AA7295
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To Work.... Or To Travel? Your Help Needed!

Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:06 am

I have a very big decision to make and would love to have some fellow A.netters opinions and input.

I am 22, and I have been working for the past year as a marketing graduate for one of the world’s largest fast moving consumer goods companies here in Melbourne, Australia. My graduate contract was due to run out at the end of the year, at which time I was planning on travelling the world for a period of one year. After all, travel is a passion of mine, and I am dying to travel the world in one big bang!

I have been planning the “big” trip for the past 5 months and have researched everything from accommodation and activities to vaccinations and visas. All that was left to do was purchase the oneworld explorer ticket (which I haven’t).

Last week my work offered me an extension of my graduate program contract until the end of 2010. I’m both thrilled and upset at the same time, because I have really been anticipating going overseas for a year, but at the same time I am so passionate about having a long-term career with this company and it obviously complimentary of my work ethic. My issue is, if I accept this extension, it pretty much means that the company would like to invest in me, however also, I may never get the opportunity to take one year off to go travelling as I would progress further and further into my career and the further you progress, the harder it is to just stop.

The other factor is age. By the time I finish the extended contract, and if, hopefully I decided to travel, I would be 23. Then travel the world for a year and a bit.... I would come back to the workforce at age 24 or 25 with only 2.5 years worth of graduate experience. What sounds better that, or coming back at age 23 or 24 with only 1.5 year worth of marketing experience?

Also, part of the reason I want to travel, is I really want to live overseas... at least once! However I don’t know whether I want to live in New York, London, Los Angeles, Singapore, Amsterdam, wherever, and I think that that younger I leave for overseas, the better chance I have of feeling the enchantment of the world and gauging whether I feel it would be a city for me to live in.

What does everyone think? Would you go? Or would you stay? And why? Any tips or hints you can provide would be greatly appreciated!
 
offloaded
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RE: To Work.... Or To Travel? Your Help Needed!

Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:22 pm

Given the fact that this company would like to invest in you is a big compliment, especially in todays economic environment. The world will still be there in 12 months time and I'm sure you will have all of the same passion about it then. Of course you might end up having to post this same question in a years time! I don't think you need to be concerned about being trapped on the corporate treadmill at 23. Perhaps if you do accept the additional year, during the year see where the land lies and perhaps you could get the company to hold a position open for you when you return. Travel broadens the mind, and I think most companies would see this as an asset.

It is a pleasure to see someone of your age focused and with half a clue of what's what. Well done.
To no one will we sell, or deny, or delay, right or justice - Magna Carta, 1215
 
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cpd
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RE: To Work.... Or To Travel? Your Help Needed!

Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:28 pm



Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
Last week my work offered me an extension of my graduate program contract until the end of 2010. I’m both thrilled and upset at the same time, because I have really been anticipating going overseas for a year, but at the same time I am so passionate about having a long-term career with this company and it obviously complimentary of my work ethic. My issue is, if I accept this extension, it pretty much means that the company would like to invest in me, however also, I may never get the opportunity to take one year off to go travelling as I would progress further and further into my career and the further you progress, the harder it is to just stop.

Work. They've given you an extension - stick with it. Then try to get yourself in there full-time permanent - build up heaps of LSL, and then do your travelling, with pay at the same time.  Smile

Well, maybe that's possible - I wouldn't know, it's been so long since I've worked private sector. Long time public service for me.  Smile
 
KINDFlyer
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RE: To Work.... Or To Travel? Your Help Needed!

Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:24 pm



Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
I’m both thrilled and upset at the same time, because I have really been anticipating going overseas for a year, but at the same time I am so passionate about having a long-term career with this company and it obviously complimentary of my work ethic

If you are passionate about a career with this company, I believe accepting their offer is a wise course of action. The ability to work for an outstanding organization in a capacity that you truly enjoy is a rare opportunity. Seize it. The world will always be there for you to explore.....perhaps not in calendar year increments, but it will be there.

The above being said, I'd offer a caveat. Should you accept this position and begin a career, be mindful not to push your dreams too far onto the backburner. Travel. Explore. I'm certain there are more than a handful of us that can attest to delaying our adventures with the thought that we'd get around to them later only to find that later never came.
This isn't flying. This is falling.....with style.
 
signol
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RE: To Work.... Or To Travel? Your Help Needed!

Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:08 pm

Is there any way you could speak to the employer, explain that you'd like to go travelling, but would still like to work for the company - could they hold the position for a year? If they really want you, they'll do it. Otherwise, can you accept a position starting in maybe a month or 2, and do a short version of your big trip, then each year take a month off (all annual leave in one go) and do it in stages?

signol
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AA7295
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RE: To Work.... Or To Travel? Your Help Needed!

Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:35 pm

Thank you all so much for your responses! Some good tips and information to think about it.

