Are you on a 3-, 6- or 12-months gap to travel as much all the places on your bucket list? Perhaps you’re currently working a 9-to-5 job and hesitant to consume your vacation leave because your work load might pile up or you fear what others might think if you take a 2 weeks off?
Traveling opens up a whole lot of opportunity and room for yourself. It improves your self-awareness and enhances your skills. The experience won’t be just valuable to every aspect of your life but also contribute to your career. You should know, traveling and work life go well hand in hand.
You may not notice it but traveling isn’t just about seeing places, discovering culture and traditions; and indulging in different cuisines, it’s also about learning throughout the process. For one, It improves your social skills and more than that, it develops new skills that can and will be of value in your career.
Go and take a break from your desk. It’s time to restart your mind, see past the screen, breathe fresh air and go on an adventure. Here are 8 career skills you can improve and develop when you travel.
#1: Organizational and planning skills.
Traveling takes a lot of planning—from where you’ll stay down to your itinerary. Poor planning can mess up your trip for all you know. Also, being well-organized makes traveling easier and smoother. Take packing as an example, if you’re too disorganized not know what you should and should not pack may lead to either over packing, under packing or something in between. Making a list helps you keep track of what you need and what to do.
Lack of organizational skills and and preparation can pull your career down. If these two important skills lack when you travel, it may cost you a hundred bucks and days or weeks you won’t get back. Imagine what more it will cost you when you lack these skills in the workplace (it may cost you your job!)
#2: Communication skills.
Traveling from places to places means connecting with people of different nations and culture; and of languages you don’t speak. Any traveler knows how vital communication skills is—both verbal and nonverbal. Most of them even takes the time to learn their language and how to communicate well with different people.
This skill is as important in your career as it is when traveling. This “people” skills is usually what employers seek in an employee. It comes in handy when negotiating, during conferences, networking, working with different people, and build a good relationship with colleagues and clients alike. You need this most during job interviews, if you know how to sell yourself and your skills well, you’ll ace it.
#3: Time Management.
Time is diamond when it comes to traveling especially if you have a limited time. This is where your time management skills will be critically tested and improved. When you’re out and about to explore a city, you want to visit and do as much as possible at ease. You don’t want to run from place to place, or worse, miss a destination because you got up late.
When working, it’s essential to know your priorities: task that are urgent and important, tasks that are not urgent yet important, tasks that are not important yet urgent, and tasks that are not urgent and not important. Make a list to help you keep up and help you maximize your time.
#4: Cultural Awareness.
What’s exciting about traveling is learning about other nation’s culture and traditions. It open your mind and understanding as to why they do or don’t do such and the works. It makes you aware and sensitive of what other think, feel and believe.
This awareness is useful back in the office in terms of work or collaborating with people from other countries and have colleagues of different backgrounds. This helps you adjust to their culture and be aware of what you say or do that might cause offense or misunderstanding.
#5: Stress Management.
Planning a trip can be stressful. Even more so when you’re already having the trip and some unforeseen events occur that’s beyond your control (e.g. tour bus or van broke down in the road, stuck in a village, hotel won’t admit you, etc.). You need to be prepared and compose yourself in these situation.
Back in the office, stress can arise at unexpected times and you need to be prepared whenever it happens. You need to learn how to handle the situation and act under the stress with grace.
#6: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving.
In connection with stress management, quick thinking on your feet is a great skill to prevent and work through all the hindrance. Having the ability to work under pressure and deal with nightmares you encounter when traveling can come in practical when in the workplace.
#7: Creative Thinking.
Notice how un-creative your mind becomes when you box yourself in your cubicle, glued in front of your desk 8-hours per day, 5 times per week. Your mind stops producing creative juices and great ideas.
Traveling—seeing picturesque sceneries, meeting different people, gaining new experiences, learning new things, changing your perspective and the likes help enhance your right brain. It sparks up your creative thinking and helps you get inspired to produce new and quality outputs. Basically, taking a break from your desk helps refresh your mind.
You learn to adapt and behave sensibly and with awareness when you start traveling. Eventually, you’ll learn how to easily adapt to places and roll with unexpected punches as you travel—every traveler has this skill.
This is a valuable skill in the workplace especially if you’re newly employed. If you’re flexible and and adaptable in any environment, you’ll likely have little to no issues working and dealing with different types of people (colleagues and clients alike).
It’s time to finally take that much-needed time off all to yourself and explore the wonders the world offers. Let the adventure teach you new life skills that can help you grow personally and professionally.
Thanks for reading! If you have any more to add, don’t hesitate to drop a comment below!