How border openings will affect your future career

by Dec 22, 2021

Since March 2020, borders connecting the states and the world have been closed for travel of almost any kind. With some jobs being dependent on presence in a certain location, such as mining or marine conservation, it’s hampered some students and recent graduates in their job search and career plans.

Even if your desired career path could involve entirely working from home, it doesn’t always substitute for real world experience and increasing your employability with cross-cultural skills and interactions.

So how will border openings affect your future career?


Going to where the opportunities are

If you want to land your dream graduate job to kickstart your career, you need to go where the opportunities are. Many of them could be interstate or overseas.

Moving interstate was common practice before the pandemic – in 2019, there were over 404,000 interstate movers; a year-on-year increase of 2.9%. The 25–29-year-old age bracket are the most recent movers, based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

The big “push” factor for young Australian graduates moving interstate or overseas was indeed for greater career advancement or opportunities. But are we feeling confident about borders reopening?


How do young Australians feel about borders reopening?

According to a recent survey of 1,000 Australians conducted by Savvy, of which 122 were between the ages of 18-24, 64% of that group said they felt more positive than not, with 30% saying they ‘couldn’t wait’ and were confident about international border opening. About 37% are planning to travel overseas within twelve months from now.

At the moment, 2% of respondents said their primary reason for travelling overseas is for work or reasons relating to employment.

Though many remain confident, 49% are worried about not being able to return home due to quarantine or border restriction requirements.


Moving for lifestyle reasons – the remote work revolution

Twenty years ago, it was uncommon for most people to own a laptop or a powerful work-capable desktop (if they did, they often set aside a ‘computer room’ to use it). Now, it’s common for people to own desktops and laptops, in addition to the ones they have at work.

During the pandemic, businesses had to adjust their model for remote work, and fast. With shelter in place or lockdown orders barring employees and employers from gathering at their usual offices or workplaces, most professional work took place at home.

In the US, employers are bracing for a ‘great resignation’ as workers re-assess their career options in light of working from home and a reduction in commuting or long-haul travel (which was once a perk for some).

A third of Australians resigned their current jobs due to “pandemic burnout” which will leave employers scrambling to figure out what they need to do to attract top talent.


Being flexible with your work style may benefit your career: being willing and able to move if needed, commute partially, and work from home if required may make you more employable than a graduate who isn’t.

Keep an open mind and look as moving interstate or overseas as an adventure that will yield you a leg up in your future career.


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

Bill Tsouvalas

Bill Tsouvalas

Bill Tsouvalas is the founder and managing director at Savvy.