Quoting Offloaded (Reply 1):
Of course you might end up having to post this same question in a years time!

This is my fear! I'm so passionate about a career, I might not know what to do. What is worse rejected an extension of a graduate program. Or in a year's time, rejecting an Associate Brand Manager position? Also, what is a better age to travel at..... 22 or 23. I know it's only a years difference, but I have definetely seen how mature I have gotten from 21 and 22. As silly as this sounds, I do not want to lose my juvenile innocense while going travelling. I think you look at the world at a different angle when you are younger.

Quoting KINDFlyer (Reply 3):
I'm certain there are more than a handful of us that can attest to delaying our adventures with the thought that we'd get around to them later only to find that later never came.

I'm worried about this too! After all travel is one of my greatest passions too! While my colleagues are spending their money on the latest fashion trends and dining at the most expensive restauraunts, I've been saving big time for the past year and even sold my car. Obviously as 22, I do not have an infinite amount of money, but I've saved quite a bit, and have dual citizenship so I can work anywhere in Europe.

Quoting Signol (Reply 4):
Is there any way you could speak to the employer, explain that you'd like to go travelling, but would still like to work for the company - could they hold the position for a year?

This is the thing..... that's all I pretty much talk about! I'm shocked that they would think that travel means so little to me and that I would drop my plans at the drop of a hat.

Despite my company being a pleasant company to work for. I am not naive, I am always replaceable and should I leave now..... I will always be regarding as the man who rejected the opportunity to progress  Sad
 
melpax
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RE: To Work.... Or To Travel? Your Help Needed!

Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:36 am

You might end up travelling with your job, perhaps even an overseas posting depending on who you work for. You could always ask for unpaid leave later on if that's an accepted thing in your company. I'm a public servant as well, we've just had someone come back from 2 years unpaid leave to do the London thing. We also have a 'sabbatical year' option as well, where you get paid 80% of your salary for 4 years, then take the 5th year off on paid leave.
Essendon - Whatever it takes......
 
Stealthz
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RE: To Work.... Or To Travel? Your Help Needed!

Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:13 am

AA,
From what I read so far, if I was in your position I would take their offer and stay on a while.

-Nothing wrong with a bit of experience, will help you get a meaningful role if & when you do decide to move OS.

-Opportunity, you imply this is a global company(must be, few Oz companies can truly call themselves one of the worlds largest FMCG companies) your training, some experience and your dual nationality may be the key to overseas postings within your company. If there is anything better than travel, it is travel on someone else's dime!

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 5):
As silly as this sounds, I do not want to lose my juvenile innocense while going travelling. I think you look at the world at a different angle when you are younger.

I understand this but there is a lot to be said for a little bit of experience and worldliness, my first extended World trip, I was 33 met and travelled with lots of early 20's, pretty sure I had a different experience to them... life is not all YHA and bread/cheese rolls!!

A former colleague of mine is a senior manager for an IT company in Paris, he is 34.
His first OS posting was for a different IT company in Denmark at about 25-6, he parlayed his skills and availability(a danish wife) and planning,- he discussed his career path with the company and worked it through.

I would suggest discussing your career path within the company, if a major multinational you likely have contacts overseas, develop those.
If you cannot find someone overseas to mentor you, look locally but a couple of caveats there. Look for someone that has served the company overseas or an expat currently working for the company in Australia. The concern is if you try to get a local corporate "drone" to assist you they may see you as a glory seeker and actually work against you.

Good luck...

Chris
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
 
airtrainer
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RE: To Work.... Or To Travel? Your Help Needed!

Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:06 pm

Hi, I would say work for now, save again and do some extra researches to make the big trip even more exciting in 2011  Wink
Life is short : eat dessert first !
 
varigb707
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RE: To Work.... Or To Travel? Your Help Needed!

Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:28 pm

Renew your contract, and work until the end of 2010. You'll have more time to get prepared for your 'world tour'. Also, it's an opportunity to save some extra dough.
Enjoy your travel!  thumbsup 
First, I said 'hey' and then I said 'now'. "Hey Now!" - Hank K.
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: To Work.... Or To Travel? Your Help Needed!

Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:54 pm



Quoting AA7295 (Reply 5):
Also, what is a better age to travel at..... 22 or 23. I know it's only a years difference, but I have definetely seen how mature I have gotten from 21 and 22. As silly as this sounds, I do not want to lose my juvenile innocense while going travelling. I think you look at the world at a different angle when you are younger.

