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If you travel overseas for business, what type of work do you do?

If you travel overseas for business, what type of work do you do?

Jun 5th, 2006, 08:39 AM
Original Poster
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If you travel overseas for business, what type of work do you do?

I've been reading several posts recently inquiring as to how people manage to spend so much time in Europe. It appears that many people on this board travel for work and perhaps extend their stays for personal travel.

If you're one of those people who travel to Europe on business frequently, I'd be curious as to what you do for a living. I LOVE to travel and I'm considering a career change so I'd love to find a job that required me to travel to Europe a few times a year. I have no idea where to look for such a job so I figured I'd start here!
Squeak is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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Pharmaceutical education and communications. (As one of our more tactical activities we attend numerous professional Congresses on behalf of clients helping speakers prepare their materials and organizing collateral activities - as well as organizing investigators meetings, etc.)

However, this is the strategic end of the business - and our juniors don;t get to do much travel.

If you're just starting out the fastest way to get to travel is to join a meeting planning (logistics) company - since their juniors get to do travel fairly quickly. Just be aware that there are typically 16 to 18 hours a day of scut work on the days that you are working and in the beginning your ability to add vacation travel will be limited. Also - the pay isn;t great - until you reach management levels - and even then it doesn't match what you get on the strategic side.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 10:37 AM
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International flight attendant!However, it took me almost 29 out of my 33 years with the company to get on international flights.(AND I still have over 1200 people senior to me systemwide?) I spent the first 29 years flying to those "fun,small cities around the USA",working holidays and weekends;being on reserve/waiting to be called and then reassigned during the fuel embargo of '73 to reservations.I love going overseas everyweek but it is definitely hard on the body clock and schedules.I am enjoying my new phase of this job and am VERY appreciative of the opportunities it avails me.As the above poster stated-I think that in any job you chose you are going to have to pay your dues to get the plum jobs or travel opportunities. Good luck!
dutyfree is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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I edit and translate in Spanish and English, do a lot of freelance writing/reporting, and have been conracted on occasion to head up editorial projects at arts organizations. That keeps me moving pretty constantly.

One thing I guarentee you is that business travel is nothing at all like personal travel. I managed a tour in Boston, New York and Philadelphia for a month in Oct/Nov. After a long day of keeping up with the performances, practices and workshops, I certainly was in no mood to do anything interesting, and as we had things scheduled 7 days a week (which is often the only way to make travel work worthwhile financially), I was pretty hardpressed to see much. I did get the random time off, which I did use in the most fabulous way possible, but after countless business trips I say with safety that "being in New York (or Barcelona, Madrid, London)" does not at all mean that you will see or do anything memorable.
laclaire is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 11:46 AM
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My husband travels as part of his job. He almost never sees more than the airport-business meeting-hotel-airport. In most places. `Work travel and vacation travel are two very different things. Sort of like the books you had to read for school and reading for pleasure.
I've never gotten the sense that many posters on this board extrend business travel for pleasure. Once in a while, but certainly not the norm.
highledge is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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My husband is an engineer and travels a good bit for work. He's been all over the world, but mostly sees steel mills and power plants. Not much fun, but at least he gets to keep the frequent flier miles.
Carla is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 12:52 PM
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I worked for Boeing until I retired. Then I worked as a consultant for them and continued to travel more.

I left the US in 1969 and I haven't looked back. I got to see the whole world.

Plus, the company paid all of my expenses.

blackduff is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 01:29 PM
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I'm a elementary teacher for international schools. So I actually have to LIVE overseas rather than just travel overseas. However, in many int'l schools, the pay and benefits are good enough to allow you to have money to take nice vacations almost every month if you want. Contracts for international schools are typically for 2 years.

I had planned to travel the world and change countries every 2 years. Did my first 2 years in Latvia (good contract with lovely free housing, shipping, airfare, and decent tax free salary) and then headed to Italy for some warm weather. But then I met my husband in Italy...so I don't think I will be doing my original plan of travelling the world. I think I'll be in Italy for a while now.
amy_zena is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 03:42 PM
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Echoing the answer from nytraveler, I formerly traveled in conjunction with my career; I founded my own company (1986-1999), specializing in database management and information services for large (national and international) medical meetings. While I did the most traveling in my company, I agree that junior staff had frequent opportunities to travel, both with me (or my wife, who was a co-principal in the company), or without me.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 03:56 PM
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MDs in large group practices or clinics often travel for meetings around the world. This is especially true if you are at the top of your profession and are known for a particular area of medicine. So....medical school???
rbnwdln is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 04:48 PM
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I am a freelance writer and editor,and tanslator although I do have a regular "day job" as a professional book buyer. The reason I kept my "day job" is due to health issues that require I have pretty much the same health insurer until 2008, and to be around for my elderly parents. My dad died in '03, and my mom has been dead for about 10 weeks now, so I'm a little freer in that sense to travel than I had been. The last year or two of her life, she was suffering from mild dementia, and because she lived with me, I didn't want to stay away too long. Next trip to Europe will be 3 weeks long this September.

bookchick is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 04:49 PM
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Well - it's really more than being an MD. For the average MD you just attend the meetings - so you have to pay for them - just like other travel - although part can be written off as a business expense.

