Job Swapping: Adventure Without the Risk

By: Claire Alexander

We've had house swap and wife swap - now job swapping is set to become the latest trend

Bored of being an Account Manager in Manchester? Then why not go and work as an Account Manager in Melbourne for a while instead? The new trend for job swapping allows professionals to take a break from their current job and go and work in a similar role abroad for a while.

Itchy feet

Recent research by travel company i-to-i found that the current 20 to 30-something workforce is 'rife with itchy feet' and according to Standard Life Bank's Freestyle Happiness Index, some 600,000 working adults in the UK would like nothing better than to take a year out.

Websites such as gapyear.com, realgap.co.uk and travel firm i-to-i are already servicing this growing market, and more and more employers are starting to realise the benefit of offering sabbaticals. However, despite 92% of the 20-30-something workers in the UK owning up to unfulfilled ambitions, i-to-i's research found that they were too nervous to give up the rat race for fear they may not have a job when they come back. Many people are also afraid of losing their skills while they are away, or of not keeping up with industry changes.

This is why job exchanges are set to become so popular. You're guaranteed a job in a similar field while you're abroad, and you're guaranteed that your old position will still be there when you come back.

is new website created by Claire Alexander, an Edinburgh-based Web Manager, to cater to this emerging market. It's a job exchange website for professionals who want to explore the globe but don't want to give up their career. Workers can even exchange jobs with others in different regions of the same country.

Kathryn Witt, who swapped her job as a teacher through the LECT programme said that her exchange year was one of the best years of her life. "After my year in Canada I felt re-charged and full of new ideas to add to my teaching practice. It was a very worthwhile experience for everyone involved and I would recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who is looking for a little bit more out of life."

So how exactly does a job exchange work?

allows users to browse suitable job exchanges, or register their own job and allow potential job exchange partners to contact them. Users may register their job speculatively, however some people may want to discuss it with their employer first.

It's free to search the site or to register your own job. If you think you've found a match and want to contact a potential exchange partner, you pay a small fee, which also allows you to receive email alerts when new potential matches come up. Once initial contact has been made, it's then up to the two parties and their respective employers to make the necessary arrangements for the actual exchange

Better for employers too

Most employers agree that a job exchange is preferable to a standard sabbatical or losing an employee completely, both of which normally mean expense and inconvenience for the employer, in trying to fill the vacated position. However, with a job exchange this expense and inconvenience is eliminated, as the employee has already found a replacement. The employer has the advantage of having a qualified, experienced individual to fill the position, bringing with them new ideas and fresh ways of thinking. And at the end of the exchange period, the original employee will return with valuable new skills, more experience and new insights.

Anyone from architects to account managers and almost anything in between can find a job exchange. With adventure this risk-free, what are we all waiting for?

Website:


Email:
info@myjob4yourjob.com

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