It's common to feel like life is a toss up between working and travelling, but a new study has brought to light that you no longer have to put your career on hold in favour of feeding your wanderlust. In fact, satisfying your desire to travel could help land you your dream job...
When someone says they’re travelling the world, there’s one unavoidable question which pops up in our minds: “What about work?” Growing up, we’re often presented with two alternate paths to take in life: the career path, or the non-career path – the latter of which usually involves travel.
While for some prioritising travel over a career translates to ‘not having your sh*t together in life’, in reality travelling can actually improve your career prospects – and now we have the facts to back it up.
If you’re at a point in your life where you feel a choice between travel and working has to be made, you may be feeling like all the blood, sweat and tears that went in to getting your degree will be wasted if it isn’t put to use in a career straight away. But a recent study conducted by Contiki has made one thing very clear: travel makes you more employable.
The results of the study contradict the common misconceptions about juggling travel and a career, and the implications of deciding which one to prioritise over the other.
Whether you’re contemplating taking a gap year, sabbatical, or you've just chosen to travel the world in lieu of working, this is the proof that travel can ultimately benefit your career.
Travel makes you more globally aware
With employers seeking candidates who are engaged in current affairs, the study showed that 63% of travellers indicate that travel has shaped their perspective on global politics (compared to 36% non-travellers). Further still, 46% of travellers voted in the last presidential/national election – compared to 37% non-travellers. An employee that feels passionately about social and political issues is held in high esteem in today’s world, and you’ll be able to demonstrate this level of awareness thanks to your travels.
You’ll be a problem solving pro
The benefits of travel don’t just stop at getting the job. Booking a trip and travelling isn’t easy, and most trips aren’t holidays: they involve planning, budgeting, interpersonal skills and problem solving in an unfamiliar environment, often with the added stress of a language barrier. These skills are 100% transferrable into the workplace, with 63% of travellers saying that travel helped them learn how to efficiently problem solve.
Going out of your comfort zone while travelling and being self sufficient in emergencies means smaller tasks feel totally do-able by comparison.
You’ll be a fantastic communicator
In a business world, good communication skills are invaluable – and if you’ve travelled, the stats show you’ve got them in spades (especially if you’ve travelled solo) by being 42% more likely to seek out new friendships in a professional setting. Being more personable means you’ll get on better with colleagues, and good business relationships lead to better productivity levels.
As our world becomes more globalised, having experience with other cultures is a highly sought-after skill. Travel opens your mind in a way that any career cannot, and you’ll arrive at your new workplace teeming with enthusiasm and inspiration, ready to impress.
So the next time someone suggests you need to settle down into the 9-5 instead of travelling, hit ‘em with the facts. We don’t travel for fun and fun alone; we travel for self betterment, confidence, and now – we travel for employability. Read the full Power of Travel study here.