Finding a Job After Travelling

Finding a Job After Travelling

I’ve seen plenty of posts explaining in great detail the heartbreak that one feels when returning to their origin post-travelling. When faced with returning to the monotony of everyday life, without regular injections of excitement and new experiences, it’s very easy to feel down-trodden and despair at what lies ahead. We end up counting down the days until the next trip, seeking solace in online forums and living vicariously through travel groups and social media – our timelines become riddled with #throwback posts. One thing that I haven’t heard much mention of is the difficulty in finding a job when you have been out of the country, economy, and market for so long.

This is a problem that I faced when I returned from 18 months living, and working abroad. I put the term ‘working’ in bold, as that’s key for my situation and is probably relevant in many of yours as well. It’s not like we have spent our time lying on a beach and frolicking in the sun (OK, not all of the time), we work a full time job for all of our international time. However, when we return to our home countries to see the family with the idea of earning as much cash as possible, we are presented with rejection after rejection.

I am not under-qualified. Not only do I have an undergraduate and postgraduate degree, but I also have experience in the hospitality, retail, and education sectors. It took me all of about 4 days to realise that degrees count for absolutely nothing when it comes down to finding a non-specialist job, and this has been something that I have grudgingly accepted.

However, what I have really struggled to come to terms with is the idea that all of this amazing life experience that we have gained also counts for nothing. We have had our eyes opened to different cultures and ways of life, we have seen landscapes that make you realise how inferior we are compared to the world, we have been put in stressful and humbling situations – so why are we so darn unemployable?

Home

Home

We don’t want to be like The Crows, those people who settle with jobs that make us blanch. All dressed in black with no form of expression in their clothing style or faces. They march through the train stations all together, living the same routine over and over, day by day…

It’s not wonder that we immediately want to spread our wings and escape again. After dealing with multiple rejections from potential employers, we pine for the acceptance of the friends that we met and the lifestyles that we made. Our families and friends are hurt, they can tell that a piece of our soul has strayed and awaits us in a far-off land. They can see behind our eyes the stars of a different sky. Maybe the employers can also see this, and that is why we are not welcome in jobs, as they know as soon as our banks are full enough, we will be off whilst waving over our shoulder.

 

Before we get to that point, we have to find employment that not only satisfies us financially, but also supports our flippant character. The lucky ones amongst us will, and the daily grind becomes enjoyable – every pint pulled brings pennies to our pockets and a smile to our face.

Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

16 Comments

  1. Thanks for addressing an important topic! I think this is an issue lots of travelers face, but perhaps even something that prevents people from long-term travel in the first place!

    Reply
  2. It must be a real challenge to change back from traveling to work. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  3. Living a life that is different than everyone else is not always easy, especially when you need to compete against people who walked the straight line. It is hard for travellers, it is hard for mums coming back into the job-market, it is hard for self-employed who wish to be hired as employees… It is hard when your life-experiences are redeemed to “not-relevant” even though they are. It is worth just reminding yourself that you really don’t want to work for someone so narrow-minded who can not think outside the box. Keep looking and don’t get deterred by the rejections, they are your way to the eventual wonderful job that is waiting for you 🙂

    Reply
  4. Not everyone who works FT and dresses in black and takes a tube is a ‘crow.’ There are plenty of part-time travellers who have wings and roots, so to speak. I don’t think it necessarily has to be one or the other. Good luck with the hunt!

    Reply
    • Oh I know, I lived and worked in London before I left the UK and a majority of my friends and family are based in London. I wrote that as a reflection of sitting in a cafe in Clapham Junction Station in rush hour on a Monday morning and people watching – there was not a happy expression (in both senses) to be seen.

      Reply
  5. Wow… although I didn’t reach this moment yet (I mean finding a stable job) I feel myself exactly the same everytime comming back from a journey. While all of the others are hardly earning their life or studying I feel like I am just spending my time on travel groups and reading new post like it was strange substitute of the drug I’m addicted to..

    Reply
    • Awesome metaphor! It is definitely addictive, and I don’t feel happy or fulfilled now that I am home, I actually feel really sad and I can’t wait to get away again!

      Reply
  6. I’ve been through this, coming back from a journey and facing the reality that I need to find a new job. My employer promised that I will have my job back but once i returned he chose to fire me, after 4 years spent in his company. I was devastated, didn’t know what to do. But I chose to just relax, and let the opportunities come to me. And they did. Now I manage working and traveling, trying to keep them in balance so I can satisfy both my needs of money to travel and the freedom traveling gives me 🙂

    Reply
    • That’s so great that it worked out so well for you! I really struggled and the work I’m doing now is convenient, but now is not the time of year to be working in a pub and I just don’t feel fulfilled. I came home to get some more experience and learn new skills, but I’ve worked in this pub before so it’s not new for me 🙁

      Reply
  7. OH I understand this feeling well! I am teaching overseas and know that I can go back to my teaching job back home when my time here ends…but I don’t want to! I think my bf feels more pressure that this ‘gap’ in his US working life is not going to bode well for him if and when we return to the US. Now the goal is to explore other options of making an income online! Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts!

    Reply
  8. I totally know this is going to happen. Hopefully, you’ll find a great place to work or escape back to the country you made your life in. I lived in Japan 3 years, realized there was nothing for me back home and I moved to Korea after. I love living abroad and I want to stay abroad!

    Reply
  9. I’ve never heard the expression the crows. Interesting. It’s always hard to settle back into a steady life after an adventure.

    Reply
    • I just coined it 😉 it’s what I think of when I see everybody all suited up!

      Reply
  10. I really try not to think about what is when I´ll come back. But how long did it actually take you to get a job back home? What are you working now? very interested to read more details!

    Reply
    • Hey Kate! So I ended up getting a job in my local pub, where I have worked in the past. It was very fortunate actually, as they had just been let down by a member of staff so I turned up at a really convenient time. I was looking for work for about 2 weeks, and I applied to quite a few without hearing anything. Since then (about 3 weeks) a number of people have contacted me regarding my applications, so I would say it’s worth applying for any online a week or so before you get home, to minimise the time that you are just sitting around!

      Reply
  11. It was a major struggle for me coming home after six weeks of traveling abroad. Financially was one thing that I did my best to prepare for, but the emotional struggle with dealing with rejection after rejection and losing confidence in yourself was something I was not prepared for. It was a bad time to be looking for a job in America. I went nearly a year without a job, and my biggest regret is that I did not use that idle time to do more traveling. But you can’t let the fear stop you from living your life.

    I plan to travel again, for a longer period of time, I have to have faith that the employment front will work out. If we can’t trust ourselves to be strong enough to make it all work out, then we’re doomed to the same cushy office job for the next 40 years? No thanks…

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Reflections
Reconnecting with Ghosts from the Past After Travelling
Reconnecting With Ghosts from the Past After Travelling

Travelling changes us as people, as well as teaching us about who we are. This often leads to us wanting...

Is Social Media Changing What it Means to be Friends?
Is Social Media Changing What it Means to be Friends?

Technology is great, but is it making us lazy when it comes to maintaining our friendships? What is the definition...

Close