Writer and world traveler Mike Hanski gives Vinnie Van GO valuable insights on the transformational experiences gained by traveling.
In today’s global business economy, the broader your view of the world is, the more marketable you will become as an employee. Aside from enriching you as a person and allowing you to cross memorable destinations off your bucket-list, immersing yourself in different cultures and environments is a hands-on experience that offers you an edge over the competition when applying for jobs. So whether you’ve been globe-trotting for years or preparing to embark on your first trip abroad, here are five reasons to make traveling an integral part of your resume.
It Teaches You Diverse Skill Sets.
When you’re thousands of miles from home in unfamiliar surroundings, it’s often a necessity to find creative and resourceful methods of earning money. This need to step outside your comfort zone and thrust yourself into the unknown will motivate you to learn a wide-ranging, eclectic amount of skills which can be utilized across multiple industries. Whether you’re caring for elephants at a wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia, providing childcare for a host family in New Zealand or serving espresso at an outdoor café in Portugal, acquiring diverse types of work experience makes you a more adaptable, teachable and well-rounded employee.
It Exposes You to Various Cultures.
Encountering other people’s customs, lifestyles and social norms can foster in you an appreciation for worldviews that differ from your own. This transforms you into a more open-minded individual which is profitable when doing business across cultural barriers. The more you can understand and respect another value system, frame of reference or point of view, the more successful you’ll be at negotiating and relating with all different people groups. Employers recognize the benefits of this progressive thinking, and are eager to capitalize on it when securing business deals with foreign clients, stakeholders, vendors and other commercial entities.
It Helps You Learn New Languages.
If you’re breaking into a specialized industry such as media, healthcare, education, finance or hospitality, you’ll be more sought-after if you speak a foreign language. Being able to communicate fluently with a global clientele makes you an asset to companies targeting international markets. One of the most effective approaches for studying a language is through immersion, so traveling to an area that doesn’t speak your native tongue will force you to practice both the conversation and retention skills needed in order to become bilingual. In addition, putting this on a resume shows that you’re dedicated to learning and applying new competencies.
It Equips You to Cope with Stress.
After spending any amount of time abroad, you will discover just how stressful it can be and how to troubleshoot these situations without losing your composure. From adjusting to the time difference to figuring out the exchange rate to navigating the cultural and linguistic nuances, you can expect to face all kinds of stress when traveling. But these experiences teach you how to overcome setbacks which creates a solution oriented mindset. If you can acclimate to unforeseen hassles in another country, this will give a potential employer reassurance that you’re more than capable of managing all the demands and pressures of a workplace.
It Gives You Networking Platforms.
Building contacts is one of the most valuable methods for gaining a foothold in the business world since job opportunities are often based on who you know. The more places you visit and people you meet, the more chances you’ll have to form relationships abroad which demonstrates you’re comfortable networking in scenarios that are new to you. Both the quantity and quality of connections you maintain can increase your worth as a professional, and traveling makes it simple to interact with an eclectic range of people who could point you toward a strategic career move. Plus, with social media, it’s effortless to keep in touch no matter the distance.
From problem solving to critical thinking to quick learning to tactful communicating, the insights earned and skills acquired from traveling can smooth your transition into the workplace. You might be surprised at the business applications you can glean just from adventuring outside your own borders, but some lessons can’t be taught inside an office boardroom. They have to be experienced firsthand in a situation that challenges and even changes your perspective on the world around you.
Successful companies don’t grow in a vacuum—they need a global community to help them thrive. So the more knowledge and exposure you possess of these foreign markets, the better equipped you’ll be to help reinforce that growth and stability. Whether it’s been a longtime dream of yours to takeoff overseas, or you’re just now beginning to feel the wanderlust, make it a priority to travel. Your budget or schedule might object in the short-term, but just remember, your resume will approve in the long-term.
This post was written by Mike Hanski. Mike spent the last 3 years working overseas as a content writer for Bid4papers, where he often blogs about college life and shares writing advice with fellow students.