May 04 2010
I’ve lived in Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, and now Washington state. I’ve traveled up and down the eastern seaboard and been in or at least through almost every state in the continental US. I’ve spent time in 8 foreign countries and racked up some serious air miles. Hi, my name is Amybeth – I’m a travel addict.
I don’t mind long car trips – I’ve driven from Cincinnati to southwest FL more times than I can count, and I took a 2600 roadtrip with my friend Jennifer when I moved out to Washington last fall. No matter the method, I have some serious wanderlust. I long for the opportunity to see new places and experience new things. While I love the comforts of home, I don’t mind hopping on a plane or in the passenger seat and strapping in for a journey to an exciting new place.
My purpose in writing this post isn’t to bore you with the details of my travels. I’ve found that many people don’t care to hear about the cool places that others have been to (which I personally don’t understand, but whatever!) so I’m not going to do that. But what I DO want to share are a couple of thoughts about the benefits of being open to travel, relocation, and experiencing new people and places. This applies both to pretty much everyone because it helps to broaden your horizon and gives you tons of stuff to discuss with new friends. However – I want to focus these thoughts today on those in recruitment roles and those who are looking for employment, in particular, new college graduates.
I graduated from college about nine years ago. I wanted desperately to stay in Florida upon graduating, but I found myself unable to find a job that fit into my area of study (Exercise and Sports Sciences) – at least one that made more than $7/hour. Frustrated, I took a position that forced me to relocate to Cincinnati. I ended up staying in Cincinnati for seven years, until I moved to the Pacific Northwest last fall.
I’ve hopped across the country as far as residences are concerned, and I believe this has been very much to my advantage in my line of work. I am a networker by profession, and by having experienced as many different place as I have, it’s given me lots to talk about with new connections. I can converse with knowledge about lots of things because I’ve been open to new experiences, living arrangements, and activities in the various places I’ve lived and visited.
Why is this important? A golden rule when networking is to make others comfortable. When you allow others to speak, you let them choose the topic and thus create a more comfortable environment. Lots of times, people bring up activities or places that I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing myself, and those shared experiences form new bonds. They give you common areas of interest and help the conversation flow to many other places. For example, I wrote a post 2 years ago about a woman I met on the boat to Alcatraz in San Francisco, who has become a dear friend today. Also – a time when I was stuck in Houston, someone I had formerly worked with graciously put me up for the evening based on one text message sent from the plane. There are tons of other examples from my own travels that I don’t have space to share – but I would be happy to talk with you about them if you want to reach out to me!
Things to consider regarding being open to new locations for job-seekers – in particular, new graduates:
- Don’t be afraid to spread your wings when you graduate! Get out there and see the world. Yes, your parents will miss you, but they should be proud of you setting out on your own and making your way in the world. You’ll learn valuable life skills and independence. These are important skills to have if you’re going to be a successful professional.
- More times than not, your dream career is not going to be in your backyard (translated: within a 20 mile radius of where you grew up or went to college).
If you have a great story about a new connection you made or a new opportunity you found while experiencing a new activity or location, please share it in a comment – we’d all love to hear it!