Full Circle: Globe Trotting and Getting a Job – Frock Paper Scissors
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Full Circle: Globe Trotting and Getting a Job

By Nur Liyana Anis

Photos: Holly Mclean

Today we live in a world where expectations are often different to reality. It looks like almost every young adult is left stewing in a pressure cooker to achieve their goals within a short time-period. Society is often seen as conformist, with the system churning out tertiary graduates and giving the average 21-year-old unrealistic expectations. Some may hold the belief they have a limited amount of time to obtain a job, before their future becomes obsolete.

However, the idea of conforming to society’s expectations seems to be a foolish idea to Brisbane’s youth. In fact, this ideology has created a new route to gain fulfilment and work experience: globetrotting. Riley Meara is a 19-year-old Queensland University of Technology (QUT) undergraduate who uses travel to re-charge. “It helps me stay in tune with myself among the chaos of societies supposed ‘timeline’ for everything,” he says.

Mr Meara works as a part-time bartender to fund his annual escapades around the globe. While Brisbane is dense with undergraduates who are hungry for experience to better their odds at finding a job, Mr Meara is one of many that is rebelling against the system. “I wish people knew that it’s not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ route to gain expertise in the job industry. For me, whenever I embark on a journey to a new country, I am immersed in new cultures, people and stories that expand my knowledge on what I want to achieve,” he says.

“It’s equipped me with invaluable experiences, priceless lessons and great connections – something that helps me stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs.” While juggling student loans, rent and everyday necessities, it is understandable that travelling may burn a hole in one’s pocket. Despite receiving a weekly pay slip at minimum wage, Mr Meara disciplines himself in terms of saving. “Saving is not easy and earning a minimum wage doesn’t help. I prioritise and discipline myself to save so I can enjoy my next big adventure. It’s worth it,” he says.

Ben Reeves, chief executive of the Australian Association of Graduate Employers, believes that it is beneficial for graduates to have travel experience. “Someone who has experience globetrotting will have a higher chance at getting employed, as compared to someone who hasn’t travelled. Simply because they have showed a sense of initiative and motivation,” Mr Reeves says.

“When employers look at potential candidates, grades don’t have as much impact as raw developmental skills to adapt to unique circumstances. These valuable skills display a strong determination for the potential individual to be flexible and open to growth alongside the company, which makes them an asset every employer seeks,” he adds.

As society evolves to become more perceptive to change, more young people are beginning to take charge of their lives – where they are not afraid to go through the long route to land their dream job. So, take a leap of faith, book that flight, and grab your backpack because who knows? It might just be your ticket to a big break – literally.

``There are so many tiny revolutions in life, a million ways we have to circle around ourselves to grow, change and be okay.`` - Cheryl Strayed

Ben Reeves, chief executive of the Australian Association of Graduate Employers, believes that it is beneficial for graduates to have travel experience. “Someone who has experience globetrotting will have a higher chance at getting employed, as compared to someone who hasn’t travelled. Simply because they have showed a sense of initiative and motivation,” Mr Reeves says.

“When employers look at potential candidates, grades don’t have as much impact as raw developmental skills to adapt to unique circumstances. These valuable skills display a strong determination for the potential individual to be flexible and open to growth alongside the company, which makes them an asset every employer seeks,” he adds.

As society evolves to become more perceptive to change, more young people are beginning to take charge of their lives – where they are not afraid to go through the long route to land their dream job. So, take a leap of faith, book that flight, and grab your backpack because who knows? It might just be your ticket to a big break – literally.