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.
high profile paralegal turned perpetual traveler