As my college graduation approached earlier this year, most conversations revolved around career paths. After tossing their caps, many of my friends planned to move to the city and start working at Adobe, Oracle, or Google. The few without jobs lined up were hopeful their next job interview would be their last.
It was engrained in our young brains that after college you start a career. It’s a no brainer, right? We go to school so we can get a job until we retire.
Despite this cultural norm, a few months ago, I said a big “no thank you” to this typical post-college path. Why do I have to rush into the rest of my life? I hustled through school to get here and finally have the time to take a deep breath. I finally have the confidence to make decisions for myself.
So, much to my mom’s dismay, I booked a one-way flight to New Zealand instead of applying for the entry-level jobs that most post-grads go after. While there are many reasons for starting a career right after college, here are my four reasons for focusing on my passport more than my resume right now.
1. If not now, when?
This is the first time in my life that I don’t feel tied to anything. There is no one dictating my life and no one is relying on me yet.
With an overwhelming sense of freedom, I am empowered to figure out what I want to do with my life. By postponing a career, I avoid feeling trapped in the wrong field. I will narrow my ideas of what I want to do so I can fully commit to a job in a meaningful way.
There are few times in life we are given the opportunity for dramatic change, but the present is the best time to act. Now is time to do what you want to do.
2. To experience new things
I grew up in a small bubble town and went to college in a slightly larger bubble town.
The world is so big and I want to push my comfort zone and be exposed to new things. Travelling introduces new cultures, ideas, and lifestyles. It is important to be a global citizen and be involved in the community at large. Going to new places and meeting new people is a great way to learn about our world.
I can’t wait to soak it all in and see that the best life for me might be a way of life that I never would have considered. With the working holiday visa, I’ll have jobs I like and jobs I won’t like. The only way to know what is best for ourselves is by trying out many options.
3. To learn about yourself
All through college, I constantly talked about travel and adventure and living life to the fullest. But only on weekends was I able to live that way, and even then there was always something to do. There was always a test to study for, an essay to write, a friend to catch up with, an email to send.
Now I get to actually take the adventures I’ve been wanting for so long. If I jumped right into a career, I’d be postponing this desire even longer. I’m sure I’ll change along the way, but only by taking this risk can I find out who I truly want to be.
Through new experiences, we learn what we like and don’t like. By putting yourself out there and trying something new, you learn about yourself to a much greater depth.
4. To be happy!
A lot of what we do is determined by how much it costs or other people’s opinions. But I want to do what makes me happy! I don’t need the best job, lots of money, and a perfect house to be happy. I don’t want to wait until retirement to do what I love.
Not everything we do has to go on a resume to forward our career. What about forwarding ourselves? What about making decisions for the sole reason of enjoyment and happiness?
Why it’s a Great Idea to Fill Your Passport Before Filling Your Resume #travel
Travelling is one of the best teachers. We learn how to be patient and courageous when things go wrong, the importance of being kind, the necessity of trust and teamwork, how to be street smart. It provides a platform to understand yourself on a much deeper level. And the better you know yourself, the more you know what you want to commit to and the happier you are.
Future employers will look for these qualities, too. So despite the intrinsic value of these lessons, they could help me start a career in the future. Even though I’m focusing on filling my passport now, my resume (and myself) are simultaneously benefitting.
Image source: unsplash.com
What do you think? Is experiencing the world through travel a higher priority than starting a career?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.