9 ways travelling makes you more employable
Debating whether to go travelling? Seeing the world isn't just a fun and fulfilling experience – it sets you up to be way more employable too. Here's how!
Credit: Gary Knight – Flickr
So you’ve finished school and thinking about a gap year before signing yourself up to at least three years of surviving off your student loan?
Or maybe you’re just back from your travels and trying to work out how you can show off all the great skills you picked up when travelling in order to pimp up your CV?
It might not be immediately obvious, but travelling the world is more than just great fun – it also counts as invaluable experience that will work wonders in helping you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs. So if you're still on the fence – we vote, go for it!
How travelling will make you more employable
Here's nine great things about travelling that will make you more attractive to future employers, and even make you better at your job!
Offers you diverse work experience
Whether you end up working in a panda sanctuary in China, a summer camp in America or waiting tables in a cafe in Barcelona, the work experience you gain when travelling is invaluable.
By choosing to work abroad, you’ve shown you’re not afraid to throw yourself into the unknown and try earning money in a completely unknown environment.
This isn’t the easiest thing to do, and it’s also not the easiest thing to actually land a job when you're travelling, so this will look really great on your cv (and talking about it in your interview will make you stand out from the crowd).
Encourages you to learn new languages
It’s true that it’s quite rare that you’ll need an additional language in order to nail a job, but some companies do ask for it regardless of whether you'll put it into practice in the workplace or not.
Just being able to show you’ve taken the time to learn another language when travelling will look great to new potential employers. Not only does it indicate that you’re naturally inquisitive and interested in other cultures, but it shows you’re able to apply yourself to something and stick with it.
Similarly, teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) is also a great way to have the chance to live and work abroad, and will look gold on your CV. Find out everything you need to know about TEFL here.
Teaches you how to manage stress
Anyone who’s done much travelling will know how stressful it can be trying to get from A to B whilst trying to work out foreign travel timetables, different currencies, as well as travel etiquette.
The more you deal with these sorts of situations, the easier it gets to cope with the stress, and (in theory) you should be able to transfer this ability to cope well under pressure to the workplace, too.
No company will want to hire a flapper, as they tend to make everyone around them stress out, too!
Gives you a good rapport with strangers
During your travels, you’ll be faced with situations every single day where you’re making conversations with complete strangers. This is something that many people find quite daunting, but the more you do it the easier it gets – and after a while, you might even find you grow to enjoy it!
Being exposed to these sorts of situations will make it easier for you to communicate with new clients in a relaxed and confident manner, and increase your chances of fitting in well with colleagues. It also improves your chances of nailing that job interview, as you'll come across well from the moment you walk through the door.
Allows you to make friends internationally
Credit: Alex Vanderstuyf
When travelling from place to place as a young person, you’re likely to make friends from all over the world during your travels.
This is not only great for opening your mind to other cultures and giving you a wider perspective of the world, but keeping in touch via social media, email or carrier pigeon could also work to your advantage in the future should you decide to look for work in another country. It's always good to keep your options open!
Makes you more adaptable
If there’s one major change that you’ll find in yourself (if you don’t have this quality already) is how adaptable you’ll suddenly become when travelling.
All the home comforts and routines that were once so important to you – like straightening your hair twice a day and being able to watch Hollyoaks every night – just won’t matter to you anymore.
You’ll also learn to enjoy being thrown out of your comfort zone, and this is a great trait for the working world. Employers want to know that you’ll be able to cope if something unexpected happens and you’re required to step up and out of your normal role. Peace of cake!
Makes you more responsible
After spending years getting yourself into situations where you’ve ran out of money and had to borrow from your parents, or gotten drunk and lost all your stuff in the pub – unfortunately for you, travelling puts you in a situation where you have no choice but to be super responsible!
You’re looking out for yourself in a foreign country, with no mum and dad to pick up the pieces if things go wrong, so this really throws you into the deep end (in a good way).
This is also great experience for the workplace, as it teaches you to be more independent, responsible for your own actions and more likely to take the initiative to get things done.
Makes you a problem solving master
As we mentioned in tip 3, the chances are you'll be met with a few (potentially stressful) obstacles to overcome along your route.
Although these might be a pain at the time, these are all really great experiences for you to build on. Every problem you're met with that you need to deal with is like a lesson – you'll get better and better at thinking practically and calmly about difficult situations each time you have to deal with one, and better at working out how to solve them!
Turns you into a budgeting pro
Travelling also makes you generally a more organised person – mostly because you don't really have a choice but to be organised when you're trying to make your way from place to place within a certain timeframe and, most likely, on a really tight budget.
This is a great quality to have in the workplace, as we all know how valuable a super organised person is to have on the team, and your ability to budget well will come in handy when you're planning the staff nights out!