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FINDING WORK when you’re traveling can be difficult, as employers don’t like the idea of bringing in somebody they know isn’t sticking around. But they should. And here’s why.
It’s good for the economy.
Most times, employers excuse themselves for not hiring travelers by saying it takes jobs away from actual citizens. It hurts the economy. But that’s a load of bull.
Travelers work in-country to either fund further travel in that country, or to establish a way to stay in the country longer. And nobody hemorrhages money quite like the guy who’s actually excited just to try that diner he saw on TV once. All that equals money flowing straight back into the economy like a pipeline. The company may as well be spending that money themselves. This holds true even if the employee is working under the table, and that’s not even getting into how flippin’ expensive a working visa is in the first place.
And the taking jobs from citizens thing? Don’t worry about that. Travelers won’t be there long in the first place, unless it’s the kind of job that leads to sponsorship and an actual career. And if the company’s considering hiring a person from overseas for that position in the first place, they probably deserve it anyway.
It saves them money.
Employers will say they want to give jobs to citizens, but come on. If that were the case, we wouldn’t be outsourcing to India. Bottom line is, all a company cares about is the bottom line. And that’s fine. It’s why they exist. But if a company needs an excuse to avoid bringing in a foreigner, the cost to themselves ain’t gonna be it.
Most travelers (backpackers especially) don’t need a lot to be happy. Ten-bed dorms exist for a reason. When it comes to work, they’re usually willing to take a pay cut that a local simply wouldn’t. As long as their pittance gets them through the day with enough left over for a bus ticket later, a traveler’s gonna take what a traveler can get.
Customers dig accents.
Travelers love short-term jobs, like sales or waiting positions. The holiday rush is the perfect way to save some dough before the malls scale back after the New Year. And for any retail gig, it’s all about the face time — it’s the reason half those places don’t just bring in the robots to manage everything, Terminator style.
But when it’s a local doing the job, the accent is so familiar it fades into the background details until it might as well be Judgment Day already. If you’re gonna make money convincing people they really want two lobsters for dinner, you need an edge. Travelers come prepackaged with a unique story that a local hasn’t heard before, a culture they more than likely haven’t experienced. They hear an unfamiliar accent and their ears perk up by instinct. That’s such an easy in it should be mandatory.
You stick an Australian guy in an American clothing store, you’re gonna get sales by sheer virtue of the ladies needing an excuse to come and ogle him. And that sports bar that just hired the Swedish chick to bartend? Now that’s not even fair.
They bring a new perspective.
The first time I went to England, I paid for a meal with a credit card. You know, as you do. The waitress promptly stuck the card into the bottom of a little device she carried, and I looked at her like an idiot. That’s not how you use that thing, lady. She promptly pulled it out and gave me an apologetic look.
“Oh sorry, no chip and pin.” Wait, what?
It was the first time I’d even heard of that technology, let alone seen it implemented. But as my travel experiences grew, I came to learn that it was pretty much ubiquitous all over the world and America was sorely lagging. It was a completely new way to pay for me — and frankly, a better one. ‘Murica.
It’s pretty safe to say that any traveler has held a job before. And at those jobs, they’ve seen things done differently from any other country by sheer virtue of having developed with a different history and culture. When that person then brings the lessons into another country, both are gonna reap the benefits. And that’s a deal every company should be running.