Many people view travel as an indulgent waste of time... a gap on your CV that you’ll struggle to explain away in an interview... or something that could be detrimental to your career prospects. But the truth is, a period spent travelling could actually benefit your career in ways that you’d never expect.
You might be wondering what qualifies me to write this with any authority. In my former life before setting off travelling I used to be a resourcing manager for some pretty big corporate companies. I was responsible for hiring staff and involved in processes that covered all levels from senior management to graduate schemes. I know how things work from the other side of the desk and can assure you that travel can very much have a positive effect on your career. Here’s how:
It improves your self-confidence
When you’re travelling, it’s not always plain sailing. To tell the truth there are many things that just won’t go at all to plan. Whether it’s a missed flight or a lost passport. But what do you do? Curl up into a ball and cry until your eyes are sore? No, you pull on your big boy pants and simply sort out whatever the problem is. This gives you the confidence to deal with all sorts of situations head-on, which is an invaluable skill to have in the world of work.
You can gain some language skills
Depending on where you travel and how long for, there’s a very real possibility that you’ll pick up some of the local language. In fact, it would be a real shame if you didn't make an effort to try and learn at least a few words. If it's something you're interested in then there's no better place to learn a language than in the country that speaks it. So book yourself a few lessons and get practising. Many businesses are becoming global and speaking another language can a real bonus on your application.
It makes your CV stand out from the crowd
Particularly with graduates fresh out of university, there’s a tendency for CVs to look pretty similar to one another. Depending on what you’re going for, your degree may simply be the basic requirement to allow you to apply for the role... but it’s unlikely that this alone will secure you a position. Companies look for the extra things that make you stand out from the crowd, and a period of travel can do just that. It also provides a great topic to talk about in interviews which may just set you apart from other candidates.
Meeting new people brings opportunities
One of the best things about travel is the myriad of new friends that you make. While at the time it may just be some mates to go out partying with or share the cost of a tour, you never know where new friendships could lead in the future. People know people, and having a network of contacts is always a positive thing.
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