Keen traveler Michael Swigunski has seen more of the world than most, visiting and working in over 70 countries in the last eight years alone.
While many people are forced to choose between traveling and focusing on their career, he has managed to combine both. As the founder of Global Career, a remote working jobs site that helps individuals find work while on the move, he’s keen to share his secrets of how you can travel forever while continuing to advance your career.
Swigunski, who has also written a book, Global Career: How to Work Anywhere and Travel Forever, made his first overseas trip to Mexico at the age of 18. It sparked his interest in visiting other countries. Whilst studying finance and real estate at the University of Missouri he had the idea of studying abroad, and as a sophomore, decided to study abroad in Italy where he was really bitten by the travel bug.
“I was fascinated with Europe and wanted to spend more time there, so I applied for a Study Abroad student manager position for the University of Missouri,” he says.
A few interviews later he was appointed the university’s study abroad student manager for the Prague summer program, where his role was to teach a course at the Czech University, market the program and lead a group of 40 or 50 students to study abroad in Prague.
“It was an awesome job and it just got me more intrigued and even more in love with Europe and Prague,” says Swigunski.
Sadly, in 2011, just a month before his graduation, his mother passed away following a long battle with cancer. Devastated, Swigunski had to work out what the next steps in his life would be and think about whether he wanted to lead another group of students to Europe the following month.
He says: “Ultimately, I was inspired to follow my dream and go to Europe, but also to try to find work abroad.”
Within a month he had landed a job teaching finance at the Czech University in Prague. With the proof that he could find work abroad, he went on to secure a series of different jobs and roles in a variety of countries. These included working for startups in Australia and New Zealand, interning for a political party in Ireland, working the Wells Fargo trading floor in the U.S., and even doing some modeling in Korea.
With a huge amount of travel and overseas work experience under his belt he decided to write a book about his achievements. It was after chatting to groups of well-traveled Americans who were unaware of the scale of opportunities that existed to work in other countries like Australia, New Zealand and Ireland that he came up with the idea to write Global Career.
He says: “I figured that if these seasoned travelers didn’t know about all of these opportunities, the average American was also unaware of them.”
Once he’d started working on his book he realized an even better idea would be to set up the Global Career remote job board that would offer practical help and a range of services to both job seekers and companies. Launched six months ago without any external finance, the website’s primary target is 18 to 32-year-old Americans.
As well as seeing overseas job listings those seeking work while on the move have access to a professional, keyword-optimized resume service that guarantees to double interview opportunities for remote jobs.
Companies looking to hire remote workers can post their jobs on the Global Career website, at an average price of $199. They also benefit from an email marketing service to the platform’s 40,000 email subscribers in the U.S., social media promotion and syndication on other job channels such as Indeed and Glassdoor.
Swigunski says the biggest challenges they face include SEO, driving traffic and creating brand awareness, which they are overcoming with quality content production and outreach to established brands.
“Our main focus has been on growing our email subscription list, which we’ve done with viral giveaways,” he says. “We’ve given away trips to Bali, Mexico, and South Africa to help people start their global career.”
Additional services for job seekers and companies are in the pipeline, including staffing packages for companies and more career development offers for job seekers.
Global Career now has six members of staff who all work remotely – Swigunski is currently based in Mexico City and the business is achieving 16.78% month-on-month growth and on course to turnover over $150,000 in the next financial year.
Swigunski still travels a lot and is planning to visit around 20 countries in total in 2019. He is still involved with the University of Missouri Study Abroad program and provides a scholarship directly to study abroad students. “This is my way of giving back to students and helping them have a positive study abroad experience,” he says.
As well as his passion for travel, he admits to having always harbored ambitions to become an entrepreneur.
“I’ve always been fascinated with entrepreneurship and always wanted to find a way to combine my passions with travel and international business,” says Swigunski. “I knew that I wanted my life to be different and never had a desire to follow what you would describe as the normal path through life.”
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