Before my placement, most people would have considered me as one of those career driven types. I had researched many of the top companies and developed an extensive CV to market myself. I always thought, I’ll secure my degree, get a good grad job and then I’ll be flying! Then I started at IBM.
It’s not that I’m any less ambitious now about the career that I want, but maybe I want a different career. Or maybe it’s just not been a good week.
For the first time in my life I have been earning money that has allowed me to travel. In December, I went to Bali and the Gili Islands for 2 weeks, last month I was in Dublin, next week I will be in New York. In April its Paris and in May, Santander. I’m having a break then (as I have no more holiday allowance left!) and then in September it’ll be a flight to Turkey. I have the bug.
When I say my job has taught me to travel, I do not mean travelling through my work. Let me explain why. In IBM, one of the largest divisions is GBS (the Global Business Services). To you and I, that’s the consultants who spend 4 to 5 nights a week away from home. I speak to many graduates who join GBS a few months after their inductions. The typical story goes a bit like this…
‘The conference started at 9am in Amsterdam on Monday morning so I flew in at 7.30. The meeting wound up at 8pm and we went for dinner. It was the same for the rest of the week. The conference finished on Thursday night. I landed back in London at midnight. I was in the Southbank office at 7am on Friday for 4 client meetings back-to-back. Not sure where I’ll be next week but I’ll probably sleep all weekend.’
For some this sounds fantastic. All that travel. I would argue that it sounds awful. Now, I have been to Amsterdam and for 5 days I walked everywhere and saw what there was to see. Now can a GBS graduate really say they’ve been to Amsterdam if they only saw the restaurant next to the hotel?
The reason my job has taught me to travel is that although I enjoy what I do, my mind often drifts from my computer screen to far off lands. IBM provide 5 weeks a year of annual leave and I’ll be damned if I spend that sat at home in front of the TV. A full-time job has taught me to appreciate ‘my time’ and my time is every minute outside of company time. I want to spend my time doing the things I love. My job has taught me to travel.
Love Serenna xxx