Time and time again people mention travelling as one of the best things you can do to learn about life, yourself, what makes you happy & how to get there.
But do hiring managers, IT recruiters or potential employers view travelling as a positive?
I think it gives you perspective, especially after travelling in developing countries, learning how little people need to have an honest living, with smiles & taking joy from the small things, and sharing a meal with their family & friends.
How do you know what good looks like? I found it gave me a great perspective, allowing me to realise how good we have it here in New Zealand.
Understanding the cool things about how different cultures do things, taking some of their neat ideas, experiencing weird & wonderful food, learning about their history opens your mind to possibilities.
Working in different companies in new countries & cultures across the world also breaks down some of the key fundamentals & requirements to be a great professional & add value. Turning up, putting in an honest days work, being genuine, communicating well, admitting when you screwed up & owning it, working together, to achieve a common goal and enjoying / sharing success together. Learning what ‘good’ and ‘bad’ looks like.
We put it out on Facebook to see what some other professionals thought:
‘Expands the mind through education, opportunities and experiences’. - Nick (Head of Engineering)
‘Travel and working elsewhere has given me a great deal of perspective and insight I would never have gained by staying here (NZ). It’s probably a win for my employers as well, but they certainly don’t value it’. - Sharyn (Programme Manager)
‘All round the world yes opens everyones eyes.’ - Charles (Manager)
‘Personal travel for broadening my mind? Yes critical for business / career.’ - Andrew (Patent Attorney)
‘As someone who went overseas and came back, I'm always looking for other boomerangs as I can see the benefit of my time overseas’. - Ruth (Management Consultant)
I think for me it’s all the amazing people you meet, the opening of your mind to try & do things differently, take on peoples different opinions & perspectives - look at things differently, be dynamic & open to change…and come up with creative solutions to solve problems, sometimes in sticky situations…It also gives you confidence, meeting new people, especially solo backpacking is great for this & so much fun!
For IT professionals, Aussie, London, Europe and the US have been great places to go and work, experiencing a range of different IT projects, domains, companies & cultures. The only problem is sometimes it’s hard to extract yourself and make it back to New Zealand, and now there’s increasing global uncertainty which will have an impact, although to what extent, we’ll have to see.
Both myself & my partner Steph were both in the UK wondering if there were jobs challenging enough back in little old NZ!?!? We were pleasantly surprised with a number of interesting organisations & companies, some exporting interesting products or savvy tech, and that coupled with the kiwi, no hassle lifestyle is so refreshing than the hustle & bustle of some overseas living and to be home close to family & friends is just golden for us.
Not only this but to go back to the original question…do hiring managers, IT recruiters or potential employers view travelling as a positive? Well, it depends! But from my experiences, it can help people to be more open to trying different things and being resourceful, creative & solution orientated and can often be more resilient to roll with the ups & downs. Will it actually improve your career opportunities? Hard to say but you’ll certainly have a great time & learn a lot about yourself which is extremely valuable.
So get out into this amazing world do your OE (Overseas Experience) for a few years and learn stuff, meet life long friends and when you’ve returned and you’re at home in NZ, those travelling memories will be extremely fond (especially for those of us who have wee people in their lives!)
I'd be very interested to know your opinion so please make a comment below :-)
I'm Paul, I love coffee, Founder & Principal Consultant of Sunstone, an IT Recruitment & HR company specialising in recruiting IT roles within software, web, mobile, blockchain, big data, cloud infrastructure, security & networks in Christchurch & South Island of New Zealand.