Tired of biding time during the recession? Live Abroad!
By- Rick A. Griffith
So maybe you’re a twenty something who is just out of college, or in a profession that you don’t plan to make a career of. You dream of living abroad and getting away from things, only to be pulled back to reality and told by others that you can’t just run away from your problems.
But what if you could get away, build a strong resume while living abroad and skip the recession?
For young people everywhere, there may never be a better time to hit the open road and take the trip of your dreams. It is no secret that there is a huge recession taking place as financial markets correct themselves. Recent college grads and young professionals are competing for low end jobs that they may have not even considered a few years back. But I’m not here to bore you with doom and gloom economics that is what MSNBC is for. What I’m going to tell you is how you can beat the system, live abroad and gain valuable skills and experience that will blow the competition out of the water.
It is time for us to think and act outside of our comfort zone. That $10 an hour receptionist position isn’t going anywhere. It is time to gain valuable skills and life experience, setting yourself apart from others in the job market and enjoying yourself in the process. It’s time to move abroad!
You can stay in school another few years, dig deeper into debt just to get a better piece of paper than the last one. Or you can go get some real world experience treading the road less traveled and gaining a truly international education. Business is becoming more global each day. The internet has shrunk the world of business so much that some of the only barriers that still exist these days are in language and culture. It is the forward thinkers who adjust to this who will benefit.
So where are we going? I strongly recommend heading south of the border. Spanish is a language that is becoming more and more popular in the US and is spoken throughout most of Central and South America. Learning to speak a foreign language will hugely increase your job prospects and set you far ahead of other prospective employees.
Consider this, In the United States only 9 percent of Americans speak both their native language and another language fluently, according to a U.S. Senate resolution designating 2005 the "Year of Foreign Language Study." [klg1]
By taking a year and traveling, immersing yourself in a new culture and becoming fluent in a second language, you are setting yourself apart from 91 percent of other applicants. Not to mention you get a very favorable exchange rate and can live very cheap by leveraging the US dollar to these less desirable currencies.
Sound like a better option than answering phone calls or flipping burgers?
If you already speak fluent Spanish or are interested in something else to bolster your resume for the future, consider volunteer work. There are a lot of people who need help in these developing countries and it’s doubtful that any decent hearted employer will look down on you for helping people. Most will be moved by your compassion for this cause and see that you are committed to making the world a better place. There are countless organizations that need assistance from people like you. Plus what better way to master your Spanish skills than to use them with people on a daily basis. This is a serious win-win. For a list of organizations who need volunteers check out http://www.volunteerabroad.com.
Gaining a new perspective and seeing a different way of life will also inevitably improve your understanding of the world around you. You can read books and watch TV but until you see it, touch it and breathe it, you can never fully understand what another culture is like. You will be immersed in this new culture everyday and eventually you may wonder why it took you so long to head out in the first place.
So instead of being bored in a one bedroom apartment or your parent’s house you could be living in a beautiful tropical location, learning a new language and culture while helping people in need. What more is there to say?
Our economy is in for no short fix, that is clear. What you do with the down time is up to you. Why waste time sitting around waiting for things to miraculously get better. Action breeds results. In the wise words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively”