Back in 1991 I worked in Jasper Alberta. I worked there a full year then left to go on the cruise ships to work not coming back till 1996 to work in Canada. It was not Jasper I returned to but Victoria, British Columbia.
In 1988-89 I worked in Switzerland when I left Montreal and then in 1990 I worked in England and again in 1993.
Skip 1987 because I went to school all year to learn French. So except for that one year in 1991 when I worked in Jasper I worked internationally you could say gaining lots of experience. Ten years and nine of them away.
However if you have no network when you return to your own country, and maybe this is only Canada because I don’t think the U.S. thinks like this, you can have all the experience and education in the world but unless you have a reference locally you will start from scratch at the bottom.
You will go into interviews and they will see you have management experience and have worked in fine places but unless you know Jerry across the street and they can call him up, forget about it.
So have fun traveling and learning but before you return about two years ahead of time start making some contacts where you want to settle when you come back. There was no internet when I returned so it was doubly difficult. Get on Linkedin and start making friends because even though they are miles away from you now when you get back you want to be able to give them a call. Keep them updated. Make a plan.
I thought when I returned it was going to be easy. It wasn’t. I remember a lot of employers just sitting on the fence interviewing me over and over again not coming to any conclusion. I couldn’t wait much longer I had to put some food on the table. So I returned to waiting on tables.
Sad but in this industry I should have stayed in Europe. I had more contacts there than I thought I would need in Canada.
Don’t make the same mistake!