Life can be difficult for those who wish to pursue a rewarding career without sacrificing their love of travel. The idea of having it all is tempting but often difficult to attain.
Fortunately, we live in a highly connected world, so consecutively pursuing a career while traveling is more feasible than it once was. If this lifestyle appeals to you, here are some helpful tips for keeping your career growing while enjoying traveling.
Explore Travel-Centric Career Opportunities
While remote contract work has been on the rise in recent years (especially in light of the pandemic), it’s not for everyone. There are many fields that aren’t congruent with working remotely— healthcare, for example.
There are many travel-centric career opportunities for workers in fields where remote work isn’t an option. In healthcare, a registered nurse can explore travel nursing, practicing rotational work in fly-in, fly-out areas, or on cruise ships. Teachers can offer their skills in different countries, finding positions around the world.
The thing to remember is that there are always options— you just have to be willing to look for them.
Take Online Courses While Traveling
Another way to keep your career moving forward while pursuing your love of travel is to continue learning while you go. Fortunately, online courses from accredited institutions are now more available than ever before. There are also many skilled professionals who share their learnings and skills via online courses.
The trick is to find your balance between learning and enjoying the places you travel to. You’ll want to ensure you’re getting plenty of work done on your continuing education efforts while still allowing time to explore.
Take a Sabbatical Leave
Another option for established professionals who don’t want to wait for retirement to travel is to take a sabbatical leave. This option requires a fair amount of planning and communication with your employer. Depending on the nature of your career path and employment situation, a paid sabbatical isn’t always a viable option.
Some employers are open to solutions to help you maintain your employment status while pursuing your passions. One such solution is taking a reduced paycheck for a period of time to cover the sabbatical period. For example, you could take 75% of your paycheck for three years, banking the 25% to cover your leave. Then, during the year of your leave, you’ll continue to earn 75% of your salary, drawing from your banked pay.
Learn Soft Skills Through Travel
Travel isn’t always a relaxing vacation. It can be ugly and challenging. Travelers who go off the beaten path often feel as though they’ve worked for their travels— although the reward is well worth the effort.
The benefit of this experience is that it builds soft skills that work well on a resume and can carry over into your career. Things like collaboration, problem-solving, and developing strong negotiation skills all have a place in boosting one’s career. The next time you travel, consider what examples and scenarios you can highlight in your next interview.
Be Intentional with Vacation Time
If taking a sabbatical or focusing on travel-centric jobs isn’t feasible, there are still options for balancing your career and travel. The key is to be intentional with your vacation time and make the most of every moment.
Keep in mind that everything in life is negotiable. You can negotiate with hiring managers and business leaders to get more time in return for a pay cut. You can offer to take unpaid leave, flex time, or work remotely. It’s important to find an employer whose values match your own.
Remember that there are always options and that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your dreams of travel for a rewarding career (or vice versa). You will have to compromise and make sacrifices, but you can have it all when trying to grow your career and see the world.