I'm a 27 year old female junior level programmer who would like to leave work to take 1-3 years to travel. I'm not sure about my career choices, so im thinking now is the best time to go. My plan is to buy a van to travel the world, meet people and work here and there before settling down to have a child.
Opposition from family is fierce, where I am constantly reminded of the high unemployment and lack of gratefulness for my job.
My questions, which concern my decision:
Has anyone found work with little experience in times where unemployment is high? Like say beginner level dancing, bar work etc.
How have ex-travellers put their careers on track once they returned, or started entry/junior level etc.
Are there any experiences of women travellers who have returned home aged above 30 who have had a child after?
I appreciate anyone's replies or opinions, positive or slightly negative. Also, other bloggers and forum readers might thank you very much as well. 😊 Thanks Nicole.
Depending on where you plan on traveling, work could be more or less readily available. Teaching English overseas is a popular means of working and living abroad. I've met many travellers working in hostels, bars, and restaurants. If you want something more adventurous, you can also go the scuba diving trek and become an instructor or even dive master which opens up some stunning locations. You could also do a test period where you travel for a few months and try finding jobs and see how things work out.
As a programmer, you can also take on freelance jobs as programming tends to be on high-demand, or if you want to live abroad and travel every few months, you can take on a 1-year contract or more to live abroad while having the security of a job, as well as not worrying about having a break in your resume.
As for how easy it would be to get your career back on track once home, it also depends on where you call "home" and the economy at home. If you're from San Francisco, I would say that you have a great chance of being rehired in the current economy. On the other hand, if it's already difficult to find a job as an entry-level programmer at your location, it may be harder -- then again, after traveling abroad, you may want to change where you call "home"! ;-)
Hope this helps!
I'm a coder who took nine months to travel after my old company had a major reorganization. I managed to get rehired afterward but it took far longer than I anticipated. The fact you traveled will give you an edge in interviews (and you should mention it in response to the dreaded "so what have you done since your last job" question) but managers will still consider you a developer who has been unemployed for a long time. As a junior level with relatively little experience, this will particularly hurt.
The big problem is that managers will all assume your skills are rusty and outdated due to the long gap, and you'll need to demonstrate otherwise. I took online classes and did personal projects to show my skills, which I then put on code sharing sites like github. Network with everyone you know before leaving, because managers will take many more chances on a referral than an applicant out of the blue. I got my current position through someone I used to work with. Finally, make sure you have enough cash saved up to cover the job hunt; I recommend at least a year.
Even with all of the above, taking the time off to travel was the best decision I ever made. Even knowing what happened afterward, I wouldn't change anything. I read my old blogs at least once a week : )
Hello Nicole and welcome to travel blog--
My husband and I are both nurses which provides us job security. We can quit a job and travel for a few months and find work with relative ease on our return. We didn't take our first around the world trip until our careers were well established. That was the right thing for us but that is not a need, want or desire for everyone.
Few families understand those of us who travel so in our opinion you should not allow that to make your decision.
At 27 you are mature enough --- to decide where you want the rest of your life to take you.
Are you a good employee?
Have you asked your employer if they would hire you back if you traveled for 6 months?
I know you are interested in a trip 1 to 3 years.... but if your employer would agree to hire you back after 6 months..... you could go on the road for a few months and if it is going well call your employer and thank them but tell them you won't be back. If a life on the road is not what you expected you've got an open door to return.
In our opinion it is vital to be kind to close family members to assure them you will email and call often. Whatever it takes for them to be comfortable.
Michelle's suggestion of teaching oversees is a great one. If you take some time (usually a few months) to get your TEFL or TESOL it will broaden your horizons. It will allow you some of the freedom that it sounds like you are looking for.
Many travelers start their road trip in Asia because it is less expensive to travel that part of the world. You would not need to buy a van. Public transportation is an easy option.
Please let us know what you decide.
Hopefully you will blog about your adventures.
I do feel my programming skills need alot of work, but I am struggling to focus because I have been career oriented throughout my life, and realising that I do need to socialise more. I do feel my employer may/may not hire me again. So as a result, I am more flexible in the work type I do.
Thanks everyone for your responses and help and welcoming me to the travel blog. 😊 It is much appreciated and from your responses it seems you are all having an excellent time travelling the world. Best wishes to all of you during your travels.
I am in SAP consulting. SAP is the largest business software producer of the world and based in Germany. I think IT consulting on other areas is similar.
I was happy to get project assignments in South Korea, Malaysia, Moscow and other parts of Europe. If your IT skill is in demand and maybe being employed at a global company that is a good option to combine travelling with working. Especially when working in other countries you see many (young) everyday people and not only hotel and museum staff. And of course you get paid and don't have to care about travel costs while doing this. In your normal vacation you can then visit the countries of your personal choice. Creating a profile on LinkedIn with your educational and professional details might be a first step to get international project and employment offers by agencies.
This is at least the way I did it.