A New Job
This article originally appeared in Issue 15 of NomadHead Travel Magazine.
It’s been a while since I’ve blogged on NomadHead and now I’ve got so much to update you on! There has been life changing moments, massive decisions made and the road less travelled has definitely been taken.
I quit my previous job of working in the advertising industry. It had been my first foray into the corporate world and I had worked there since being a young, green graduate. I’d worked up to being an account manager and my main client was the wonderful Tourism Australia. Imagine that – sitting at a desk all day looking at gorgeous images of beaches and outback. Certainly a job to get the travel bug itching again. Check out their latest TV commercial here to get an idea of what I mean. Could you resist?
One day I decided a sea change was in order. The advertising industry wasn’t doing it for me anymore and although I wasn’t sure where I wanted to work I knew I had to get out. If I didn’t instigate the leave I knew it would be easy to get stuck. So on a Monday evening I handed in my four weeks’ notice.
It was kind of like this meme, except it wasn’t Thursday and I wouldn’t be needing those files again.
The first week of my notice was spent getting high fives from colleagues as they congratulated me for bucking the trend and changing career paths. It was all ‘good on you for doing what you want to do’ and ‘I wish I’d done that when I was younger’.
Then came the inevitable question: “So what are you going to do now?”
And I spent the next three weeks of my notice stressing balls. There was no back up job prepared and no plan on how to solve my looming Sydney-expensive rent. I turned to everyone’s good friend Google and typed in ‘travel jobs’.
Yes, travel was the direction I wanted to head in. Probably not too surprising for anyone who knows me or has happened to get stuck in a conversation with me about my adventures around the world. I didn’t have any particular role in mind and – given my desperate situation – I was willing to take anything.
I even visited a Travel Expo in Sydney and spoke to different agents and former guides about any opportunities. I left with a bagful of brochures and felt overwhelmed by the huge number of travel companies out there.
Back online, I scoured the web for potential work. There were sales desk jobs, operations roles, English teaching roles. Applying for any job is always a daunting experience as you can feel under qualified or not having a snowballs chance in hell.
What stood out for me were the guiding roles. I had experience with being in leadership positions and had already travelled to many of the countries on offer. I had nothing to lose, so I fired off emails in every direction. Even to the one where they needed a Trans Siberian express guide. Yep, I was open to working in the vast plains of Mongolia, China and Russia.
Fortunately, very fortunately, I passed the initial resume and cover letter stage for an awesome travel company called Busabout. They are based in Europe and primarily operate a hop on, hop off bus system, as well as package adventures. Busabout were expanding into Asia and needed adventure guides for Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. [Check out the different Asian trips they run here] This was great news for me given I’d been travelling this area since 2000.
One three-minute video and an interview later, I’d scored myself a new job as a tour guide for Busabout in South East Asia.
So the reason NomadHead has been on a brief (!) hiatus is because I’ve had a whirlwind past couple of months with training and taking my first passengers on tours. It’s been a blast so far and I’ve got plenty of incredible stories and new info to share with you.
Will, Chief NomadHead.
Have you ever changed life paths or done something a little unexpected? We’d love to hear about it. Let us know in the comments below!