Dear girls of the world: Travel won’t affect your career

Dear girls of the world,

We’re conditioned from a young age to believe that the rules of life mean we need to do well in school, gain a university/college degree, get straight A’s, and work hard to finally achieve that elusive career. And living in an age where women are finally being recognised as equal to men in the workplace, becoming a successful career woman is seen by many as one of the biggest accomplishments in life.

Though with fierce competition for the same jobs and the same careers, it’s very easy to get swept up in the mindset of “I’ll travel later”, not wanting to leave a gap in your resume and fall behind everyone else.

Though here’s some news for you – travel may actually put you ahead.

It’s an absolute myth that a large gap in your resume will mean you are treated unfavourably by a prospective employer – especially if your explanation for the gap is “I was traveling the world”.

It was during my time working as a Family Law Paralegal that I overheard the Partner of my firm say, “the only thing you ever have to say if someone questions a recent gap in your resume is that you were traveling. No questions asked.”

So what I did next was hand in my resignation and book a plane ticket. I went from paralegal to a perpetual traveler. This was 2 years ago, and while I will eventually land back in Australia and pursue my career in law, I have no doubt in my mind that I won’t have an issue finding a suitable job.And this got me to thinking. Do employers actually see traveling as something which helps a resume? Could I really spend a few years abroad traveling, and then expect to find a job when I returned, and be hired above those who had spent the same time interning, volunteering or focusing all of their efforts solely on study for the same job?

As it turns out, yes. As long as you can explain the benefits of your travelling experience to a potential employer then traveling is a fantastic way to gain enriching life skills that you would most likely not learn sitting at home and searching for jobs on the sofa. In fact, in a study conducted by Real Gap, 83% of employers agreed that traveling actually helps a resume stand out and improves your chances of being shortlisted for an interview.

Because while I may have a fairly large gap in my resume, all I have to do is explain that away as life experience. And employers go nuts over life experience.

So, girls of the world, get out there and travel, see the world and gain that enriching life experience. If you’re serious about your career, it may just be the best thing for you.

Love,
Megan
high profile paralegal turned perpetual traveler

Megan Jerrard is an Australian Journalist, and the founder and Senior Editor of mappingmegan.com – an award-winning adventure travel blog bringing you the latest in adventure travel from all over the globe. With the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure, Megan and husband Mike believe travel has the potential to inspire change in people, and in turn inspire change in the world. They embraced travel as a lifestyle in 2007, and are dedicated to documenting their journey and observations through entertaining, candid articles and brilliant photography.

Comments

  • Megan Claire
    November 29, 2014

    Thanks for the feature! Looks great on your blog 🙂

    reply
  • November 30, 2014

    Thanks for being here! Xx

    reply
  • Melissa AuClair
    November 30, 2014

    I loved reading your perspective! It’s making me rethink some of my career decisions!

    reply
  • December 1, 2014

    Interesting perspective – too difficult to want to return to full-time, long-term, one-place employment after you’ve been travelling for a little while though :p

    reply
  • Megan Claire
    December 1, 2014

    I’m so glad! The only things we regret in life are the things we don’t do, and travel is a pretty big one!

    reply
  • Megan Claire
    December 1, 2014

    Lol OMG don’t I know it. It took a lot of work to get my head back in the game of wanting to be at work after we recently took 6 months off!

    reply
  • The Guy
    December 2, 2014

    Travelling especially long term should always be seen as a big plus for any employer. It matures and grounds people. It gives them a more rounded perspective of the world and means they can relate to people from a range of backgrounds and cultures.

    As for Megan, well I’m sure that after her travel she will have thousands of personal references as how fantastic she is. Your efforts with your blog Megan are a testimony to how highly employable you are, in a range of fields, not just law.

    reply
  • December 7, 2014

    Megan is such an inspiration! Couldn’t agree with this more!

    reply
  • March 27, 2015

    Brilliant! I hope others reading this are inspired to follow their passions, regardless of how obscure they seem! Love hearing from Meg, she’s such a great role model for girls everywhere!

    reply

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