When asked as a child, “what do you want to be when you grow up” what was your response?
A teacher? A surf instructor? A farmer?
At the age of 27, I still can’t answer this question. I suspect I am not the only one and eventually many people settle for jobs that they don’t feel inspired by simply to pay the rent or make their parents happy.
However, I have found Workaway an incredible way to help me figure out what it is I love to do and in many ways, figure out what I do not want to do for a future career. It is the perfect experience to "test drive" your dream role. Whether it’s a chef, a surf instructor, a carpenter, yoga teacher or for me, it was running a glamping site and being my own boss.
Workaway is the perfect opportunity to confirm what you really want to do (if you already have ideas in mind) but also explore several options if you are unsure what your dream role may be. At this time of year, there will be many people graduating and unsure of their next steps - perhaps you are one of those people?
For added uncertainty, 2020 also had the devastating COVID-19 pandemic which not only resulted in redundancies across the world, but many people reconsidering their future, recognising life is too short to be stuck in an unfulfilling career.
Here’s how Workaway can help you figure it all out:
Learn From Experts in the Field -- For Free!
It’s no secret university or college is expensive and it is a privilege not everyone can afford. With Workaway, you learn from experts without paying for a costly course. Instead, you will gain hands-on experience which will prove invaluable, not to mention the ability to develop skills which many universities or institutions don’t even offer such as beekeeping, winemaking or permaculture.
Furthermore, devoting 4 years of your life to a subject at university is also a huge commitment – Workaway is an ideal way to test your future role BEFORE committing to the expense and time of a degree. For example, you may discover a hidden passion for photography, or that you’re an amazing cook so spending 4 years studying engineering is no longer for you.
Personally, my degree is in Fashion Communications but I found the competitiveness of the fashion industry and the wastefulness of fast fashion did not align with my values. I left my role with a fashion brand in London to experience my first Workaway on a glamping site in Switzerland and never looked back. Thanks to these hosts, I realised I wanted to be surrounded by nature (instead of clothes!) every day and that running my own business instead of working long hours for someone else would prove more rewarding. If only I’d known about Workaway before university, I may have chosen my degree differently – or not at all.
The World is Your Oyster
Your job options may be restricted due to your location. For example, you may dream of working with a turtle sanctuary but you live in rainy Ireland, you may dream of working on an olive farm but you live in snowy Canada.
Workaway means the world is your oyster – you can experience these opportunities and learn more about what your dream role involves, before relocating and committing fully. Not only will it save you money and time, but by living with other people who do the job every day, you will learn far more than you would from a classroom or through a computer screen.
It Will Boost Your CV
If you are struggling to find your dream role advertised at the moment, search for similar opportunities
via Workaway. This will allow you to gain some experience in the meantime which will put you ahead of the competition when a role pops up
. Although degrees and courses can help boost your CV, employers often value experience most, with bonus points if that experience was overseas!
For example, your dream role may be a marketing assistant or graphic designer. By using these keywords in the Workaway Host Search box
, there are endless opportunities of hostels, animal sanctuaries, yoga retreats
and farms looking for social media help, photography assistance and creative Workawayers.
This experience will show potential employers you thought outside the box and didn’t just sit there waiting for your dream role to find you – you went out and made it happen!
There are opportunities you never even knew existed
We often grow up thinking “work” means 9-5 Monday to Friday until we retire. Whether it's parents or peers we are surrounded by “normal” jobs and it can be difficult to make the decision to escape the norm and aspire to be something different.
Not only does Workaway mean you can ditch the dull daily grind, but it shows you should never settle for a mediocre role. As a wise person once said, if you choose a job you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.
It will help you discover what that job may be
, for example - you can help convert campervans in Australia, pick grapes in a vineyard in New Zealand, play with puppies all day at a sanctuary in Greece, teach English to children in Russia, run yoga retreats in Jamaica. The options really are endless.
You can work through the night, only two days a week, early mornings or enjoy long lies – just because everyone else you know accepts a 9 to 5 career doesn’t mean you need to also and there is a host to show you how.
It's not forever
You may have an idea of your dream role, you may have even seen it advertised but until you actually start it’s very hard to gauge what you will need to give to the role and what you will ultimately gain. Unfortunately, companies do not offer a trial run after you accept a position but view Workaway as your opportunity to do just that.
Hosts usually ask for a short commitment, anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months or more, whereas your employer is expecting you to stay for the long haul. This means you have an end date and it’s much easier to leave, continue travelling or return home. With a full-time role, you’ve signed up permanently and this is far more difficult.
This also means within the space of a year or two, you can sample several ways of life from running a farm to running a hostel, glamping to graphic design. All while living with people who do these jobs, so you can quiz them along the way and develop your skills as you go.
Your future is more than just a job
Workaway has also taught me that in answer to “what do you want to be when you grow up?” it should be more than just a job. What you want to be should mean you as a person – do you want to have friends in countries all over the world? Do you want to be vegetarian perhaps? Do you want to be able to speak a different language? Do you want to be able to enter a room and strike up a conversation with a stranger and not feel shy or silly?
Workaway helped me “be” all of those things as well as provide a stepping stone to figuring out my future. These are all transferable skills which will not only provide extra bullet points on your CV
, but more importantly help you grow as a person. These experiences, traits and talents can’t be found on your doorstep - you sometimes need a little nudge to go find them
. Consider Workaway that nudge.
Are you ready for the next step?
Whether you had it all figured out at 15 or you’re still figuring it out at 30 there is no career rule book
. We get it, choosing to travel instead of the conventional career route can sound daunting but a stepping stone like Workaway can provide invaluable skills, connections and experiences to make your job journey far more rewarding
. Family and friends will possibly question your choice, but hopefully, the points above will provide some food for thought. They may even be persuaded to join you on your quest as they too, still don’t know what they want to be when they grow up.