I love telling the story of how I ended up in Australia. I have to love telling it, because I get asked all the time. When people hear my accent they want to know why I’m in Sydney and how it came to be. However, the people I’ve most enjoyed sharing my story with over the last couple years are students from back home in the US.
I wrote a guest post recent for Arik Hanson’s blog, Communications Conversations giving advice about finding a job abroad after college. It also got picked up by PR Daily. I was amazed by the response. Several students and recent grads tweeted me saying they shared this dream of moving abroad and working overseas. I had wrote that one of the biggest challenges of finding a job abroad is believing that it’s possible. I think it’s especially tough for students from the US, who don’t grow up in a culture of travel and exploring the world.
The Australians are wonderful at this. So many of my Aussie friends have travelled internationally with their families from a young age. Some chose to take gap years, go backpacking, and see the world before starting university or a full time job. Others waited until later, and then left their jobs to go travel. While it’s certainly not something everyone here has to do, it’s also not strange to hear about. For a young professional working in the States, it would probably never happen. If you got up and left, your job would not be waiting for you 10 months later upon your return. Without getting into the current economic differences, between Australia and the US, I do believe there are cultural elements at play.
To clarify, I’m not a world traveller. In fact, I’m not an expert on how to move abroad or job searching. I just love sharing my story. I hope that every soon-to-be-grad who has a vision of living and working overseas has someone who validates that dream for them. Sometimes we need someone to give us an extra pat on the back and tell us we can reach our goals. That extra push is what helped me to achieve when I was already capable of achieving.
Good luck class of 2012. If you’re headed to Sydney, please let me know and I’ll shout you a coffee when you arrive.