Before I started to travel the world, I was warned that this could affect my career. But I was actually never worried about that. Until lately, when I started to think that if I had stayed in Norway, I would most likely have a good paid job a long time ago.
However, it might not be sure that I would have my dream job by now. I know that within my field in “Development Management”, it is very hard to find a job in Norway. Many of the people I studied with have tried to find a relevant job for over three years now, and have applied to over 200 jobs. But they have not gotten anything, and are still unemployed. Actually very few of the ones I studied my master’s degree with have relevant jobs, and all of them are well travelled.
However, I have tried to do my best to combine travels with work, thinking about my career. While living abroad I have gotten a lot of work experience in my field. Who would for example have given the position as a director for a whole foundation to a person that just finished her master degree? In Norway this would never happen! But here in Bolivia I got the chance to lead a whole organization by myself for 1, 5 years. Furthermore, I have worked in development projects in New York, Nigeria, and India.
In few months I will move back to Norway. I need to look for a job, and I know this will not be easy. I am a bit nervous, due to the problems my fellow students have had getting a job. I also tried getting a job for a short while being home last summer, and I did not succeed getting a 100 % job, just part-time. I got a couple of interviews for some very good jobs, but my impression was that they were afraid I did not want to stay in Norway, and wanted to go out and discover the world again. I felt like all the travelling was hold against me, that they thought I was not able to settle. Sometimes I think that maybe staying in Norway with a job there, could have helped me more than the jobs I have had in other countries to get these jobs I interviewed for .
Other times I think the opposite, as I know all the positive things travelling have given me. And if the people hiring knew the actual positive effects of hiring a well-travelled person or a person that have lived abroad, they should hire us all!
As written before in this blog, it is proved by researchers that we are more friendly, open minded and emotional stable, than people that do not travel. Furthermore we are smarter, and make better decisions. In addition travelers seems to be more adaptable, confident and independent. And now it is found that we expats are more creative as well.
I hope that the employers will see all of this, and that this will help me to land a good job in Norway as soon as I am back. Because for me it is now time to settle there, and just travel whenever there are vacations. However, I try to not worry too much, and just hope that everything will be sorted out.
Do you think travelling hurt or help your career? Why?