Eric started his career in the military in 1986. He has subsequently spent the rest of his time working for various companies around the world. He has worked in media, global rescue and currently in international security detail. All of this came out of his experience in the military.
Recently I asked Eric what advice he has for international travelers looking for a similar line of work. This is what he had to offer. If you are just getting here, be sure to read about Eric's experience working international security.
My adventure started with the military, and then just blossomed from there. I was not content with being average. I sought opportunities to explore, to get out there on my own.
I think that languages is a must. I'm often asked what language is the best to learn. I think that there's a better answer than just learning one of them. If you look at our use of the English language how many words and phrases do we use in a single day? 500+ words? 20 or so verbs? All of the interrogatives, and polite phrases? Time, numbers, currency? What if you chose five languages and worked on just the basics of those five.
Learn how to say Yes, No, Thank you, Please, Who, What, Where, When, count 1-10, etc...? Learn some verbs and common nouns (bathroom, beer, food, police, hospital) Think how many people you could communicate with if you could do that in say Spanish, German, Mandarin, Russian, and Arabic. I contend that it is time better spent that trying to learn or master only one additional language.
Language skills will get you far in any travel environment. I think mostly though that it all comes down to attitude and being humble. I've seen reporters that have been around the world documenting more human suffering that I thought possible for one individual to absorb.
Even after all of that, they are humble, open to new experiences, and aware of their short-comings. One the other hand I've watched people with brand-spanking new passports that have maybe been to Canada or Mexico parade around the streets of Haiti acting like they are the second coming of Sir Richard Burton. Be humble and open. It's hard to fill an already full teacup.
People are are always willing to pay for quality and experience. There is work in the military, the media, medicine, security, if you want to go down those paths to acquire that experience.
That one depends of experience. Most people starting out in security or medicine make barely enough to feed themselves. Experience comes at a price, and a good bit of sacrifice. My divorce lawyer will attest to that :)
The military sort of speaks for itself.
In terms of the media; quality cameraman can always find work. Take a look at the new and evolving paradigm of "backpack journalism". This, according to one media executive, is the future or the news media.
Medically; nurses, paramedics, and especially medical logisticians can always find work. In the world's disaster regions its not trauma surgeons that are lacking; they're a dime a dozen. Rather its the guy or gal that can organize the mountains of medical and humanitarian aid that will descend on the disaster site that is truly valuable. It's not sexy, but it's really, really needed.
I think the Internet is a great resource to learn about the various career fields. Find someone that is doing what you want to do, and read about how they set about doing it. Don't simply do what they did though, rather seek what they sought.
Really, just enjoy the ride, and pause every once-in-a-while to see where you are. One Saturday morning I was hanging out in Panama waiting to cross over one of the canal locks to get to the other side. As I stood there looking all dusty and tan, with a local bottle of beer hanging from my fingertips, a massive, white cruise liner was transiting the lock.
I looked up several hundred feet and there on the deck were throngs of tourists, with bloody Mary's in-hand, waving down at me. I commented to my friend at the time that it sure must be nice. He looked at me with the wisdom of years and said, "We're all on the same place at the same time, pretty much doing the same thing. The only difference is that they are paying huge amounts of money to be here, and we are getting paid huge amounts of money." Good point.
What can a military career do for you? - Eric tells us how he got involved, where this career took him and what it was like
Work and Travel Jobs - What other opportunities exist that require work and travel?
The world is too amazing not to share.
Resources for Travel Jobs Abroad
Consider a Military career?
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What's it like to work onboard cruise ships
Do cruise ship staff party?
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Get Paid to Party!
How to become an au pair
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