Travel For Work ? Are you Ready ?

One of the most common job interview questions you might be asked is if you are willing to travel for work. Some employers will specify a percentage of time during which you will be required to travel while others won’t have specifics. If you hate to travel and know that you’ll be miserable if you are forced to travel for work more than once or twice a year, you need to be honest during your job interview.
Of course, you might be asked if you are willing to travel for work after you’ve already accepted a job. New responsibilities and requirements are “tacked on” to employees’ job descriptions all the time, so you’ll need to decide if travelling is something you are willing to do. In order to make this decision, you’ll need to get as much information as possible directly from your employer.

First of all, don’t agree to travel right away. Snap decisions are often regretted at a later date and you may want to discuss the issue with your family. If you agree to travel for work, you’ll have a hard time bailing out of it after you’ve had time to consider the situation and your boss won’t be happy. Instead, explain that you really need to discuss travel with your spouse or children and that you’ll be happy to get back to him/her in 24 hours. This gives you an opportunity to consider your options and to decide how often you’ll be comfortable travelling.

Once you’ve bought yourself some time, you’ll need to consider the prospect of travel for work in depth.

Do you enjoy travelling at all?

If you enjoy travelling for pleasure, then you might really enjoy travelling for business. Not only is the business trip paid for, but you’ll get to see a wide variety of places. If, however, you hate to travel, you might not want to do it at all. Flying or driving for long periods of time will be miserable if you can’t find something good about it. While at first it may seem exciting,  you may never know what challenges new city will bring. Does moving out give you the same comfort then travelling for you might seem fine. But for people if it seems hassle then travel for work may seems to be an option which one should not go for.

Do you have obligations at home?

People who have commitments at home are usually not good candidates for business travel. For example, if you and your spouse work and you have a two-year-old child, you’ll be putting your spouse in a compromising position by travelling for business too often. Or maybe you’re a caregiver for an elderly relative or perhaps you have a special needs child. Whatever the case, make sure you can keep your personal and professional obligations.

While for you it may seems comfortable but for your family members moving out of already set life can seems to be very challenging. Think also of social circle of your family members. It would take a lot of time to make friends again.

Are there any monetary incentives?

If you aren’t going to be paid more to travel for business, why would you do it? Aside from seeing beautiful places, travel won’t be in your best interest. If your boss needs you to travel badly enough, he will offer some kind of monetary incentive, or at least better benefits, for your troubles. Make sure that you negotiate this point as well as possible before making the commitment.

If the monetary incentive outweigh all other thing and your family members are also convinced of the same, then it might be worth to travel for work. As this might seem to be a very good opportunity to bank on. Money is also an important factor which will help your family in the long run.

What about business travel expenses?

You should also ask your employer about expenses. Will you be given an expense account or must all travel expenses be reimbursed at a later date? If you have financial commitments that don’t allow for up-front travel costs, it won’t be a workable scenario. Make sure you can handle travelling for business both physically and financially.

Have you given yourself enough time ?

While not all decisions are to be taken in haste, this one definitely outweighs one another. For me, if I am given this kind of opportunity, I will always create a list of important factors such as family, schooling, parenting, money, social , domestic works etc. Then create of pros and cons of each with current versus where you are going to live.  Once that list is created , leave the positive points and then work on the negative points. Each negative point has to be thoroughly examined to make sure if there is any workaround for the same. If something works out for that then its great else leave it.

Short Term Travel For Business

If the employer wants you to travel for business for shorter period of time say for example few days to few weeks, then it should not be an issue. These short term travel for business are often required and justified for your profile. These might include customer workshops, business meetings or any other internal requirement. Take this seriously as company also is investing a huge amount of money on your travel for business. This include your stay, flights etc. This is done so as to ensure that you build your skills, take customer facing positions or get some more business to the company. This does impact your daily routine a bit but few days will not bring a major disruption in your day to day life. One of the bad things would be that you will stay away from your family and vice versa.  On a positive note, not many people get chance to travel for business. Hence you are the lucky one !

The only thing to check for these short term travel for business is any major activity in your life in those coming days for example any medical emergency or any other important stuff that you might be thinking twice for your travel. Its simple that family is everything hence any family emergencies should be treated in an utmost matter and a polite way of declining business travel is expected.

Short term travel for business also brings huge positive advantages in terms of you becoming one of the valuable employees. Company thinks of you as being an asset to the company. While there might not be much monetary benefits but the experiences you gain out of these short term travel for business really helps you grow inside your organisation. Hence do take this trips and come back with gifts for your loved ones !

Finally you will see whether positives outweigh negatives or vice versa. This can help you decide if travel for work makes sense for you or not.

Its not easy but towards the end its your decision to make !