Global Girl: Working Your Way Around the World
Over the years at Girlosophy, we have talked to a lot of girls and young women about their chosen lifestyles and careers. One thing that comes up again and again is the way some girls are able to take so-called ‘dead-end’ jobs and turn them into opportunities that are far more long-term, and interesting than the position itself would imply.
These are often girls who have managed to work, live or study (sometimes all three!) in a place far from home, where they literally had no option but to make it work, far from the safety net of a familiar environment, family support, friends network and a known community.
Their stories are of living, working and traveling around the world – by any job necessary! Dishwasher, waitress, bartender, typist, freelance blogger, retail assistant, roadside spruiker, office admin, car-washing, nanny, librarian, cleaner, the list of jobs these intrepid girls have taken on, is as impressive as it is endless. These stories (and the accompanying travel experience) prove that no job experience is ever wasted: it all leads to something, builds depth in personal resumes and provides opportunity for future careers. Intangible things like people or social skills (retail, bar and restaurant work) to seeing how small business is run (admin, data entry) or even volunteering for NGOs (marketing and social networking, fund-raising etc). What is true is that many of us underestimate the amazing skills we developed while working at the ‘fill-in’ job.
“The list of jobs these intrepid girls have taken on is as impressive as it is endless. Their stories and their travels prove no job experience is ever wasted: it all leads to something, building depth and providing opportunity for future careers.”
Life is certainly very different for all of us in a post-meltdown financial economy. The job market is tight, for sure, but regardless of the doom and gloom being sprayed everywhere, decisions about life and careers still must be made. We all have to work and we all love to travel so have your cake and eat it too by working while you’re away on a trip. Being flexible and mobile is a smart strategy and it can give you international or national experience at the same time.
If you want to work your way around the world, you’ll have to become savvy in the visa application and resume process. Some countries have mutual arrangements between them where you can work and live there if you are under a certain age limit without any restrictions. If you can spring it, this is a fantastic way to really live and work long-term in another country, and perhaps use the base you create for further traveling opportunities. But it’s all about the paperwork! Many companies are keen to employ people with the right background, skills and education, and the recruitment process is often the same as for a normal job.
Typically companies who sponsor recruits from other countries have a system for doing so and this means they organize the visa for you, which is a bonus.
But don’t disregard the job market closer to home either – working interstate can perhaps get you closer to an international airport that allows you to do more traveling and more cheaply too. Perhaps you just need to move to another coast!
Photographer: Anthea Paul