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Not Sure of Your Next Career Move? Take a Trip.

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When I haven’t been recording 30 half-hour lessons on travel hacking, I’ve been reading a lot of survey notes and conducting interviews for my next book.

Something struck me as I glanced through the notes over the weekend. I’ve been paying attention to how people transition between different careers or jobs, and I’ve noticed a recurring theme.

Here’s an example, from Lacey in Indiana:

“I had just booked a trip to the Amazon when I received the news of my layoff. It was a bummer—I didn’t love the job and wanted to find something better, but I wasn’t quite prepared to be unemployed. Looking for something better was socially acceptable, but telling my parents I had lost my job felt marginalizing.

Then there was the matter of the trip. Should I go? My first thought was: I have to cancel that. Why would I take a vacation when I was unemployed?

But I’d already booked it, and much of it was paid for. I figured it wouldn’t make much of a difference if I was gone for six extra days, so I took that flight and had a great time.

I also received a lot of clarity while I was in Brazil. I realized I’d been afraid to ask for what I wanted, and I’d taken the mediocre job because, well, that’s what you’re supposed to do.

I set my sights higher and started emailing around, posting on LinkedIn, etc. After I came home, I had two interviews the following month. There were still some days of uncertainty—and I never showed the trip photos to my family, who questioned why I’d travel without a job waiting on the other side—but I was eventually offered a totally different kind of full-time position. I’ve just started and it’s going well. I’m glad to be doing something different, and I’m also glad I traveled.”

Isn’t that interesting? Maybe if you aren’t sure of your next career move, you should take a trip.

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Image: Mariusz

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