It is not unheard of for employers to question gaps in employment history. Not long ago, I was at work when a department manager approached me to discuss an applicant. The applicant they were considering had quit her last job to travel. They were very concerned about this choice, and at her lack of skills after missing one year in the workforce. They might not offer her the job because of her choice to take a year off to travel.The applicant’s choice didn’t seem odd to me at all. Hooray for her is what I thought! While this is not uncommon, it got me thinking about travel, work, and life, and maximizing those transferrable skills somewhere in between. I disagree with employers who do not feel those who travel possess incredibly valuable skills to be used in the workplace.
Personally, I think travel is one of the best forms of education a person can get!
Readers of this blog know that we are a couple who work full time and maximize our travels each year. We do not believe people should be forced to be absolute slaves to the workforce. Instead, we believe in balance. Because of my professional background in human resources recruiting and workforce training, I figure this is a great opportunity to shed some light on this type of issue and provide a few tips too. When I considered the scenario of a well-qualified applicant being disqualified for a position because she chose to travel, I was bummed out. But, this happens more often than many of us would like to admit. So, where does all of this meet and how does it all mix together?
Surely there are more than enough skills people obtain and master while they are traveling which translate perfectly into the work world. Traveling is an engaging experience where new things are always being learned and practiced. Exploring the world can be very challenging – forcing people to think on their feet, step out of their comfort zones, and expand their horizons. Employers should want a candidate who brings that to the table!
With that in mind, here are 20 travel skills you can add to your work resume right now!
- Problem Solving
- Interpreting Information
- Creative Thinking
- Math Computation
- Time Management
- Decision Making
- Language Acquisition
- Cultural Diversity
- Operating Technology
- Risk Management
- Following Directions
- Ability To Function Independently
There truly are so many ways travel skills turn into work skills
Lets face it, travel is one of the most customer service oriented industries out there. There’s a reason it’s interchangeably referred to as the “hospitality industry”. When you travel, spend some time observing the professionals you encounter on the road. Its amazing to watch the standards they set which you can learn from and can easily take these examples with you to your job. Really, I don’t know of many industries where employers want their customers treated poorly by their employees. So travel, watch, and learn!
In addition to that, many employers today struggle with employees who are dependable. By consistently arriving at the airport on time or checking out of the hotel, you are learning what it’s like to show up on time and being ready to go. If you think traveling doesn’t involve math computation, think about all the times you’ve had to exchange currency, calculate your mileage, or work on your travel budget.
Travelers learn to communicate not only through language, but also non-verbal communication methods and gestures.
You learn to function as a team and independently. And between electronic boarding passes, requesting rides through Uber, or using Google Maps, technology is always present in travel. There are so many ways travel skills can translate into work skills. Really, unless you spend your entire time lounging on a beach doing absolutely nothing else, travel gives you invaluable work experience. Heck, even the beach scenario can translate into stress management techniques.
So the next time you decide to update your resume, be sure to include some of the skills listed above. Even if you have been traveling for awhile and its time to return to work, always remember you have acquired plenty of skills on the road.
Many millennials are changing the workforce. As a millennial myself, I truly believe in finding better work/life balance than generations before me. If you want learn about ways you can travel more while still maintaining a full time job, we have plenty of ideas on that too:
What travel skills have you learned on the road and applied to your day job? Tell us about them in the comments below!
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