There’s good news for all you armchair travelers and travel addicts: your itch to explore the world could become more than just a hobby.
If you’ve always dreamed of sipping your morning coffee in an Italian café or closing deals in a Japanese skyscraper, these 8 tips will help make your dreams a reality:
STEP ONE: Analyze Yourself
Knowing your skill set is the first step to finding any job, but especially one that could take you halfway around the world and put you outside your comfort zone.
Are you a people person or do you prefer to work alone? Are you good at managing multiple tasks or do you find yourself fixated on finishing one goal at a time?
Doing a personal evaluation will put you on the right path to finding your dream travel job.
STEP TWO: Assess Your Options
Once you’ve nailed down what you’re good at, it’s time to match your skills with viable job opportunities in the travel sector.
If you’re a good planner and organizer, you might make a good travel advisor. If you’re a people person, you might be the ideal candidate for a career in the hospitality business. If you’ve always been a grammar nerd, your interests may lead you to a job as an ESL teacher.
Travel careers range from business and economics to writing and photography, so don’t rule out any possibilities at this early stage.
If you’re a good planner and organizer, you might make a good travel advisor. Photo by
STA Travel Central Europe.
STEP THREE: Decide How You Want to Travel
How often do you want to travel? Do you want a job that calls for travel but is based in the States, or one that requires you to live abroad?
Do you want to establish a life in one country or change locations frequently? Knowing the answers to these questions will help narrow your job search.
STEP FOUR: Get Some Real Experience
Getting some relevant experience in a travel-related field will provide you with two benefits: 1) It will bolster your resume and 2) It will help you assess whether or not the job is right for you.
If you’re a student, look for an internship abroad. If you’re already employed, try to spare a few afternoons or evenings to job shadow or volunteer within the travel sector.
At the very least, find someone who already works in the industry who can help answer your questions and give advice.
STEP FIVE: Do a Recce Mission
Many people accept careers abroad only to find the transient life is not for them. The best way to assess whether you’re cut out for a career in travel is to pack your suitcases and plan a short vacation.
But it’s not enough to merely visit your country of choice; you’ll also need to gather information about what an average day is like for the people who live there: what are the neighborhoods like? How much money will you need to earn to maintain a quality standard of living? etc.
Added bonuses: prior travel experience will make you more attractive to future employers and provide you with some valuable networking opportunities.
If you’ve always been a grammar nerd, your interests may lead you to a job as an English teacher overseas. Photo by treesftf.
STEP SIX: Make Sure You Have the Training You Need
Travel jobs sometimes require special skill sets beyond the ones you’ve already acquired. You might knowledge of the the local language, have a degree in a related field, or obtain special certifications.
One common example is the TEFL certification for teaching English as a second language.
Make sure you understand what employers are looking for before you think about applying; it will save both you and the prospective employer valuable time.
STEP SEVEN: Leave No Site unBrowsed
So, you’re finally ready to search for a travel job but you don’t know where to start.
Online newspapers are a good resource, as they publish classified ads on a daily basis and are often more reputable than other websites.
Most countries also have online “expatriate communities” where employers can post job opportunities for native English speakers. These communities can also provide a medium to network with other expats, who may be able to give you some inside leads on job opportunities.
If you’ve got your sights set on a specific company, send in your resume even if no jobs are posted on their website: you never know when there might be an opening!
If you’re a people person, you might be a good candidate for a career in the hospitality business. Photo by Hotel Brunelleschi Firenze.
STEP EIGHT: Believe!
Finding your dream job in travel can be an exhausting process, but don’t let it stress you out. Limit your job search to just a few hours a day and maintain a positive attitude. Your hard work is sure to pay off.
Envisage yourself jetting off to the job of your dreams: once you see it you can reach it!
Are you working in your dream travel job right now? How did you do it? Let me know in the comments!
If you liked this, you might also like: Breaking into Full-time Travel Writing: the Harsh Realities Laid Bare.
Main image: a career as an air hostess or pilot was once the obvious travel perk job but there are many more opportunities available. Photo by Peter Grevstad.