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To turn down a high-paying job because I want to go travelling instead?

(88 Posts)
Harishnayfoke Tue 26-Mar-19 20:49:54

I am just about to finish university in a few months and have been offered a job in a high-paying, quite intense business. I was always planning on going travelling for at least a year after uni and had planned to do lots of internships and volunteering whilst I do this to give me skills for the career I truly would like.

My dream has always been to work in some human rights related field or in international development as an aid worker. I'm not sure why I applied for the business job, it was just on a whim and I never expected to get it.

Now I have found myself really not looking forward to starting and fear that I will be setting off on the wrong path and will struggle to get onto a path I'm passionate about. I just worry that I'll be sat in an office wasting away my twenties when I could be off travelling the world.

Would I be mad to turn this job down? I worry because grad jobs are hard to come by and if the economy goes to shit after Brexit I may really struggle to find work and will kick myself for turning this down. But I really feel slightly gloomy at the thought of doing a job involving at least 50 hours a week doing work which I find boring and soulless.

Alienspaceship Tue 26-Mar-19 20:54:55

Can’t you take the job, get a couple of years of experience and then go travelling?

bobbletrouble Tue 26-Mar-19 20:55:18

You could see if you can defer for a year, then see how you feel. Working in a corporate environment gaining business skills for a but can set you up for something more interesting a few years down the line. And you might find parts of it more interesting than you think.

Princessmushroom Tue 26-Mar-19 20:56:08

Depends on how you are planning to fund your travels

Nnnnnineteen Tue 26-Mar-19 20:57:15

While I absolutely think you should do the travelling thing, if it is that high paying and prestigious, I'd be inclined to take the job for a year, get some great stuff on your c.v, save a bit of cash then go. The world will still be there but it gives you some experience to cite when you come back wanting a job and also am insight as to whether you want that kind of job going forward. Though if you do, don't tie yourself down with partner or house or you will never go!

Hassled Tue 26-Mar-19 21:01:17

You're young, you presumably have no commitments - go travelling while you can. You obviously have the charisma/skills to get a good job once - so you can get another when you're ready for it. Don't spend your twenties sat in an office if you don't need to, when there's a whole world out there and you want to see some of it.

HollaHolla Tue 26-Mar-19 21:01:59

In 10 years, what will you look back on, with the most joy? I suspect it won’t be a job you don’t want to do. Yes, money is important, but it’s not everything. It doesn’t sound like it fits with your values and ethos for the sector you’re aiming for.
I once stayed in a job I was desperately unhappy in, because ‘it had a good pension’. I was reminded that 40 years of unhappiness was a long time. I jacked that job in a few months later, and although it took me a bit to get back onto the same salary bracket, I’m so much happier in my job now - I work with largely good people, am valued, believe in the aims and ethos of my organisation, and generally enjoy life way more.

Harishnayfoke Tue 26-Mar-19 21:02:59

@bobble I asked if I could defer but they said no unfortunately.
@princess there's a job I had over last summer which I could do again this summer and earn around £5000 and would then stay at places where you volunteer and help around the house or in people's businesses etc in return for food and accommodation.

I have thought that I could work for 2 or 3 years and save up enough to buy a flat which I could then rent out to give me an extra source of money when travelling. Does this sound like good financial sense?

HollaHolla Tue 26-Mar-19 21:03:53

Oh, and travel whilst you don’t have a mortgage, commitments, poor health, children, elderly/ill parents. If you want to do it, do it whilst you’re young.
Jobs will always be available. The opportunity to get out there might not always be.

Harishnayfoke Tue 26-Mar-19 21:04:48

I know I'd probably be much happier travelling and gaining experience for the job I do want to do. I'm just worried that I may end up regretting not taking up this job

mindutopia Tue 26-Mar-19 21:05:49

I would absolutely go travelling. I have in your situation (though I didn't have a big high paying job offer, I had an okay enough one though). It was the best year of my life and I have no regrets. I came back with a husband, on top of it all. Many years down the line, two kids, still the best thing I ever did and I have a job I could have only dreamed about then. You only live once. Making money will always be there, but it will be the experiences that you remember.

