5 Reasons Why Traveling the World Makes You Better at Your Job
If it’s the middle of the Summer and you have been working none stop without taking any PTO, then it’s time to take a vacay because you definitely deserve it. Just in case you need some motivation, here are five reasons why you should travel the world, whether it is for work or pleasure.
Did you know that when you travel, it can help you be more flexible, unleash your creative side, and also bring innovations to the forefront? So, what are the 5 reasons you may ask?
1. Being a team player by playing well with others:
[Taveling] with friends, co-workers, or even a partner, can help you to develop trust, rely more on others and cooperate when your patience is tested by long days in the workplace. And if you decide on traveling solo? This also helps you to step outside your comfort zone, whether it’s to ask a stranger for help with directions or to make small talk in a hotel lobby. These skills can all make you a valuable co-worker.
According to Michael Schlesinger, a project manager at leading travel e-commerce company Booking.com:
“When we interview people for jobs, of course, we’re looking for their technical skills, but the way they can interact under pressure is essential as well,” says Schlesinger. Travel is one way to get used to operating under pressure, in close quarters with other people. When you’ve successfully re-routed your trip in fifteen stressful minutes at a foreign train station because of misunderstanding the original train schedules, working with a diverse team to execute a complex project is a breeze.”
2. Become a master of listening and paying close attention to details:
When you travel it’s important to pay attention to your surroundings — especially the smallest details which may not be a big deal back home. For example, “In Asian cultures, if you’re given a business card, it’s considered polite to take it and study it for a few seconds, before you carefully place it in a wallet or holder,” says Schlesinger. “Taking the card without looking and sliding it in your back pocket is considered to be incredibly rude.”
“It’s really important to take the time to understand the place you’re in, and let the locals lead the way, even if it’s a different custom than what you would normally do,” explains Schlesinger.
That’s why traveling abroad—or even working with a diverse group of coworkers from all over the globe—can teach you the art of listening, acceptance, and learning to let others take the lead. Traveling for pleasure? Taking the time to get to know locals—asking for recommendations, taking note of any customs—can foster curiosity and learning back home, too.
PS: You’re not just seeing new places and making incredible memories, but your globe-trotting experiences can actually give you an edge in the workplace.
3. You get good at making things work
There are those days when everything at the office rolls like clockwork—emails returned, deadlines met, clients satisfied. And then there are other days. Unexpected server issues, a few late nights, and a lot of phone calls. When traveling, you may experience similar issues too. Keep in mind that once you’ve experienced it once, you will be ready for whenever it happens again — all of which can translate into how you deal with mishaps at home or at the office.
4. Become incredibly independent
When you’re overseas, you don’t necessarily have the same support system as you did back home. The time difference may mean it’s tough to check in with friends, family, or your workplace. Because of that, you get pretty good at taking care of yourself—which at work translates into learning how to manage your time and get your job done without getting constant input from your manager.
“Taking care of yourself” also means developing routines that help you prioritize your own physical and mental well-being. “I travel with a mini-pharmacy at all times, to make sure I have everything I need, from ibuprofen and band-aids to an extra T-shirt,” says Schlesinger. “[In my line of work] it’s not a typical nine to five job, so you need to know what to do to take care of yourself even when the travel and work gets intense”—including heading to Starbucks kiosks all over the world for his favorite coffee order, a venti caramel macchiato.
5. Rolling with the unexpected
Being able to bring a sort of flexibility into the workplace lets you seamlessly pivot between projects and assignments, and not feel stuck in the way things have been done in the past.
Traveling can make you work smarter while seeing different parts of the world and expanding your resume as well as your perspective.