Most of us find developing and growing our career a top priority in life, often tying it heavily to our identity and self-esteem. While it’s amazing and important to focus on your career goals while you're young, it’s equally as valuable to travel and experience who you are as a person before you start moving up the career ladder.
While you may think taking that time out to backpack around South America or Europe is too self-indulgent and should be given less priority than scoring yourself that killer first job, by prioritising travel you are actually more likely to succeed in your future career.
Stronger connection and empathy for others
Most people recognise how incredible travel can be to help you grow as a person, but we’ve found it can do so much more than that. Travel creates a sense of belief in yourself and the amazing things you can achieve. Developing this confidence is integral when entering the workforce. Needing a refresh of how great you are? Head off on a confidence boosting trip! Through travel you also develop a powerful sense of citizenship which helps establish a better connection to others around you. These qualities make you an epic team player, which is a quality listed on basically every job listing ever, right?
“Travelling allowed me to learn the importance of appreciating people who live differently from myself. A business cannot flourish without that appreciation for your employees, your clients and the planet.” Matt Huegle, Co-founder of Pie Hole Marketing.
Improved decision making skills
When you travel, you come across things most people will never come across in their lifetime. This makes you more equipped to deal with unique and stressful situations. Employers recognise that travellers are used to being put of their comfort zone and that is a very valuable asset to have in the workplace. Travelling to places that differ vastly to your regular environment sharpens your natural instincts as you are forced to make more independent decisions. If you’re sitting at your desk umming and ahing over what’s most important on your to do list every day, you might need a trip away to sharpen your prioritising and decision-making abilities.
Put things in perspective
Experiencing the richness and diversity of new places also give you a renewed outlook on disadvantage in the world. It can really bring into perspective any feelings of resentment you may have and teaches you to live every moment to the fullest.
Become a people person
‘People skills’ are often one of the key things employers look for when hiring. Travel’s ability to get you out of your box is incredibly effective in developing these skills as you’re forced to make real connections with those around you. By travelling in foreign countries you also become a better listener as you are focused on the people you interact with and your surroundings. These unique experiences also make you a great storyteller, an ability that allows new employers and teams to immediately connect with you and understand who you are as a person.
“Travel for me has always been about exploring new places and embracing adventure. I try to bring a little of that to my work, being always open to new ideas, change and adapting to new techniques and technology.” Zoe Dean, Marketing Executive.
You’re happy, pure and simple
The biggest way travelling will help your career? It makes you happier and literally EVERYTHING you do is improved when you’re feeling happy and optimistic. On top of this, Contiki’s research indicates travellers are 43% more likely to be satisfied with their employment opportunities. This might have something to do with the skills they learn and develop when they’re off experiencing the world.
And don’t think just because you’ve missed that gap year moment that the ship has sailed. Reaching your full potential and keeping motivated and moving towards your career goals can really be aided by taking time out to relax and recharge. Forget saving up your leave for that trip you’ll never take. Head off on an adventure and bring all these skills to your career now!