Dragongirl10 Tue 26-Mar-19 21:08:06

Op it must be very tempting to go travelling now but you are taking a big risk....
I have thought that I could work for 2 or 3 years and save up enough to buy a flat which I could then rent out to give me an extra source of money when travelling. Does this sound like good financial sense?

This^^^^ makes much better sense

Chillyegg Tue 26-Mar-19 21:08:42

Get the job the. You can maybe just go on slightly longer and more luxurious holidays? Money isn’t everything busy it’s also miserable being puss poke and having to sort your life out in your late 20’s

OneDayillSleep Tue 26-Mar-19 21:09:55

I'd take the job, work for a couple of years, save some money and then go travelling for a year. You won't hurt your cv and you will save far more money to enjoy your travels without budgeting quite so much.

I went travelling at 24, I finished uni 18 months before and got a decent job which meant I could save a healthy sum of money to go for 15months. I still had to work for some of the time though, it would have been great if I could have travelled the entire time.

bobbletrouble Tue 26-Mar-19 21:11:55

Well if you can’t defer then I would probably turn down the job and go travelling. You’ll always get another job. Coming up for 15 years post uni though, friends who are in the sorts of fields you’re interested in have tended to get there via indirect routes, so I still wouldn’t rule out the benefits of a more traditional grad scheme to help get you started l. It’s by no means the only or the best way, but keep an open mind.

LEDadjacent Tue 26-Mar-19 21:13:21

Get a couple of years of experience and money under your belt then go off travelling.

Rtmhwales Tue 26-Mar-19 21:14:23

I'd take the job and get a few years on the CV and funds in the bank.

I worked until I was 26 and then took two years off to backpack around all 7 continents solo.

Won't your CV look a little empty with university and then an entire missing year? How would you fund this year off now?

BuffaloCauliflower Tue 26-Mar-19 21:14:34

Getting a good grounding on your CV at the beginning of your career will put you in good standing forever, build up some money and be sensible with it as well.

Also having done recruitment for charities (as a headhunter and I now work in HR in a charity) charities love people with private sector business experience. It’s much easier to move from private sector to charity than vice verse. A prestigious grad year or two will open doors later.

MintGreen Tue 26-Mar-19 21:15:19

I was in your exact position. I cancelled my round the world ticket, took the amazing job, loved it to bits and quickly got promoted. I then took a sabbatical to go travelling, had the time of my life and my job was safely waiting for me when I got back.
Check their sabbatical policy and see if it's an option?

user1471426142 Tue 26-Mar-19 21:16:34

Do the job. There are countless people who want to get into international development. You’ll be more useful with other skills and experience under your belt.

Yika Tue 26-Mar-19 21:17:52

I wouldn't think twice - I'd turn down the job and go off on my travels. You won't enjoy the job under these circumstances.

99RedBalloonsFloating Tue 26-Mar-19 21:18:22

I work in human rights and my advice to anyone starting out is:

1. Think about what practical skills and experience you want to develop, and focus on developing them. Lawyers, doctors, advocates, business specialists, journalists, photographers, technologists....can all be working from a human rights perspective. If possible, have a profession or specialism and take a human rights approach or specialism within that or alongside other work.

2. You should also think about what niche area you want to focus on. I've worked across a range of specialisms now but I started with one and it grew from there.

3. Get some languages under your belt. They are always useful.

Lots of people start their careers in the corporate world and then switch. Others don't. Both can work.

donajimena Tue 26-Mar-19 21:19:44

Take the job! My brother took a grad scheme and managed to take a years sabbatical to travel. You should definitely travel while young but it makes sense to get yourself on the ladder first.

saraclara Tue 26-Mar-19 21:20:02

Definitely get your career started for a couple of years. Get yourself known, learn some skills (they'll stand you in good stead when you look for the job you really want in a few years time) and THEN take your year off.

My friend is in his 30s. He graduated, worked for a couple of years, travelled for a year, worked for another few years and is now on a sabbatical from his company to travel again.

EmeraldShamrock Tue 26-Mar-19 21:20:14

My Dneice felt similar, finished uni landed a job in a huge tech firm after 6 interviews.
She decided to travel for a year, Thailand now working in New Zealand.
She is delighted she went, it is a year for her, once you start in the company it will be much harder to take a career break.
I think you should travel first.

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