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A Real Story Of Struggle From Bankruptcy To Travel Photography

A Real Story Of Struggle From Bankruptcy To Travel Photography

“There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.” – Zig Ziglar

Ben had never quite fitted into the ‘traditional’ idea of the way we should live our lives; the white picket fence, 2.4 children and a mortgage, however, somehow this was exactly where he found himself. Trapped in an existence he wasn’t content with and in lot of debt from his previous startup falling through. It wasn’t until it all began to unravel that he had to take a proper look at his life and work out if all he was doing was surviving, not actually living.

Ben was a candidate I dealt with, who I knew had more aspirations and skills than he could ever have dreamed of. In short, this wasn’t the life for him and that was plainly obvious over the course of the time I knew him. He wasn’t the type of person who would ever have been content with your standard ‘adult’ life, he wanted to see the world, explore and use his creativity for the good of those around him.

He had a strong imagination and could instantly bring photographs to life and you could tell that this was something he loved doing. He also enjoyed helping and making a difference to the life of other people and these were two things that could go hand in hand together.

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That was Ben’s story and there is more about it. If you find yourself with the same attitude and believe me, more people do than you could ever imagine or would ever admit to, you may want to explore some of these steps to achieving your goals and ultimately, create the life you desire.

Many people spend their whole life dreaming about settling down and taking out a mortgage. It’s what society in general aspires to and the way you know you’ve “made it” in life. However, what if you get the mortgage and the white picket fence and realise it isn’t what you wanted after all? The way people think is slowly changing and as a career advisor, I had an experience with a candidate who ended up bankrupt through their desire to have all of these possessions, yet they were never truly happy.

When they told me they were giving it all up to become a travel photographer, I couldn’t have been happier for them. I felt, from getting to know them that this would be the kind of life they would have loved. It wasn’t an easy journey by any stretch of the imagination. The need to file for bankruptcy and, of course, the courage of letting go of their life and possessions to go into a new world was completely unknown and in many ways, very scary.

The point to remember is, if you want to do something, you should go for it. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing or what everyone else thinks is the right way to live your life. You should always follow your own desires and dreams and do what makes you happy. After all, it is your journey and no one else’s.

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“We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous

If you do like the idea of becoming an independent traveller, these are some of the steps you might want to take in order to reach your goal.

1. Make the Decision

The most important step and possibly the most difficult, is to actually make the decision to change your life and become an independent traveller. If this is something you aspire to, then the sooner you make that decision, the quicker you can start to put your plans into action. My candidate had her epiphany after travelling around India, sitting on a boat on the river Ganges at dusk. But your photography epiphany could begin anywhere at any place, you just need to feel it and make a decisive plan to work on it.

2. Saving Money

In the case above, the candidate I was dealing with was made bankrupt, so they had no debt to pay off. If you find yourself in a similar position, it might be worth taking this step too. If you want to travel, this will give you the financial freedom to do so and will allow you to start saving straight away. The benefit of this kind of lifestyle is that you won’t need credit for mortgages, loans or anything like that. You will be completely free and this can be such an amazing and freeing feeling: no longer having to find the money to make ends meet but instead, having the freedom to save money and embark on an exciting journey.

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3. Which Job?

There are far more options available now for those who want to work independently and travel, whether it is photography or another line of work, it’s important to plan out what you are going to do. In photography, when moving into a freelance position even as a travel photographer, it’s important to focus on a niche. My candidate focused on South East Asian travel photography and now she has popular travel publications calling her up for assignments whenever they want to focus on a country in this region.

4. Plan Your Route

Just as you want to focus on a niche make sure you choose an area you are particularly fond of – or intrigued by! You will need to decide on where you actually want to go first and what route you will take. The world is your oyster, so you have many options to choose from. This can be an exciting prospect of it’s the own, the chance to just say, “I’m going here” and to start on a journey which could lead to anywhere.

5. Finding Work

There is, of course, the aspect of finding freelance work when you get to your chosen destination. No one said the journey would be easy, so you will need to be prepared to break doors down to find work and to work really hard. It might be a good idea to try some freelance websites prior to arriving and find out if there is any work you can do offline. In the case of a travelling photographer, you may want to phone up companies in the local area and let them know when you will be arriving.

Social media can also be a great way to let potential customers know where you are and what you can do for them. In the case of my candidate it was apparent that with her little money she needed to find frugal measures to become acknowledged, she entered travel photo competitions and approached image libraries to host her images. This opened new doors for work at low expense.

