General Question

SofaKingWright's avatar

What careers would provide the most travel opportunities?

Asked by SofaKingWright (530 points ) August 12th, 2012

I am looking for an overview of some careers which would provide opportunities for travel.

Ideally, these careers would require or benefit from the fact that I will have an LLB in Law. Additionally, I am considering furthering my qualifications to a Masters/PhD level in Environmental law.

These careers can be legally based, or not. Basically I am interested in all potential options, no matter how obscure, I have an open mind.

I would be grateful if anyone could broadly elaborate on the types of careers which I could take into consideration based on this information. Essentially, I am looking for some inspiration and food for thought for my future plans.

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14 Answers

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

There are plenty of jobs that provide opportunity for travel. What interests you the most about this aspect? For example, do you want to stay within your country? Do you want to see the world? Is it about working with people from other cultures? Is it something else?

How much would you be willing to travel? There are a lot of people who look upon it as a glamorous job or benefit…until they find themselves in this type of position.

geeky_mama's avatar

Depends on what kind of travel you mean.

Do you mean the sort of travel a la George Clooney in Up in the Air?
Then I recommend a job like mine – business consultancy. You consult to companies or perhaps work in sales for consultancy/business services. It requires knowing what your company can provide as a service (and certainly there are multi-national and multi-state law firms), pitching this to a room of complete strangers and convincing them you, and by extension your company, care & can solve their problems.
This is the sort of travel that will mean you very quickly “Elite” status (for whatever THAT gets you—which isn’t much, honestly) with your chosen airline and hotel partners and it means travel weekly (or sometimes 2 or 3 destinations in one week) for work.
Depending on the size of your company you could end up having an international territory or “just” the Americas. (Canada, Latin America & US)...or a smaller one yet – like just a tri-State area or region of the country.

If you’d rather travel less frequently and/or be based in a location but fly to a project site. (In and out every week—but staying in the same area for 6 months or more at a time) then I suggest project implementation consultancy. Where you are helping to implement a solution (technical expertise and/or project management skills required for this position). You work at a customer site (with the same customer until the project is complete) and can get to know the people, location & culture of the company…for a time, until you move along to the next implementation project.

Less travel yet – but something that would allow you to live in the locations you travel to would be working for the Foreign Service. (Working at Embassy / State Dept. locations around the world.) Information on how to enter the US Foreign Service is here.

Also, as @Pied_Pfeffer points out..people often think they want a job that involves a lot of travel until you do that job…and then you see just how glamorous it is (NOT!) being stranded at Newark airport missing your kid’s birthday, or sick and stranded far from home..or best yet, squished into a flight surrounded by obnoxious people who all feel entitled to an upgrade and are rude, encroaching on your personal space, and you’re stuck next to them for the next 4 hours with them growing increasingly rude and leaning into your seat (or if they’re heavy, just taking up part of your seat space) and you cannot escape from them. THIS is what it’s really like. Lost luggage, missed meals, missed family events..stranded due to thunderstorms, snow, wind or fog or mechanical issues you cannot control.

Spend a little time reading stories on this forum perhaps and you’ll get an idea of how unpleasant it can be to travel for work.

SofaKingWright's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Thanks for your response. I am American, but I have been studying in Europe for the past 5 years and I am graduating University next fall. I do not currently have much interest in returning to the States any time soon, but I wouldn’t rule it out for the future.

I would love to see more of the world and I greatly like the idea of not really knowing where I may be heading next. I am not looking for a career which requires me to stay in one place yet. I have considered things like taking a year out after University, before undertaking my Masters, to teach English and learn Chinese in China.

Mainly I am interested in travelling around Europe, or Canada. I have a particular interest in the Scandinavian countries. Although English may take me a long way, I am not particularly phased by the idea of learning multiple languages so long as there are work opportunities.

I would be willing to travel as much as possible. My family is rather small and is spread out in various locations across the world so I really have no regional ties.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Thank you for the addl. information. Here is one lead: Look into the hotel business, and preferably a large corporation that is global, like Holiday Inns, Marriott, Hilton, etc. They not only have an internal law dept. (at least the company I worked for did), but more of these companies are focused on sustainability. LEED certification is a big deal for some hotels these days.

jordym84's avatar

Great question!! I’ve been wondering about the same thing lately (I’ve always wanted a career that would allow me to travel/live overseas for a period of time) and the above information is definitely helpful.

@geeky_mama Do you know anyone who’s worked for the US Foreign Service and, if so, would you be able to elaborate a little on what they thought about it and their likes/dislikes? Thank you :)

marinelife's avatar

One of the big consulting firms like Arthur Anderson. Their employees travel almost constantly.

geeky_mama's avatar

@jordym84 – the following is just my opinion/experience..and I’m not the expert on this.

