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Career Advice

Should I take a Job Where I’m Expected to Travel?

One thing that’s sure to kill the buzz of any occupation is monotony. If you’re doing the same thing in the same surroundings day after day, then frustration and resentment can sometimes result. So it’s probably no surprise that so many of us are tempted by something completely different: something where variety and novelty are part of the job.

But high-travel occupations come with their own set of problems, which you should consider before you decide to take the plunge. Here, we’ll assess a few of the pitfalls. That way, you’ll be able to take the plunge with your eyes open!

What’s the reputation of the company?

Your time on the road will, to a large extent, depend on how you’re treated. If your employer takes into account your travel time when assessing your hours worked, then you’re likely to have a more enjoyable experience than if you’re travelling for hours on end for free.

Do you enjoy travelling?

For some of us, the experience of switching from train to airport and bustling through the duty-free section might be thrilling even at the umpteenth time. If this is you, then the idea of a travelling manager’s job might be just what’s called for. It helps if the place you’re visiting is novel and interesting: it’s a lot easier to get excited about a conference in Paris than it is about one in Milton Keynes.

Can you Cope without People?

Another inherent feature of a travelling worker’s role is that conversation will be lacking – especially if you don’t have any co-workers accompanying you for every trip. You can (and should) take the edge off this by arranging a daily call home (or to a friend) – but still, there’s no getting around the fact that you’ll be spending a lot of time in your own company.

Can you stay healthy?

Travelling, it must be said, makes it easy to fall into bad lifestyle habits. When you’re arriving at your Premier Inn at one in the morning, then the temptation to stop for a McDonalds might well be overwhelming. And the idea of getting up in the morning to do forty minutes exercise before you clock on again might be close to excruciating – especially if you haven’t gotten enough sleep. But this stuff is what will keep you fresh and motivated throughout your travels, so you’ll need the mental discipline to stick at it.

What about Heavy Commuting?

There are some jobs for which we’re expected to travel for several hours a day, but which aren’t technically ‘travel-heavy’ jobs. The only reason you’re covering so many miles in this circumstance is because you can’t afford to live immediately beside your place of work (or you’re not inclined to live there). In some cases, this travel time can add up. What if it takes an hour to get to your office, and an hour to get back? That’s ten hours a week, or close to five-hundred hours a year. Enough to read all of War and Peace twelves times over and still have time to blast through Anna Karenina. If you’re happy to read on the train, or to take audio books in your car, then this time might not be entirely wasted. But the mounting cost of fuel and train tickets might be enough to make the salary being offered slightly less enticing.


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