Recruitment | Executive Search

Travelling or working – you don’t have to decide

So you are young, bright eyed and bushy tailed and fresh out of university. The little angel on your shoulder flaps its wings and tells you, you should switch out of your holiday mode and start working to save for a car. The idea of earning your own income appeals to you, but in your heart all you want to do is squeeze your belongings into a suitcase and go travelling!

You want to see new places, connect with new people (perhaps even find your perfect mate); drink local beer and eat food that tastes different to what your mum made for you for the last 18 years.

Listening to new accents, attempting to defy language barriers and making physical gestures that you have never used before (to a person who has never seen them before) sounds equally appealing. This fantasising has taken you on a journey… across the continents… then somebody bumps you in the queue and you look outside at a rainy autumn day. Summer is gone, winter is coming and you have no direction.

This is the struggle most 18 to 30 year olds go through on a daily basis. It is likely that anyone of any age will admit to fantasising about mysterious lands beyond the horizon especially when life seems mundane and boring at home.

The quickest and most common cures are often: Drinking with your mates or an impromptu shopping spree. However, neither will stop the yearning for a new and challenging experience.

If you had to ask an older person they might provide you with clichéd life advice “life’s a journey, enjoy the ride” or “you’ll regret the things you didn’t do, not the things you did”. For most people working and traveling abroad is a scary thought, leaving your friends and family, getting out of your comfort zone. Your growing up experiences have equipped you to handle most situations and perhaps all you need is a push to take a chance and work abroad, even just for the duration of an extended holiday.

If you were to choose a place to for your working holday, a good start would be to try and find a place that will interest you. Although lots of youngsters do it, perhaps being the a glorified chalet girl in the Alps isn’t for you? Luckily, many companies have an international network and the internet makes it easier than ever to apply for any job, anywhere. There’s nothing stopping you.

A good place to start your research is to shortlist exciting places. Read up about what is happening in the country in news and what kind of life you can expect. Research visa regulations and what requirements you need to qualify for a work permit. Perhaps a thing to consider is, how easy is it to travel to other destinations for a mini weekend beak? It can’t be all work and no play!

I use Cape Town, South Africa as an example; it has been named the most beautiful city in the world multiple times, most recently by the New York Times and The Guardian UK in 2014. Cape Town has renowned night life and beaches with beautiful adventure trails in and around the city. Cape Town is one of the capitals of South Africa, a country rich in history and diverse in culture. It is a fantastic destination to work abroad for many reasons; the business language is English, the time zone links up multiple countries and the weather is great nearly all year round.

While the country is building its future, many international companies, including big names like Facebook and Amazon have found a home in South Africa. There is plenty of opportunity to use your unique skills, especially if you speak a foreign language.

Cape Town has created a comfortable environment for expats, while buzzy fast-paced Joburg is hip and happening. Of course these two cities are not the only metropoles that offer you great working experience abroad.

If you are more socially focused, volunteer programmes are available country wide involving after school care, cooking in soup kitchens or hanging out with animals at one of the many shelters or game reserves. South Africa, being a hub for outdoor freaks, has a large portfolio of vacancies in environmental and adventure focused volunteer programmes.

As mentioned previously, the weather is great and the temperature averages between 25 – 35, with bright sunny skies and the occasional tropical thunderstorm . South Africa might just be the perfect place to spend a working holiday and miss out on the northern hemisphere winter while your friends walk around with snot noses, sounds great right?

Check out for more information on visa and permits. If you speak a foreign language (anything other than English) this great website will help you land a quick job in various industries. Happy Travels, Happy Life!