The ones who do the most (and free) traveling are the academicians and clinical investigators that speak at all the meetings. This is a whole other level of activity (most have limited clinical practices) than the average neighborhood MD.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 04:51 PM
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to add on to what rbnwdln said. . . if you are at the top of almost any marketable profession and are interested in traveling, you definitely can. My uncle is a very respected plastic surgeon and he gives conferences and classes all over the place. His trips are awesome! He does the classes and such, but never works for more than 4 hours total a day, and then the organizers wine and dine him and his wife like they were rock stars.

My Pilates instructor travels to give seminars in the US and has been asked to go abroad many times but refuses until the kids are a little older. Every field is looking for someone to look up to and to teach them more and if you can do that, more power to ya.
laclaire is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 05:19 PM
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I have been "retired" for about 5 years while I stay home with my 2 young boys...but up until then I spent 8 years as a business consultant travelling all over. It was a small company so I was travelling right away, and most of the seniors did not want to go to Europe, Mexico or South America. It was great. I agree with others, it is not like personal travel but when out of the country I did always manage to see some sites, but it took some finesse and planning.

My DH is a professor at a university. He has managed to take our whole family on study abroad trips to Europe--this summer will be our 3rd trip. It is work for him, but he has enough freedom to schedule long breaks for us and students to travel. Works out great! And we all go on trips together 2 days a week.
StephCar is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 05:50 PM
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I'm an educator and a doctoral level healthcare provider. For the educator side, I also write/edit some college textbooks, and I decided to make the theme of my most recent one international/global, so I could travel related to researching the topic. On the professional healthcare side, I attend conferences and select them very carefully (London, Florence, etc). I submitted a paper to a conference in New Zealand for this December, mainly because of location.

In the case of giving a paper, my institution pays most of my expenses; in the case of research or professional conferences, I pay the expenses but deduct them for tax purposes.
annw is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 06:03 PM
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I was a programmer, programmer/analyst, then senior systems analyst and instructor at three airlines. My work took me overseas occasionally, but as a single guy with an unlimited management pass for most of that time, I was able to spend many weekends and every vacation somewhere other than the continent I worked in.

So it's not necessary to have a job that requires travel in order to get around. Any management-level position in an airline, whether in marketing, engineering, accounting, legal, you name it, carries the same pass privileges.

Caveat: there is a salary differential built into airline management positions. I figure I paid about 10% of my salary possibilities for the privilege of flashing that little piece of plastic at a ticket counter, paying $5 for a FC upgrade, and marching onto a plane. But I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Non, je ne regrette rien.
Robespierre is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 06:26 PM
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I travel overseas for business because I work for an international company headquartered in Switzerland. If it is travel for a meeting to someplace I haven't been before, I will try to tack on at least a day or two. Sometimes longer if it fits with my vacation schedule.

However, keep in mind that of the many thousands of employees working for this company, very few get to travel internationally...so joining the company just for that option wouldn't really be logical.
Toucan2 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 06:40 PM
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Bookchick, I am so sorry about the loss of your mom. I lost my mom one month ago. She was only 63 but with Alzheimers, I have to be thankful that she went quickly. Your loss must feel bittersweet, too.

now back to your regularly scheduled thread....
edhodge is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 06:47 PM
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Bookchick, my condolences on the loss of your mom. I'm glad that you have a trip to look forward to.

Squeak, I've traveled a great deal internationally w/my husband (trips added on to his work assignment --or I've traveled independently whilst he's working) but I am flexible in my work and he sets his own schedule.

Mostly my work travel (the non-profit world/libraries) has involved domestic travel to conferences, trainings, etc. Typically you get better vacation packages in this field (4 weeks) so you could then plan your own trips but the salaries are not always terrific unless you work in a city or for a national organization.

I'd say get a professional/advance degree in your field, e.g. MBA and then seek a placement in an international company--you may even be able to get an overseas assignment (w/enough seniority or the specific skills). Lots of consulting/accounting firms routinely rotate staff through their divisions world-wide.

Best of luck.
mvor is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 06:54 PM
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edhoge, we were posting at the same time, my condolences to you also.
mvor is offline  

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