Taking extended periods of time out to go and travel can be seen as a risk to some. While travel is often associated with beach days, adventurous activities and having a great social life, it can often be misunderstood for what benefits it brings for your work life.
Many of us study, and the majority of us all have to work, so going travelling is essentially putting a halt to that and keeping off the career ladder. You might think that is damaging to what path you take professionally, but we are now starting to discover why travelling actually makes you MORE employable.
Yes, that’s right, going travelling is thought to actually help your working career and to help you get ahead in life! So don’t start feeling guilty for hitting the road, because the wonderful open-minded experiences you’ll encounter are only going to benefit you. Although it will vary from country to country and employer to employer, recent research suggests the majority boosts your work prospects.
What are the reasons travelling makes you MORE employable? Here are my 2 cents.
INCREASE YOUR PEOPLE SKILLS
Travelling puts you in many situations with many people from every nook and cranny of the world. A huge part of travelling is meeting new people, and treating everyone for who they are. There are no specific social bubbles when you travel, allowing everyone to mingle as they are.
You learn to deal with others, understand them better, get along with everyone and inevitably make friends and network. You never know who you might bump into or who could be a great contact to have in the future for a job you might want.
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Adapt To New Situations
Imagine you’re travelling throughout Southeast Asia, coming from Europe. The smells, the noises, the way of traffic, the street food stalls, and the structures of buildings – it all is new to you.
You probably won’t speak the local language, so you have to adapt when buying things and maybe use the best hand signals you can muster up. Perhaps you’re in the middle of Africa and an elephant trumps past you, how will you react? These are all new situations that you just learn to adapt to while travelling.
Understand The World First Hand
Forgetting what negative things we see on the news, we get to meet people from countries and cultures we may have no idea about. It’s essentially seeking the truth, talking to locals and other travellers first hand about their countries, expectations and stereotypes. Travelling throws us into that line of conversation automatically without the media’s input or assumptions.
HIGHER COMMUNICATION LEVELS
The amount of different languages and accents in the world are unprecedented, so when we meet other people on the road we have to adapt, listen more, understand the flow of conversation and be more clear when we talk.
Employee’s love good communication skills because many work issues that occur are normally due to lack of communication. Travelling improves this ten-fold so you’ll certainly benefit here.
A GREATER FOCUS
According to Hostelworld, 61% of travellers find a greater focus to know what they want to do with their life. Being free of pressures and expectation, travelling allows you to open up, find what makes you happy and create the beeline towards whatever that is.
If you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up (many of us don’t) then take a punt and go travelling as you might find out more about yourself!
Let’s get real here, travelling isn’t free, and you are going to be spending money. Whether you’re travelling around Southeast Asia with $1,000 a month, or Australia with $3,000 a month – you need to be financially responsible with your funds regardless of where you are.
You’ll need to manage costs and budgets in tight situations, and those skills are definitely transferable in the workplace. Think of the different currencies, the managing of money, the budgeting – they are all skills that make you more employable.
Today we are seeing the era of entrepreneurship and rise of self-employed workers. Want to be a digital nomad and work from anywhere in the world? How do you think these guys start off? They go travelling!
The ability to be independent and come up with the confidence (and idea) to work for yourself normally is generated from being exposed to the world. This could be starting your own travel company, a new travel tech app or even owning a hostel – the ideas are endless!
Looks Good On The Resume
If you’re trying to find a role within a company back home or elsewhere, employers will look for candidates who offer something different. If you’ve worked in Australia and that’s present on your CV, the employer will look at your experience a little closer.
Having travelled adds that worldly element to your resume plus raises the international profile for the company, having employees who’ve been around the world. Creating your own self-exposure is always a good way to make a good impression with potential employers.
Accomplishments And Happiness
If you go travelling, it’s another goal you’ve accomplished. Another tick off that big old list. When we achieve something it makes us feel better about ourselves.
This evokes happiness, and every employer wants a happy worker. You’ll be more open to change and opportunity, and more naturally willing to work. You’ll often find yourself with more ideas and a higher energy and employers will thrive off that. So, go travel!
If you’re having trouble convincing your family and friends or peers at work or school, then throw a few of these pointers out there in the next conversation. It was previously widely thought that travelling was for people running away from things and to avoid ‘normal life’.
When it’s becoming apparent is travelling is creating confidence and a keen open-mind to succeed in a variety of professional roles and add to a promising career. Who knows, travelling might be the reason why you’ve landed your dream job!