Today’s advanced technology allows us to be connected to anyone in the world at any time. Someone in the U.S. can communicate with someone as far away as Russia in a matter of minutes via e-mail. It’s an almost giddy feeling when you receive a message from another time zone in an entirely different hemisphere. I mean, we know it’s possible, but then we get an e-mail and immediately start to figure out what time it is in the city from which the e-mail came. At least I do.
The need for corporations to reach consumers on a more personal level has become a priority. Today we are a workforce of both domestic and international travelers. Almost any corporate career you tackle these days will afford you an opportunity to travel.
You have those traditional careers that many go to college to get into marketing, business, finance, economics, politics and the like. Fast forward, pass “go” and collect your $200 ‘cause when you get to a certain rung on the ladder, they trust you with an expense account and you’re allowed to travel! You become the remote representative for your company. High five! That can be very rewarding, but it comes with great responsibility.
But there are also those off-the-beaten-path careers that the vast majority of us haven’t given any credence to. But consider these jobs the next time you dream of leaving the enclosed walls of your cubicle for a job that requires you to have a nice set of luggage.
International Tour Management Institute (ITMI)
Become a professional tour guide! Be paid to lead tour groups in the most famous, beautiful, historic places domestically or internationally. According to the ITMI Web site your schedule and destinations are flexible, so no need to spend weeks or months away from home.
Teach English as a Second Language (TESL)
Become certified to teach English as a second language to adults in another country.
In the past it was not necessary to have any college degree to get a good job in this field. Although it’s a career choice that’s recently caught the attention of trained educators, it’s not necessary to hold a baccalaureate in education to become certified.
Once you get that dream, job there are some things that you’ll need to be prepared for.
We all love our new circumstances, but once the novelty wears off, you’ll still be expected to be there. After all that’s why it’s called “work.” So in an effort to make travel for work as enjoyable as possible here are a few tips and tricks for the Road Warrior.
- Become a Clear Member. It means less time in security lines and more time to get coffee. It allows you to zoom through the whole hassle of airport security and baggage check. It could mean the difference between missing or making a flight you’re late for. Enrollment is easy and first year membership fee is $128. There are currently 18 airports that operate a Clear station.
- Try an Airline Club membership on for size. It helps in those impossible times when your flight has been delayed…three times. For free food and drinks and a quiet environment I happily pay my membership fee at each year’s end.
- There are also Web sites such as prioritypass.com that will sell you a one-time pass to an airline club. If you ask nicely your boss may even pick up the cost of this membership.
- Ah, yes, the Car Rental Club. There’s nothing like getting off a Hertz bus and seeing your name in lights right next to the number of the parking spot where you’ll find your rental with engine running and cool air circulating. No waiting in line. And the best part of it? It’s free!
- One of the most useful perks of work travel is the accumulation of rewards programs that offer points or miles that allow you to travel or stay for free. Make sure to sign up with different airlines and hotels.
- Pack as light as possible. Wear the same dark pants or skirt with a different blouse. Stay in the same color family so one pair of shoes will suffice. Travelling with just one piece of luggage that you can carryon will eliminate fatigue and waiting for your bag at the carousel as well as possible lost bags.
- Always have a travel kit packed with TSA-approved containers for all of your must-have products. I’ve seen bins as tall as me in the airport full of expensive skincare, hair and makeup products confiscated by the airport police. Make sure to pack those things that cannot be consolidated into a smaller package, such as fragrances, in your checked luggage.
To decrease stress, especially when you’re a rookie at full-time work traveling, make yourself a checklist to follow until you’ve got it down to a science:
- Makeup bag in the carry-on (You have to look fabulous when you get there)
- Telephone, Ipod, laptop, etc
- Charging cords for telephone, Ipod, laptop, etc.
- New York Times, Wall Street Journal
- Leisure book (no one can accuse you of being all work)
- Water your plants, feed your cat and leave a check for the housekeeper