The last two decades have seen major changes in the travel landscape.
Long-haul destinations are being served by cheap airlines, new countries such as Myanmar and Saudi Arabia have opened their borders to tourists and the demise of the traditional 18-30s holiday has finally arrived.
This generation is turning away from a week-long partying on a sun-kissed island in favor of finding ways to incorporate regular exploration with both enjoyment and career development.
Gone are the days of fruit picking or simply working in a backpacking bar to get money, destinations must now provide the opportunity for envy-inducing social media pictures, while offering an avenue to enhance personal skills in a new environment or learn professional transferable skills. Both of which are hugely attractive to potential future employers.
Australia has long been the preferred destination, but a changing political landscape and increased understanding are making ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave’ the must-go place.
The Good Old USA
The key reason why the United States of America is such a popular destination is variety.
There is simply no other country on the planet that offers such a vast array of high-quality combinations for both geography and business industries. From agriculture to professional sports or retail to financial services, America offers an opportunity to learn from the leading experts.
For example, if you want to get experience in banking and enjoy city life, then you have New York City. But if you want to work in banking but love hiking, it’s all about Charlotte and the North Carolina wilderness. There truly is an environment to suit all tastes and travel desires.
Photo by Cayetano Gil on Unsplash
Historically, the major challenge in attempting to work in America had been the difficulty in obtaining a work visa.
Yet the passage of time has eased this.
Change has been driven by the United States wanting to forge closer relations with its international neighbors. Agreements such as the US-Ireland Working Holiday Agreement have afforded thousands of young Irish citizens the opportunity to temporarily work in America.
The USA government has also conformed to the growing demand from its domestic companies to help to find a talented, specialist or seasonal workforces to support growth. This has led to the introduction of several different visa types, while relaxing the requirements on others such as the J-1, F-1, H-1B and H-2B visas.
Even with the cloud of uncertainty surrounding the current US administration and the restrictions placed on some countries, there remain more opportunities than in previous decades.
Let’s Get Camping
There are many ways to get your taste of life in the USA, but probably the most well-known and used of these opportunities is a role as a counselor at a summer camp in America.
This is an excellent way to develop important personal and time management skills in an entirely new environment. Having to interact with managers, colleagues, and parents show flexibility while having to manage various kids’ personalities can be very rewarding.
There is also plenty of location choice across the country. However, most camps tend to be located in the beautiful and less humid North East of America. Many camps will also apply for longer visas than required to give their staff the chance to travel around the country at the end of their placement before returning home.
Read more: 5 Accessories for Your First Glamping Holiday
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Another avenue that is growing in popularity is working for a start-up company as part of an internship.
These roles offer the chance for business employees to get hands-on experience and quickly learn new professional skills due to the requirement of everyone to chip in. They also offer the opportunity to travel as the company grows into new territories.
However, internships are part of American college tradition, with the most desired opportunities at companies often having recruitment processes that go far beyond that of a full-time role. This demand can make them a daunting prospect.
The better solution is to target cities such as Nashville, Miami, and Austin which are starting to rival the traditional hot spots for start-ups. Not only is the competition not as fierce but they allow for a variety of travel experiences compared to New York.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Before You Go
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash
If you are now convinced that America offers a wonderful opportunity to travel while developing future career plans, there a few things to consider before you go.
America is the land of opportunity, so you are never sure what other opportunities will present themselves. Therefore, fully embrace the dual nature of your adventure. While there will be no shortages of places that you will want to visit, it would be ideal to line up the same number of different jobs or companies that you would like to experience before you set off.
It is recommended to contact as many different employers as to spread the net wide. And if you are knocked back by one, do not be afraid to ask for guidance on other avenues. After all, Americans tend to be very friendly and welcoming from their first interaction. It is not uncommon to be offered a place to stay, a chance to join them at an event, or maybe even just some beers without really knowing the person well.
However, it will be equally important to be prepared to seize these opportunities, as it will be to move from place to place. Consider investing in a couple of items such as a convertible bag to provide ease of transport while crease-proof shirts, a watch roll, and water-resistant blazers should provide you with hassle-free methods of being presentable while you are on the move.
Lastly, no matter how big the (understandable) temptation to go to America on a visitor visa and attempt to land a job is, you should never act on it. Get caught trying and you will be sent home and face the prospect of being banned from ever visiting or working in the country again in the future.
Instead, do your research, contact the right people, and bring a good camera to capture the whole experience.
The Good Old USA… Would you want to work and live in the USA? If not, why? Are you an immigrant or resident-turned-citizen? How was the experience? Share with us your experience in the comment box below.
Ed is a travel and technology enthusiast with a passion for writing. Ed’s spent his adult years studying, traveling and blogging about his thoughts on the world. You can read more of Ed’s work at The Spoon Drawer
*Featured Image by Joseph Barrientos on Unsplash | Photos do not belong to Wellington World Travels or the author – they were found online and are free to use | For DMCA removal, please contact us immediately
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2 thoughts on “Work and Travel in The Good Old USA”
Great point about the startup life in America. It’s pretty strong. Nice post!
Thanks, Jeremy. Appreciate the kind words.