I'd say at this time in your life, one year isn't going to make a lot of difference. In my opinion, it's not so much your age which influences your travelling innocence, but your experiences through the places you have been, the lessons learnt, and the knowhow gained. I first started taking myself off travelling when I was 15, gradually building up longer and longer trips which get more and more adventurous - but I still don't feel any different when I go somewhere completely new now than when I did years ago. If anything I'm less foolish, and that is no bad thing when travelling in foreign places, although conversely I've also discovered my preference for leaving the guidebook at home - I've seen so many people wandering around cities with their heads in a book, dashing from ancient wonder to memorial sites, but completely ignoring everything inbetween. To think that this is supposidly 'independant' travel, all it's doing is following in the footsteps of thousands of other people who also bought the book...
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
 
A332
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RE: To Work.... Or To Travel? Your Help Needed!

Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:16 pm

Work now, save up and travel in the near future... sounds like a good plan.

Or... you could just use Google Earth & Street View and 'travel' the world without leaving the comfort of your home...  Wink
Bad spellers of the world... UNTIE!
 
AA7295
Topic Author
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RE: To Work.... Or To Travel? Your Help Needed!

Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:01 pm



Quoting Melpax (Reply 6):
You might end up travelling with your job, perhaps even an overseas posting depending on who you work for. You could always ask for unpaid leave later on if that's an accepted thing in your company. I'm a public servant as well, we've just had someone come back from 2 years unpaid leave to do the London thing. We also have a 'sabbatical year' option as well, where you get paid 80% of your salary for 4 years, then take the 5th year off on paid leave.

I like this idea.... however with the company I work for... everyone is replaceabe, and while it is a good sign that they want to keep me on board. I know for a fact that they wouldn't inconvenience themselves to benefit me.

Quoting StealthZ (Reply 7):
-Opportunity, you imply this is a global company(must be, few Oz companies can truly call themselves one of the worlds largest FMCG companies) your training, some experience and your dual nationality may be the key to overseas postings within your company. If there is anything better than travel, it is travel on someone else's dime!

This could be true, but I don't think many FMCGs would send their 2nd year grads overseas. Certainly not my company.


It's such a hard decision. My heart is saying go (because I'm so passionate about backpacking the world for a year) but my head is saying take the new job (because of the passion to have a career with this company).


I sort of wish the opportunity was never presented to me and that I could have continued on my way of travelling!!!!!!

Has anyone ever been in a similar dilemma.... what decision did you make?
 
iairallie
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RE: To Work.... Or To Travel? Your Help Needed!

Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:43 pm

Tell them of your plans. Explain you feel those experiences would serve to make you an even more valuable asset to the company and ask if they can either postpone the offer until you get back or agree to let you follow your dream at a later point. If they say no and you really really feel that it is worth it to take the travel over a potential career with an employer you enjoy working for (I promise you this is rare) then I suggest letting them know how flattered you are by the offer and how much you have enjoyed your time with the company. However, You would regret not following through on your travel plans too much. Lastly I would tell them that you hope they will consider you for any openings they might have when you return from your travels.
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
 
rwsea
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RE: To Work.... Or To Travel? Your Help Needed!

Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:45 am

I consider myself to have a similar passion for travel as what you describe, but I wasn't motivated as early on as you are. I took some shorter trips to Europe (2 weeks, etc.) throughout college, but was focused on getting a job right out of college. I was able to get a good one, and I've been with my Company for 5 years now. There is the classic dilemma - where in college you have relatively lots of time but little money. Now I can easily afford such a trip, but time off is more the issue. I am lucky to have 5 weeks of vacation plus another two weeks of holidays that are essentially vacation days. The thing is, that hard work over the past years paid off because I'm now an expat living in Amsterdam and basically every weekend is a mini-vacation somewhere in Europe, which was a long-time goal for me. At the same time, I've been able to squeeze in several shorter trips over the last couple of years (Vietnam, Costa Rica, Egypt, Rome, Hawaii, etc.). There are times when traveling that I wish I had done a trip as you describe, but I'm also thrilled with my current situation and realize that I can't necessarily have it all once.

In your situation I'd go for the extension. It's only a year, and you can reevaluate if they do indeed want you back. Maybe you could do a 6-month trek instead of a year if they do. I also think that if you did take time off, it would be easier to find a new job with 2.5 years of experience rather than 1.5 years.

Also, many companies offer paid sabbaticals. For instance, my Company is offering sabbaticals at the moment where you still get full benefits and 20% of your salary for up to 6-months off. I was actually going to take advantage of this until I heard that my transfer came through.

Anyway, rambling a bit, but I think there's a couple key points. Your travel experience a year or two from now won't be significantly different. You can always take time off from work, and maximize your vacation time for additional trips. Take a trip to Europe, then a trip to North America, etc. and you can piece that dream trip together. And worse case scenario, you have another year of experience under your belt and more money to take that trip next year!
 
AA7295
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RE: To Work.... Or To Travel? Your Help Needed!

Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:56 am

Sooooo....

For those of you that gave your opinion to take the job....

I just accepted.

Let's just hope it was the right decision to make!

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