making me unemployable, traveling gave me the skills and experience employers want. I’ve backpacked all over the world and established myself in my chosen career as a writer.
Can’t have it all? Rubbish.
Why Traveling Makes You More Hireable
What’s Impressive About an Extended Holiday?
Nothing, if you spend three months on a beach sipping Mai Tais. But plenty of global companies would prick up their ears at the sound of a candidate who had immersed themselves in the culture of a big business market like China or India.
That Spanish you picked up making your way up Machu Picchu? Impressive. Those top-notch organization skills required to navigate your way out of Vietnam? Impressive. The independence and self-motivation you showed by getting on a plane, alone, and heading out to see the world? Impressive.
What About The Gaps in My CV?
Traveling is not a gap. It is a time in your life spent learning new skills and you should treat it just like a job on your CV. It’s all about how you spin it: tell the interviewer about the resilience and self-sustainability you displayed, rather than how hard you partied at Full Moon.
Alternatively, you could actually work abroad. Teach English, manage a hostel, help out in a dive school… the possibilities are endless! It’s just as valid a CV filler as the administration role you were doing back at home, except with a way better tan.
Not unless you’re, well, flighty! Quitting jobs every six months to travel might be a turn off for some employers, but one long trip is no big deal; frame it as the achievement of a personal dream and you will impress employers with your dedication. Even multiple months-long trips spaced several years apart will simply put you on par with the standard job-hop rate of Millennials.
If you’re desperate to spend more frequent time away without constantly dropping out of jobs then the obvious answer is to combine the two. Find work abroad or seek out employers with who frequently send employees on international trips. In this globalized age, workers who are willing to get on a plane at a moment’s notice are more of a hot commodity than you may think.
Doesn’t Everyone Travel These Days?
It’s true that as traveling has become easier, faster, and cheaper. Destinations once regarded as ‘exotic’ are now par for course. But that doesn’t mean your experiences can’t be interesting enough to stand out from the crowd! Seek out places off the main tourist trails, try something different, involve yourself more in the local culture, learn a new skill… the possibilities are endless.
Besides, having experiences in common with people you talk to isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Stumble upon an interviewer who has seen the same part of the world as you and I guarantee it’s a conversation starter. Plus all that reminiscing means they’re certain to remember you when making their decision!