Wednesday November 8, 2017
How Traveling Abroad Could Help You Get A Job
Travel abroad can seem expensive, time-consuming, and downright scary, leaving one with questions about whether the benefit really outweighs the stress. However, travel abroad makes a CV stand-out to future employers. The skills needed for navigating a foreign country can be used in any work environment. With job competition increasing, travel abroad can be the spark to give someone a leg up on the long list of applicants.
Studies have found that 97% of students who study abroad were employed within 12 months of their graduation, compared to 49% of college graduates finding employment in the same period. That is almost double the chance of finding a job, just for traveling. If that wasn’t enough, research also shows that students who studied abroad earn 25% more than their peers who stayed at home. Even if someone isn’t a student, travel can significantly make them more employable and here’s how.
Broaden Your Mind and Worldview
All cultures are different. The way people dress, eat, socialize, even simply greet each other, are extremely diverse across the world. Things one culture may think nothing of, another may find offensive. Immersing oneself and learning how to embrace another culture teaches you how to navigate unfamiliar territory -- an important skill for almost any job.
The ability to understand other cultures cultivates the ability to understand individual people and their different approaches to a situation. Just as cultures treat things differently, each person deals with situations and processes information differently. The adaptability for thriving in a travel abroad life and dealing with international people is critical for dealing with coworkers and being a great leader in the workplace.
Make Your CV Stand Out
Travel abroad provides three significant advantages employers want: foreign language experience, international familiarity, and strong cross-cultural communication. The world is more connected than ever through the use of technology, expanding the reach of even the smallest of businesses. Communicating with international people in their native tongue helps to build stronger and longer-lasting relationships, making the person who is able to bridge the language gap an irreplaceable middleman.
Traveling abroad also builds familiarity with international laws, standards, and customs. This is attractive to employers, especially if the job may require interaction with foreign economies or cultures.
Hone Important Work Skills
92% of employers are looking for traits found to be strengthened by study or training abroad. Skills such as tolerance, confidence, problem-solving, curiosity, knowing one’s strengths/weaknesses, and decisiveness are undeniably important to businesses. They show competency, maturity, and even leadership capabilities. These abilities are gained from being forced outside of the comfort zone to make quicker thinkers and more resilient people in high-pressure situations.
Whether traveling alone or in a group, traveling teaches social intelligence that can be transferred to any career. When alone, the awareness, self-sufficiency, and ability to think on one’s feet are all necessary survival tactics of travel. These are also important as a reliable, productive employee. Traveling in a group teaches how to hear the voices of others and to work as a part of a team, another extremely important skill in any work environment.
Build Social Connections that Span the World
One thing constantly stressed for people at the beginning of their careers is networking. Traveling abroad can vastly spread the net of communication. Even starting upon the completion of full time school with gap year programs, traveling abroad, whether structured or independent, provides a great avenue for anyone to grow their network. Having those contacts can come in handy in unexpected ways, from connecting different companies to starting a new business. As an added plus, building a vast social network also develops people skills and slowly makes communication with new people easier and more natural.
In conclusion, there are numerous ways in which traveling abroad can make someone more employable. However, these things can only work if the traveler truly embraces their experience and steps outside their comfort zone. It is fairly difficult to see and learn about the world from the four walls of a hotel room. Step into the culture, try the strange food, dance to the different rhythms, and don’t let fear stop the music of international tongues joined in laughter.
This is a guest blog post by Emmy Highsmith