There are plenty of reasons to take a year out to go travelling. A year’s sabbatical is becoming something of a mid-life rite of passage for many professionals looking to refocus and enjoy the world while they’re financially stable and capable enough to indulge.
But what about that other tool of exploration – working. It may not sound as glamourous as a year trekking the globe on a self-funded trip, but there are certainly up sides to answering those overseas nanny jobs and English teacher ads!
1. It teaches Independence (like it or not)
Working abroad – it’s not a picnic. Even high paying, exciting jobs with great support networks like nannying jobs abroad (e.g. Moscow) and ski resort jobs can be difficult in terms of things like homesickness and culture shock.
Those on a non-working trip can move along to a new place, but workers have to hunker down and sort themselves out independently.
2. Comfort Zone Living isn’t Healthy (especially for the Millennial Generation!)
The millennial generation is the first truly global generation. Want to see what a street looks like in Barcelona? Google it. Want to watch a traditional Japanese fire walking festival? Head to YouTube.
The internet makes it easier than ever to see anything and everything from the comfort of the sofa. But that’s not necessarily a great thing. Not experiencing an event first hand can be very desensitising. It decreases empathy and comparative perspective. Experiences like child care jobs abroad, English teaching and sports instruction tend to be packed with out-of-the-comfort-zone experiences.
3. It Forces the Movement of a Nation and the Evolution of Personal Viewpoints
Moving to a new culture and society hierarchy instantly changes everything in terms of perspective. In terms of working, the new society is being accessed as a worker, not a tourist. The tourist trail in most countries is heavily sanitised and not usually representative of real life.
4. It teaches Humility, Empathy and Compassion
Traditions and societal norms change from place to place. No one is truly more important than anyone else. The sense of humility that comes from working abroad – really in a culture – will be invaluable for life.
5. Employers Love a little Global Experience
This is two-fold. Firstly, an applicant who has worked abroad demonstrates capability, independence, bravery, networking capabilities and adaptability – all great points as far as any employer is concerned. And secondly, they’ve probably got it out of their system. Employers are always keen to take people on who will be committed to the role. They don’t want someone with no life experience who might be a flight risk in a couple of years time (after they’ve invested in training and development!)
Libby Carins is a well-travelled sushi fan who’s worked all over the place as an English tutor, nanny and personal assistant. When she’s not explaining the difference between ‘who’ and ‘whom’ she writes for various blogs, including governess agency Bonne International.