A common misconception when preparing for one’s life in the workforce is that travelling is a waste of time and not relevant to your career or personal development. This could not be further from the truth and the sooner that you begin to take each and every international opportunity that you are able to, you will see how much you thrive as a result. While the classroom and the office teach certain skills, travelling teaches skills that are priceless and valuable for one’s career and personal development. Here are several skills that you will learn while travelling that you will likely not learn in your cubicle or in your textbook:
How to accept and relate to others with different backgrounds
Having to work in an office teaches you how to relate to different personalities; however, it does not necessarily show you how to integrate into a foreign culture as a guest. The social graces that this requires teaches live lessons that are invaluable to business, intelligence, and sophistication that are great contributions to a job candidate. If a candidate submitted a resume with two years working experience in China to a company in London, they would in all likelihood be interviewed before the rest because that part of their resume shows that they went outside their comfort zone and learned valuable skills that could be beneficial to businesses.
In the globalising world, English is important, but it is not everything. Through travelling to countries that speak different languages, it teaches life skills related to how to interact with individuals that do not speak the same language as you. In many cases, this will result in you learning some vocabulary words or it will result in you learning how to show respect to a different culture, which is vital to your career and personal development. More frequently you’ll see jobs available that specify foreign language skills as a necessity.
Travelling leads to life experience that cannot be obtained from the office or the textbook because your viewpoints are being changed through the cultural interaction or world monument that is before your very eyes. You learn things for yourself based on what you experience, which will help you be a stronger candidate for jobs because you will be able to relate to individuals your age and older based on your sophistication from your travels. The perspective you receive from travelling will allow you to analyze aspects of your home country and make you more informed and polished in your perspective. This will open your mind to conducting business and studies from a fresh viewpoint that is a major asset to firms or universities.
If you do travel and intern at a foreign firm, you are going to learn the way that business is done in a foreign system. You can then compare this system to what you learned in school and perhaps have a deeper understanding for your home system through comparing it to its foreign counterpart. This is a vital exercise to young professionals that is tremendous job experience for their resume.
Travelling enhances your life in many ways. Regardless of whether you are studying abroad, interning abroad, backpacking throughout Europe or taking a photography class in Israel, travel is going to teach you something that will stay with you for the rest of your life. The joy that you experience will translate into a skill set that is going to make you a cut above of the competition because you will be operating on an entirely different interface than those who remained in their home countries and did not go out there and see what other cultures the world has to offer. The lessons that you learn will help in your studies, job, and overall life perspective, which is why any travel opportunity is a useful gift that keeps on giving. If you’re still deciding between travelling, pursuing a degree or even an apprenticeship, you can find out more about the pros and cons of your options here.
Sophia Beirne is a frequent business traveler who shares her experiences and thoughts writing for Stayz, Australia’s #1 holiday rental website.