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by Kaitlin McManus | June 11, 2019


woman walking with suitcase

Full disclosure: I’ve got the wanderlust, y’all. And a pretty serious case of it.

Maybe my itch would be scratched if I spent a little more time on the road. I love traveling, but many 9-to-5s, especially at the entry level, don’t allow for much jet-setting. And have you ever looked up jobs with lots of travel? The options given are either pretty sad (like busking—yes, that was listed on a few sites I checked out) or fun-sounding but entirely unrealistic for actually earning money (like travel blogging or brand-promoting—aka, professional partying). So, I’ve gathered up a list of real jobs for the sensible among us, who need a little more stability and would like to prep for an actual career path while wandering, rather than living the entirely carefree life.

1. Flight Attendant

This one’s obvious, right? Plenty of professional positions require some level of customer engagement, and being a flight attendant is a great way to get that customer service experience—while also flying all over the world. How much flight attendants actually get to see of the amazing places they go to is up in the air (rimshot), but they do get time off and often in a different city than where they started out. So if actual, literal jet-setting sounds appealing to you, chat with flight attendants from different airlines and see if they can shed some light on how much they get to explore before they’re back to going through the seatbelt/oxygen mask routine for the millionth time.

2. Subsidiary Rights Assistant

When I was networking with editors last year on a job hunt, an editor at a Big Four publisher told me that she’d wished she’d gotten into subsidiary rights precisely because of how much they get to travel. Subsidiary rights, in publishing, encompasses the area of obtaining rights to publish a book or other materials in other languages. This is often done through publishing houses in the countries where they would be sold—for example, if an American book was to be published in Italian, it would likely go through an Italian publishing house. This process requires physically being abroad to negotiate contracts, and so these folks pack up and ship out constantly. It’s a good fit for any literary-minded folks looking to fill up their passports, and the assistant’s role is comfortably entry level.

3. Location Scout

A friend of mine from grad school was that guy with the drone—he spent an exorbitant amount of money on the latest models, all because he thought they were neat. Now he’s gainfully employed by a production company, who pays him to fly his drones around Iceland and scout filming locations. I know, I’m jealous too. But production companies need boots on the ground in places all over the world, finding places that suit their filming needs. And as film and television (traditional and streaming) is an ever-growing industry, there’s an ever-growing need for this position. I can’t promise you’ll get to fly a drone—but I can't promise you won't get to, either.

4. English Teacher

Another friend of mine teaches English in Korea, and has been doing it for several years now. Offers to teach English abroad come flying in for college students, as it’s a pretty solid option post-graduation for those who don’t have a plan in place. But—sorry to rain on the parade—some of them can be scams. Or, if not scams, then just not a very nice place to work. So do your research, and find a good TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) accreditation program—be wary of those who don’t seem to care about any of your credentials. Teaching English abroad can be an enriching experience, you’ve just got to be careful with whom you do so.

5. Consultant

This is unlikely to shock you, but consultants need to go where they can observe what they’re consulting on. For example, management consultants need to go to the offices of the companies that hire them, to observe management and speak to employees. It’s very difficult to offer advice on the best way to proceed with something if you don’t have a full view of what you’re dealing with. So consultants are often on the road—and there are entry-level positions out there in this rapidly growing field. And there are consultants for just about everything, from management to diversity and inclusion to IT to social media. So keep an ear to the ground for something that really interests you, and that you’d like to help businesses accomplish more effectively—be it corporate strategy, corporate image, or anything in between.