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Travelling: Career Postponing or Career Making?

Out of my whole friendship circle back in the UK I am the only one who packed up their bags and left to go travelling after university. The most common response I received when asking why no one else would was that they needed to get started on their career. Now don't get me wrong, I purposefully didn't apply for any jobs that would keep me tied to England after I graduated as travelling was a long life dream of mine but I have since come to learn that travelling certainly does not put your career on hold and can in fact make it.

One of the clearest examples of this comes in the form of my very good friend Charlotte Whittles-Jackson. Charlotte, or CWJ as I will refer to her from now on, has come to visit me twice in the past two and a half years since I first left home and its fair to say she would not have started her own company - CWJ London at the age of 23, had she not travelled.

CWJ London is a beautiful hand crafted leather goods company specialising in bags fit to carry diabetic equipment. To quote "CWJ London is a luxury leather accessories brand created by designer and leather artisan Charlotte Whittles-Jackson. This brand was born when Charlotte saw a gap in the market for contemporary luxurious bags designed specifically for diabetic equipment.". The ideas behind this all started on her first visit to me, whereby we explored the East Coast of Australia in May-July 2017.

During our travels down the East Coast of Australia, we came across a lot of aboriginal art. CWJ being a design student at University at this time was obviously very interested in this and went on to base her final year collection on aboriginal art. Her collection was called the Yidaki Collection with all products given aboriginal names: The Tau Briefcase; The Inala Crossbody and The Marlu Pouch as featured below.

As you can see CWJs designs are effortlessly beautiful and I became one of the proudest friends on the planet. This led me to tell everyone whilst we were travelling together in New Zealand, fast forward 18 months from our last trip, that CWJ was a bag designer and would constantly show off the orange bag pictured above which she had bought with her as well as her Instagram.

More and more people as we travelled were asking how they could buy her bags and products (key fobs, wallets and other accessories are also available). Now at this point, CWJ did not have her own company but was very interested in trying to sell her bags alongside her current job. People throughout our travels from all over the world were telling CWJ that she should quit her job and make the move to set up her own company, as they would personally buy her designs

CWJLondon also has the wonderful niche attached with the diabetes which everyone admired and found extremely interesting to learn about. However, with the bespoke service on offer, the bags and other products are tailored for everyone and not just those with diabetes: "Charlotte created this brand for all, Men, Women, Children, people with or without medical needs. CWJ London is for everyone". CWJ notes that her travels were what actually gave her the push needed to take the (very brave) step to quit working for someone else and set up her own brand.

I also could not have imagined to have fallen into the career path I have without travelling. I found that Australia is much more willing to take people on with next to no experience and train you up on many invaluable systems which have massively improved my CV for when I eventually decided to settle and return home. Not to mention that it is noted a huge amount (over 80%) of employers are now more likely to hire you if you have travelled.

I absolutely believe travelling forces you to learn life skills no job can ever provide and that in itself makes you more employable. In turn, I am actually earning more than some of my friends who thought they were best not to travel to kickstart their career and double the average UK wage for my age (not that money is everything as I quickly learnt whilst travelling - but thats a whole other post in itself).

So if you have always wanted to explore the world but are put off travelling because you believe it will hinder your chance of a career, please let go of those old fashioned views and catch the first available plane because you may just become the first of your friends to set up their very own bespoke company or be given the chance and training that you may never have received at home. Not to mention the beautiful sights and cultures you'll encounter which are reasons alone to travel.

Remember to check out the wonderful bags and other leather goods on offer on CWJ London's website.

All the love, A x

CWJ London wants to thank Anna Sheridan for being our guest blogger this month. We hope you found this post as inspiring to read as we did! For more fantastic blogs like this please check out Anna's work at : AIUIUA

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