9 ways travelling makes you more employable
Can going travelling boost your job prospects? Absolutely! Seeing the world isn't just a fun and fulfilling experience – it makes you look way more desirable to employers too. Here's how...
So you’ve finished school and are thinking about taking a gap year before signing yourself up to at least three years of surviving off your Student Loan? Or do you fancy doing a year abroad as part of your degree?
Or maybe you’re just back from travelling and trying to work out how you can show off all the great skills you've learnt abroad on your CV?
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 other candidates when applying for jobs. So if you're still on the fence, we vote: go for it!
Why travelling looks good on your CV
Taking a year out to go travelling or to study in a foreign country can boost your career prospects for these reasons:
Doing work experience abroad shows bravery
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. You might love it so much that you end up going to uni out there!
Travelling 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 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.
You learn 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, currency exchange rates, 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!
Travelling gives you good interpersonal skills
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.
Having friends abroad is great networking
When travelling from place to place as a young person, you’re likely to make friends from all over the world.
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!
You'll be an adaptable employee
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 Netflix 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. Piece of cake!
Travelling makes you more responsible and self-aware
After spending years getting yourself into situations where you’ve run 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.
You'll also learn how to be more resourceful and save money in a whole array of scenarios!
Enhances problem-solving abilities
As we mentioned in tip three, 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!
Going abroad improves your budgeting skills
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 time frame and, most likely, on a really tight budget.
This is a great quality to have in the workplace, as we all know how valuable an 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!
So many people get caught out at the organising stage of planning a year abroad. Remember to use your student card for discounts when you start booking!