Many people write and tell us that they want an adventure travel job because they want to travel the world. Fantastic, we’re here to help you find your way. Peruse through the articles in the Adventure Job topic list because there are lots of things to consider.
The two things we hear most is “I’ll do anything, I just want a travel job.” and “I’m very social so I’d be great at an adventure travel job”.
Let’s talk about this.
“I’ll do anything. I just want a travel job. ” Trust me, you won’t. Want these jobs?
Work in the laundry on a cruise ship. A thankless job eleven hours a day in the bowels of a noisy ship. A never ending pile of sheets, guest’s clothes (you know the ones who are out there having all the fun while you are scrubbing wine stains off their shirts) and crew undies. Never a thanks, never a decent paycheck and never the light of day.
Be the Toilet Porter. Yep, on our climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro, one of the porters was the toilet guy. His “roll” was to carry the bucket, toilet seat and toilet tent. He must always arrive at camp first and find the perfect spot (downwind preferably) for our portable potty. He was responsible to keep it always clean and fresh and dumped. Then he is the last to leave the camp in case you need a last minute tinkle. Probably not your idea of how to see Africa!
Think about what you REALLY want to do and remember that like any job you must have a skill that the adventure company needs. Check out the post, How To Get An Adventure Job, for more on this.
Ok, so you’ve determined you really won’t do “anything” for that job. Good because if you do, you’ll be home quicker than you can say “adventure travel job” with a bad taste in your mouth.
Let’s look at the second most common thought about getting an adventure travel job. “I’m very social so I’d be great at an adventure travel job.”.
That may well be true but let’s look a little closer at that one. There are back office types of travel jobs where you don’t have to be social to work there so if you are not a social person, don’t think that you can’t have a travel job. But having great social skills is definitely a plus, especially if you want a job where you are visible to guests. And there is a sliding scale of “socialness” so you need to decide just where you are on that scale. Some questions to ask yourself:
Can you be more interested than interesting?
This is key. If you are working in a social situation, you need to be genuinely interested in your guests. Unless you are hired as a lecturer, it’s about your guests stories not yours. It is all about them, not you. If you are “very social” if the topic is all about you, you won’t get far. Can you walk into a room and strike up a conversation with anyone about them? You should always have three questions in your mind when you walk into the room to ask. It could be as simple as “How was your day?” or “What was the best part of your day today?”. If you can’t answer this question, think about the last party you went to where you didn’t know many people. How did you react? Did you dive in and meet new friends or become a permanent fixture at the appetizer table to give yourself something to do?
Can you do it all day long?
You are not “allowed” to have bad days in travel jobs where your job is to be with the public. You must always be “on”. Working in a cubicle you can tell your co-workers, “I’m having a bad day, try not to talk to me”. You can’t do this in a “social” position until your day is over and you are behind closed doors.
Can you talk about yourself?
This may seem counter to the first question but it’s really not. While you need to be able to talk to people about them, people on vacation are always curious how it works on your end. They want to know things like, “Do you do your own laundry?” “Where does someone like you go for vacation since you work in paradise?”, “Are you allowed to date other staff members?” After awhile you won’t be surprised by anything. Can you disclose the right amount of information about yourself?
Can you do it for months on end with equal enthusiasm?
Most adventure travel jobs are seven days a week for months on end. If you decide to take a social position, can you keep the pace? Can you treat the first guests with the same genuine enthusiasm as the last ones of the season? Can you answer the same questions over and over? Can you laugh at the same jokes again and again. Trust me there are not many original jokes out there. This can be difficult. Think about it.
Think long and hard about how much contact you want with guests. Before you apply for “any position” because you think you are social, really give it thought. It’s one thing to be “social” with your friends out at the bar, it’s another thing to do it for a living.
Some people were born to be in the thick of it all, others are not. Think about past jobs you’ve have and how much public interaction you had and how you handled it?
Think about the two most common things we hear about about getting an adventure job and qualify yourself before jumping in. Find yourself the RIGHT travel job and live the dream!
To Your Adventures,