An alternative to a gap-year: workplace relocation

Posted on 5th May 2017 in Advice, Working Abroad

While you may have your heart set on a traditional gap year, choosing an employment path that offers relocation can allow you to satisfy your travel ambitions while you’re in full-time work.

The urge to spread your wings after a lifetime of education can be insatiable, which is why so many school, college, and university leavers opt to spend a year travelling the world, looking for new experiences and opportunities.

Structuring a gap year
Needless to say, gap years can be expensive, particularly as you will struggle to find a source of income while you are nomadic. Without extensive planning and preparation, you run the risk of running out of money halfway through your trip, which can leave you in limbo until you make homecoming arrangements.

You could sustain yourself by finding work while you travel, though this often can’t be arranged until you’re out there, which can be stressful. An option that more and more young people are exploring is to choose a job that offers travel and relocation opportunities, and voyaging around the world on company dime.

Workplace relocation

By choosing a job that offers relocation, you can spend time at home developing your career and wedging your foot firmly in the door before packing up and moving across the world. This ensures that you are on a clear career path that you can pursue for the foreseeable future, with the option of moving to a different part of the world when you are bored of the scenery.

The financial security of this approach is also highly appealing. One of the leading causes of anxiety when travelling is financial uncertainty, but by having a steady income behind you there is no reason to feel this kind of stress. You’re still allowing yourself to experience different cultures, but you’re in a permanent job while you do it; two birds, one stone.

Professions that offer relocation
While each company has its own relocation policy, the following sectors are traditionally more in favour of, or more catered towards employees travelling to different offices around the world:


Banking is a sector that is essential in every country, and the skills are transferrable regardless of which currency you’re working in. What’s more, the major world banks have offices in most countries across the globe, so the travel opportunities are endless.

Take HSBC, for example, which hires across all continents. Training to be personal or business banker as part of HSBC UK could set you up for a long and illustrious career in finance across a number of different countries. You could also move out of traditional banking and enter the mortgage sector, to explore even more opportunities.

IT Administration

Every established office or business needs an IT administrator. This involves everything from managing sales leads and relationships with clients to ensuring that staff are paid on time. It takes an expert to use administration software, and often there is a lack of expertise — this is where you can take advantage.

Training to use Microsoft Dynamics, a leading IT administration software, will provide you with valuable skills that are in high demand. Whether you choose to work for an IT admin company, or as a freelance administrator, there is an abundance of Microsoft Dynamics jobs in every corner of the globe.

Airline crew

For someone who wishes to be constantly travelling, an airline could prove to be the ideal employer. Whether you wish to be part of the cabin crew or a customer service executive, there are opportunities for airline staff all over the world.

A wise approach would be to secure a job in a local contact centre, before applying for internal jobs once you can prove you are familiar with the brand’s style and ethos. British Airways has a great careers portal that offers work experience as well as an entry route for graduates.

Charity worker

While working with charities is a commendable act, you can actually turn charity work into a career if you have the required drive and compassion. Some of the world’s largest charities have bases all over the world, as charity fundraising is a global effort, which presents a great opportunity for you to travel while you work.

Getting involved with a huge charity such as Oxfam or Unicef could be a great way to help others while also bolstering your career prospects. Doing voluntary work or freelance charity fundraising will allow you to build relationships with the charity’s team, and will hold you in good stead should an opportunity ever arise to work for the charity officially. Think about what you can offer, what makes you outstanding, and pitch your services to the charity with a view to raising funds for them.

While embarking on a career path before you travel may not be the rock and roll gap year you envisioned, this is a healthy middle ground where financial security and structure will take you around the world and give you a job to come home to when you’re done.