I went from corporate world to unemployed to career breaker to this.
I really can’t sugar coat that title, it pretty much says it all. But before I make my big announcement, I’d like to share what it has been like for me since coming home from a year of travel.
Reverse culture shock?
Definitely. Don’t get me wrong. Being able to sleep in my own bed and take a reliable shower (with hot water!), to eat my mother’s home cooking, that was nice and felt surprisingly normal. But being home, not working or traveling was something I’m not used to. To hear an accent I actually know and understand well, that was shockingly weird. Driving was weird, or why people drive so erratic and fast. Going into a Safeway or Walmart was weird, or the amount of mayonnaise jars stocked on the shelves. Even returning to a closet full of clothes was simply overwhelming – I wore out of my backpack for a good week before venturing to the closet.
Things were the same but different at the same time. At least, my perspective of things were different. With the exceptions of a few weddings and a couple of new babies popping out, my friends and family were doing the same routine they were doing before I left. Yet a routine was something I wasn’t used to since I was always on the move the year before.
Career breaker seeks job.
The concerns of ones who’ve quit their job or put their career on hold to travel long-term are inevitable. The main one being, “Am I committing career suicide taking this trip?” Will companies see a career break as a person who doesn’t take their work seriously? That was something both Q and I worried when we left.
I’m happy to say, we worried for nothing. I’ve been on a number of interviews and my year of travel was never perceived negatively. Interviewers didn’t have a bad thing to say about travels. In fact, slight envy and a complete understanding as to why I would want to take time off to see this incredible world of ours.
January came and I dove deep into the job hunt. The first full week of job searching was exhausting. Patience was running thin after the second week and I was really tempted to just book a flight to the Philippines to escape the ‘real world’. But I didn’t. Instead, I started to network, hard. I contacted virtually everybody I knew, friends, old boss’, past colleagues, friend of a friend, etc. Anything to get my resume into the right hands.
Not going to lie, finding a job took longer than I expected. I really wanted to be selective on what company I ended up with. The main thing I did not want to do was settle and work somewhere I wouldn’t be passionate about. After the first month with no luck and no interview in sight, I came close to doing just that. To settle. But I didn’t. If there’s anything I’ve learned this past year, is that all things happen for a reason so I knew there was something out there right for me. I just needed to be patient.
Now, I am happy to report, I recently accepted an offer at a big data marketing startup. Surprise! My 540 day weekend ends today.
Today, I start a new and exciting chapter in my career!