Sharmini Wainwright is managing director of Michael Page & Page Personnel Hong Kong. With over 13 years’ experience with PageGroup, she oversees specialist recruitment across finance, financial services, sales & marketing, legal and more.
Too much travelling
When I first started this merchandising job, I knew it would involve some travel however it’s just getting a bit too much. I hate the 13hr+ flights and having to live out of my suitcase for long stretches of time in a foreign city away from family and friends. It can get very lonely especially in the evenings. Is there a way to speak to my boss to reduce the amount of travel or should I just look for another position?
Sharmini Thomas - Career Doctor
Posted Thursday 13th June 2013 07:43:00 PM
Hi Yiiu, The life of a merchandiser! It is viewed as an attractive role being in the retail sector however, the biggest downside is, as you say, the extensive travel which depends on the brand or group you are working for. Whilst it is creative, fast paced and exciting, I agree with you on the fact that the travel component can often be tiring and have an impact on your life outside of work, due to the requirements around working and travelling between cities. Here are some thoughts that you can reflect on when considering your next step: The first thing for you to think about is your passion for the role. If you are truly passionate about and love the position you are in, perhaps, the sacrifice of extensive travelling isn’t too much when you put this into perspective. Also, you may see that you have a very strong career path into management and strong earning potential in the short to medium term. Remember, the earliest stages of your career are usually the most difficult and require the most amount of sacrifice. The second thing is to speak with others you work with who are more senior to you and get their perspective on how they balance the travel aspect of their role. Remember, the more senior members of your team and your boss have also had to make these same considerations themselves. It is usually helpful to openly talk through the positives and the challenges of this part of the role, as they may have some ideas on how to make it easier for you, or perhaps they had no idea you were finding it difficult at all. Thirdly, if you feel it is time to move on, there are definitely some positions within the merchandising industry which involve less travel. You may have to be flexible on how ‘premium’ or ‘luxurious’ the brand is when considering a new role within merchandising by focusing on more local players. This possibility does exist. I wish you all the best for your career direction. Sharmini.