As the end of the calendar year looms so do our planned travels and the pot of money we set aside to support them. Despite Fiona’s recent success pick up sticks with our host family in Shiraz, it seems unlikely she’ll be able to go pro. So, we’re starting to look for more conventional forms of employment for 2015.
We’ve decided to roll the dice and see if we can find some work overseas. We’re interested in new challenges and the buzz of a big city. We’re also conscious that we’ll probably never find it as easy to break ties to home for a while. We’ve neither a mortgage nor kids to keep us fixed in place.
We’re finding that looking for work overseas is a very different proposition to looking in New Zealand:
- We’re much less likely to know the employer, or even someone who works for them. Our applications are the job hunt equivalent of cold calling.
- Small countries like generalists who can turn their hand to new problems as they emerge and that’s how we’ve been conditioned. Big countries expect specialists.
- We find it hard to fit ourselves into the kinds of boxes that recruiters like to draw. We’re neither IT specialists, management accountants nor engineers and we’re yet to see an advertisement for a specialist in sloths, flight booking and travel blogging.
- When location isn’t a given the range of possibilities is almost impossibly large, and that can be dizzying.
- Immigration laws bite. That said, as New Zealanders we are lucky to have a relatively of wide range of places where visas aren’t tricky. Certainly things are harder if you’re Iranian.
We’re currently casting a wide net, and trying to leverage every connection we have. And to that end we’d be very grateful to any readers or our blog who thought of anyone useful with whom they might put us in touch. For the record
- Joe is looking to work somewhere where government and commercial worlds collide. That might be a regulated or government owned business, consulting, or in a government itself. Experience is here.
- Fiona is looking for work as a social policy economist. That might be within government, a think-tank or other NGO. Experience is here.
But more than that if you’re a regular reader of our blog you probably have a better idea of what would fit for us than any description we can give. So we’re open to your ideas and suggestions. And yes, we will work almost anywhere.
The job hunt juggle
Even though our job search has only just begun we’re already experiencing its impact on our travels. It is harder to peruse Persian ruins when you’re preoccupied with the cover letter you need to write that night. Iran has been an especially frustrating place to kick things off. Internet is frigid. Skype is impossible.
Thinking about what is next also has the unavoidable implication of realising that our travels are not indefinite, and will be over sooner rather than later. I always get to a stage in trips where time seems to be running out and I start to wonder how I will look back on what I have experienced, and how I will package the entirety of the journey into sound bites and pleasantries that will inevitably be required when I get home.
The truth is the value of travel doesn’t become apparent immediately. It seeps out into your everyday life. Memories and anecdotes are relevant in unexpected places. You look at something in your own society in a new way. And everything you do, including and especially your work, is informed by a richer diversity of experience.