Do you need another excuse to travel? Probably, not. But just in case, traveling allow us to make memories, gain experiences, and recharge, but it can also benefit your career.
It’s true! Traveling can teach you many great skills applicable to everyday life, including many in-demand job skills. Imagine returning to work not only refreshed, but also better able to do your job.
So pack your bags, grab your passport, and get ready to learn these 15 essential job skills that will take your professional life to the next level.
Planning is an integral part of having a great trip. Not only must you decide where to go and what to do, but you must secure accommodations and how you will be getting to your destination. Depending on where you’re going and how long you’ll be there, your trip could include dozens of moving parts that you’ll need to plan.
The complicated planning involved in travel translates very well to jobs that similarly involve multiple moving parts and attention to detail.
A huge part of planning a trip involves research. You must know where to get the information and tools you need to help you hack your trip to avoid spending a fortune. Many people spend weeks and even months researching a trip before developing their final plans.
Even if your job doesn’t directly involve research, the ability to find information when you need it is a valuable skill for any job.
3. Time Management
From booking your transportation and accommodations to making your flights on time to seeing everything you want to while on your trip, time management will make or break the experience.
Excellent time management is also one of the most important job skills, especially with deadlines and projects. No matter where you work, you’ll need to appropriately budget your time so that you complete your work promptly.
Even the best-laid plans sometimes go awry. Flights get canceled, and the fantastic hotel you booked online can turn out to be completely different in reality. Someone who has experienced adversity while traveling and managed the issue successfully has learned valuable job skills that easily translate to most work environments.
This one may seem slightly out of place on the surface, but the reality is that most people travel with family or friends. Traveling with others teaches you to collaborate, communicate, listen, and compromise, which are all essential skills for most jobs.
Have you ever been to a place where you couldn’t speak the language or where the culture was completely different from your own? These situations quickly demonstrate the importance of developing communication skills while traveling.
While it’s less likely you’ll find yourself in situations where no one else speaks your language in your job, you will find yourself working with people from different backgrounds and cultures.
The more you travel, the more people you meet. Often, the people you meet become lifelong friends or close connections that could come in handy down the line. In both travel and your career, the ability to network will be helpful and perhaps even essential. The more connections you build, the wider the network of people available to you should you need something.
Humans tend to gravitate toward what is familiar. While that may feel safe, it won’t be beneficial when thrust into a job with people from different backgrounds. Interacting with people from diverse backgrounds exposes you to different ways of thinking and behaving, leading to more tolerance and open-mindedness.
9. Cultural Awareness
Along with exposure to more diversity, travel helps you become more culturally aware. Understanding how our own culture might differ from one individual or group and accepting those differences is being culturally aware. Depending on your job, you may also work with clients from other countries and cultures, so having that awareness will be critical.
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Being exposed to more diversity and gaining cultural awareness develops empathy for those different from ourselves. Traveling forces interaction and allows us to develop that empathy, which is critical for successfully working with different people.
11. Problem Solving
As already mentioned, traveling tends to throw all sorts of challenges your way. Especially when in a foreign country, you’ll need to utilize all your skills and resources to find solutions to whatever comes up. Navigating issues while traveling is a job skill that directly translates to almost any work environment and demonstrates that you are resourceful and able to handle challenges.
12. Stress Management
While you may be able to problem-solve issues while traveling, that doesn’t mean that navigating those problems is easy. Especially in an environment utterly unfamiliar to you, it can be highly stressful to deal with roadblocks. However, if you can manage the stress of travel mishaps, you can likely manage whatever comes your way in the workplace.
Those with extended time abroad are bound to pick up at least some of the local language. Speaking multiple languages is highly valuable and increasingly crucial for working with diverse clients in such an interconnected world. For those that have studied another language but want to build their fluency, there is no better way than to immerse yourself in a country that speaks it.
14. Global Perspective
We tend to only focus on the things that directly impact us, such as our community and country. However, as a traveler, you are exposed to the plights and triumphs of communities around the world, which gives you a global perspective. A global perspective is critical when working for companies with an international presence.
Active listening involves making an effort to hear, understand, and retain information given to you. When traveling, you will need to learn to be an active listener so that you can successfully navigate your trip.
Active listening is also vital in the workplace to get all the information you need and better understand your colleagues and clients. There is nothing better than feeling like someone is listening and understanding you.
Travel the World, Transform Your Career
Aside from being fun, traveling is also a great way to learn and practice critical job skills that will make you a highly desirable candidate in the workforce.
Whether it’s learning to think on your feet to problem-solve, honing the ability to plan and organize, or becoming more culturally aware and diverse in your thinking, these critical job skills you can learn from traveling will help you become a more balanced and better person.
Where will your travels take you next?
Do You Have the Right Skills for a Travel Job?
Are you tired of the mundane desk job that keeps you stuck in the same place day after day? Do you yearn for adventure and excitement in your career? If so, a job in the travel industry might be just what you need!
Keep Reading: 11 In-Demand Skills You Need to Thrive in a Travel Job
Boost Your Resume for Free: 30 Places to Learn New Job Skills
Between the courses, websites, educational institutions, and learning from the people you already know, there are plenty of places to learn and enhance your job skills for free, both online and offline. What are you waiting for? Start learning something new (for free) today! Your future self will thank you.
Keep Reading: 30 Places to Learn New Job Skills for FREE!
Get Ahead with Strong Interpersonal Skills
No one wants to work with someone who is negative and always complaining. And no manager wants to hire or promote someone who is rude, temperamental, or unreliable. Strong interpersonal skills are just as crucial to your career as technical hard skills and expertise. They help you navigate the day-to-day tasks and challenges you face at work. So what exactly are these skills, and how do you improve them?
Amanda Kay, the founder of My Life, I Guess, provides valuable career advice and support for anyone striving to make a living and, more importantly, make a life. Whether it's navigating job searches, learning new skills, overcoming unemployment, or dealing with debt, My Life, I Guess has been a go-to resource for career guidance and financial stability since 2013. Amanda's expertise and relatable approach have been featured in trusted publications such as MSN, Credit.com, Yahoo! Finance, the Ladders and Fairygodboss.