One of the recruiters I mentioned in my last post said something to me that I haven’t been able to get out of my head.
“Unless you have a specific skill, it is going to be very difficult to get you to an island.”
I have no doubt this is true. It’s probably the most honest thing she could have said to me. Everything I’m reading is telling me the same. Do I have skills? Absolutely. I run a department with 30+ people. I recruit a lot. I’ve spent a lot of time training. I invest in my people. Training should be on-going, not just showing someone how to do the job. It’s helping them tweak and get better at the job. It’s also improving the job itself. Identifying areas for increased efficiency and better customer experience. It’s a never-ending cycle of development in both the micro and macro aspects of what we do. And I do this stuff pretty well.
But these don’t seem to be specific skills that will help us transition to Turks & Caicos. According to the recruiter, these are all things someone from the island can do. I need a different skill set. So, now what?
It seems a career direction change is in order. I’m not opposed. I like to change things up. I worked through college as a bartender and server. I moved to a call center environment and aced the sales and customer service aspects before moving into quality control. Then I took an internship in baseball operations. Now I run a sales support department for an education technology company. All of these things would seem to be unrelated, but each skill set learned in each position helped me perform well in the next.
The financial services and legal professions seem to be the most in demand. This is definitely an option. I’m also looking at a vet tech program. I grew up in a horse barn and haven’t spent much time without a dog. I love animals. There appears to be a need for a vet in TCI (there isn’t one there currently), but I don’t know much about the need for vet techs. I love to write, but not sure if I have the ability to make a decent living doing it. It’s one thing to write a research paper or blabber my thoughts to the interwebs. It’s another to actually convince someone they should pay me to do it. Seems a bit foreign to me.
Which leads me to my newest tactic to figure out this conundrum that is trying to move out of the United States. Stalking. I mentioned before that I’m working my way through blog after blog by people who have done this. I’m also scouring expat forums for active users. And I’m sending them all messages. This is so far out of my comfort zone, it’s crazy. But I’m doing it. I have a hard time asking for help when I feel like I should be able to figure something out on my own. Especially strangers. I’m closer to the introvert side of the scale and loathe the idea that I might impose on another person.
But imposing I am. And I’m finding that some don’t mind. Sure, many don’t respond. I doubt I’m the first to say, “Hey, I might wanna move to your island. How do I do it?” to these people. Nor will I probably be the last. I hope one day I’m getting the same questions from people like me. The fact of the matter is, I can’t figure this out on my own. This isn’t the same as packing my car with what little I owned at 25 and moving to a different state to start an internship. This is closing the book on one kind of lifestyle and starting a new. A new life that involves a lot of paperwork and legal-ness. Why not learn from those that have gone before me if they are willing to share?
At least, that’s what I keep telling myself as I cast my nets and shyly impose on strangers.