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6. Making the Break

Although this choice of lifestyle comes with its share of advantages, it can also be a difficult choice to make. You will not only need to get rid of all of your possessions, but also saying goodbye to your friends and family can be a very difficult part of it. No one said it would be easy, but if it makes you happy, then it is worth jumping over the difficult hurdles. For more inspiration, take a look at this article and when all is said and done no one is in charge of your own happiness but you.

Featured photo credit: Chris Hunkeler via flickr.com

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Joe Flanagan

Outplacement Specialist

Dealing With a Sudden Job Loss 7 Things You Need To Do The Moment You Lose Your Job Preparing for a Careers Fair 6 Quick Ways to Prepare For Your First Career Fair A Real Story Of Struggle From Bankruptcy To Travel Photography

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Last Updated on July 10, 2019

10 Great Skills to Include in Your Resume When You Change Careers

10 Great Skills to Include in Your Resume When You Change Careers

So you want to land a new job in a new field? That’s great. But before you start sending out applications left and right, you might want to make sure you have a solid resume first. Your resume will most likely be the first thing a potential employer looks at when evaluating you as a job candidate, and if you want to make a good first impression, having a knock-out resume is key.

Considering how competitive the workforce is now, it’s even more important that you create your best resume. Here are ten skills to include in your resume when you switch careers:

1. Computer/ Tech Skills

As technology continues to evolve, it’s essential that you stay up-to-date with the latest emerging trends. You should have a basic knowledge of social networking sites, computer programs such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and depending on the job you’re applying for, programs such as Adobe FrameMaker, Photoshop or Madcap Flare.

Take a look at this artice on How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

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And research the required computing skills for the profession that interests you, and then if you aren’t already proficient in them, consider taking online courses via a these sites to learn them.

2. Adaptability

Employers value people who can adapt and go with the flow when they need to. In an environment where things are constantly changing, being flexible can be a tremendous asset. If you’re a flexible person, make it clear through your resume, and if you’re selected for an interview, be prepared to give an example of a time when you showed flexibility.

3. Organization

Nobody wants to hire someone who’s scatterbrained and totally lacking in organizational skills. People who are organized are able to work efficiently because they aren’t constantly searching for important documents they’ve misplaced.

Also, being organized signals to your employer that you can manage your workspace well. If you’ve got a knack for being organized, let it be known through your resume.

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4. Communication

Being able to communicate well with others is definitely a desirable trait in an employee. That means responding promptly to emails, voicing concerns right when they pop up and keeping supervisors and team members in the loop about important information they need to know.

Good communication skills deserve a place on your resume for sure and will go a long way towards making you an attractive job candidate.

5. Leadership

If you know how to step up and be a leader, you have a skill that will wow any employer out there.

Think of a time at your current or previous position when you’ve spearheaded a project, organized an event or rallied everyone together for a certain cause. Any leadership experience or skill that you have needs to be highlighted on your resume.

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6. Work Ethic

Working hard and consistently going above and beyond makes you extremely appealing to employers. It’s impressive when an employee takes initiative and does what needs to be done without having to be asked.

If you are a driven, hard worker who routinely goes the extra mile, make it known on your resume.

7. Dependability

When employers have a task that needs to be done, they need to know that the person they ask is going to follow through and do it. Being a dependable person makes you valuable in the eyes of an employer because they want to hire someone who they can trust to do what they say.

If you’re dependable, be sure to list it as a skill on your resume.

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8. Multi-Tasking Abilities

If you’ve ever taken on two different roles at once or juggled working on two different projects, mention on your resume that you’re an exceptional multi-tasker. Many jobs demand that employees can juggle multiple roles at once, so if you excel at doing so, you’ll have an edge over other candidates who aren’t so good at multi-tasking.

9. Analytical/ Problem- Solving Skills

Are you a pro at analyzing situations and assessing things from all angles? Can you analyze trends affecting performance and solve problems and glitches when they surface? If you have the ability to analyze and solve problems, then you have a skill that’s in high demand.

You can save employers valuable time and money because with you on their team, they won’t have to stall and wait too long for a problem to be solved, and they also won’t have to pay to get someone else involved to fix it. This skill absolutely deserves a place on your resume.

10. Interpersonal “People Skills”

Employers want to hire someone who will be able to get along with all different kinds of people. If you work well with others and know how to make them feel appreciated and valued, especially if you can motivate them and get them to come together and cooperate for the common good, then you have excellent interpersonal “people skills” that make you a great candidate for the job.

In a world where the competition is cutthroat for landing the job you want, you have to do what you can to set yourself apart from the competition. Step up your game by listing the skills you have that employers are looking for on your resume. If you play your cards right, with a little luck, a job offer can be yours!

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Featured photo credit: J. Kelly Brito via unsplash.com

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