Thoughts From Vacation – Cruising For a Career

posted in: Career | 1

This will be part of a series of posts over the next week or so about some thoughts I had while on vacation the last couple of weeks. Today, I want to talk about the nature of cruises, and how it made me wish I had some different options when choosing a career.

For the first 45 years of my life, I had somehow never managed to take a cruise anywhere. After my first one, 10 days spent cruising from Spain to Italy and France and back, one thing was very clear to me. It’s different than any other type of travel. Oh sure, it’s different in lots of ways, but the one thing that stood out to me is that the goal of a cruise is different than other types of travel. Typically, you travel to a place, and that place becomes the center point of your stay, and maybe you wander out from that spot, but you don’t typically travel from place to place, because of the logistics involved in getting to and from. With a cruise, obviously, the logistics are taken care of for you, so you are traveling in such a way that you are in a new place nearly every day. That means that you don’t get to spend a lot of time in any one place, but you really get a small sample of many different places, and get to decide which ones you might be interested in going back to for a longer stay. Let me give you an example. We left from Barcelona, but really didn’t get to see much of it, so I would love to go back and see more. I’d love to go back to Tuscany and spend more time, I didn’t get to do everything I would want to in Rome, so I would go back to spend the day at the Vatican, but also know enough to know I don’t want to spend weeks in Rome. I also feel like I saw everything I wanted to on Mallorca, so I’m not in a big hurry to go back there, though I did enjoy it very much.

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The more I thought about this, I thought about what a wonderful way this is to sample a variety of places in order to decide where I might want to invest more of my vacation time. How I wish we could treat careers the same way. Let me try out a job for a day or two before deciding whether I want to really do that for a long time, or let me shadow someone in an industry before I spend 4 years of college studying to enter into it. How cool would it be to actually get a small taste of a place, or a career, before investing so much of your future in it?

The question is, how can we give this opportunity to cruise around a bunch of career options to people? What do we have to do? Is it a question of an educational system? Is it something we should be encouraging young people to do, network with people across various careers so they can get a feel for it? Should companies allow potential employees to sample the job for a day or two? What do you think?

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