I took the FSE and made it to the interview round in DC – but opted out to work in the private sector.
I’ve met people on my travels since (State Dept. entry-level folks on my flights to/from Venezuela, and once spent a flight back from Korea sitting next to the Ambassador to South Korea’s wife, and he had worked in the diplomatic corps his entire life, plus some chats w/ State Dept. employees at the American Club in Tokyo..)..and this is what I’ve gleaned from them:

- The diplomatic corps (working for the State Dept. as a Foreign Service Officer) is a lot like joining the military. It’s hierarchical and you have NO control over where you’re posted.
– Like the military you’re working for the gov’t and will be provided housing.. which may or may not be to your liking.
– You may not be posted where you have language skills for (e.g. you may be bilingual in Chinese but get posted in Venezuela. Or, you may speak German but be in Moldova.)

The embassy employee I most recently chatted with at customs in ATL was thrilled to be having a visit home (he’d waited 2 years to be given leave for a vacation week at home) and lived in a dorm-like room in a compound in Venezuela. He had not learned any more Spanish and was NEVER permitted to leave & walk around and see any of Venezuela without guard details that escorted them in safe groups.

Bear in mind, also, that it’s very competitive to get into the Foreign Service. They prefer bilingual (or multilingual) candidates—- which along with a 4-year degree in Diplomacy/Foreign Affairs with excellent grades, a near perfect exam result on the Foreign Service Exam will get you considered for the Foreign Service entry-level positions.

And, if you’re bilingual (esp. in Chinese or Arabic or another high-demand language) you’re likely more attractive to other employers, too—so if you want to travel & see the world (and do so with a bit of freedom and some choice over where you go) best to find ways to get employed with a multi-national company and have a unique and highly marketable skill-set.
For example, a multilingual lawyer (Chinese, German, English) with experience in negotiating intellectual property litigation—-that will be attractive to a law firm or multi-national corporation.

Or, an Accounting / Business Finance expertise (with internships or experience in specialized International accounting standards) – and bilingual in German and English. Those are the qualifications that will get you into work-abroad / expat type employment.

And, @marinelife – that company is now called Accenture. Accenture and Deloitte do have certain teams that travel a fair bit. But, again, it depends very much on what your specialty knowledge/skillset is and they are looking for people who already have a second (or third) language competency.

jordym84's avatar

@geeky_mama Wow, thank you for the info. I had no idea it was like that and from your description that’s not the kind of travel work I’m interested in.

My major is in hospitality management/travel and tourism and I do speak 5 languages. I just don’t really know where to begin…

geeky_mama's avatar

@jordym84 – if you speak 5 languages and are studying hospitality mgmt / travel you’ll be the dream job candidate for Marriott, Hilton, etc. Those organizations also frequently send their staff to work in their locations around the world..so you’re on a good path that way, too. (My Venezuelan body guard worked for a hotel chain and traveled around the world for a time that way. He had nothing but good things to say for the experience.)

_Whitetigress's avatar

If you have a hardcore passion for travel.

I highly recommend getting your Journalism Degree and becoming a travel writer

Though the degree isn’t required per say, it does indeed teach great amounts of technique and expose you to different writing styles. Since travel writing is a feature style, it can be as “flowery” and “artsy” as you’d like. Or it can be voiced from a pretty casual, or professional stand point. Good luck!

P.S.
If you are in school try joining the local campus paper or online section, most schools have them, if you are not in school and don’t plan to be, plan to! Haha, I’d recommend a community college with a newspaper, magazine or online sort of publication.
P.P.S
Remember travel writers need an audience, so blog too! The more viewers you have for your blog, the more you will be able to sell yourself to some sort of travel writers corporation, hotel corporation, or be on staff a magazine made for traveling. Keep in mind, tourists areas mindset is sell sell sell, yet be genuinely nice and approachable.

JLeslie's avatar

My first thought was JAG lawyer US military.

Hotel business as mentioned by others above.

Almost all large multinational company have some lawyers on their payroll.

Also, cruise ships, but they don’t have lawyers on board. Two options there, work within their law departments, I assume they have them, and when you work for the cruise lines you can cruise with them for almost nothing during your vacations. Or, work on the ships for a year or two just for fun and see more of the world.

SofaKingWright's avatar

Thanks for the ideas – all very interesting. I had not thought of any of these options before. The JAG lawyer is definitely something I may look into seriously.

mattbrowne's avatar

IT expert in a global company.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Covert operative for the CIA

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