This article comes for all those out there who give priority to travelling and working abroad. Nope, it is not a blog post about how to work while travelling. I have other good news for you! If you think you wasted your time travelling instead of taking big career steps or if you believe working abroad experience has not that much value for your CV, you are certainly wrong! You invented in yourself more than you could ever imagine, at least for many recruiters like us. Because you actually can show us a variety of valuable soft skills you gained during your travels by mentioning them in your CV correctly.
Here are the soft skills you most certainly gain by travelling and working abroad.
Obviously, if you are travelling a lot you should be curious to learn about new places, cultures and experiences, right? This is a very special soft skill that every company wants from their employees.
If you are not going to an all-inclusive resort for your whole holiday, you will be definitely integrating into a relatively new environment which will require you to make a lot of observations to survive and enjoy your trip!
Empathy, in other words, can be a very important outcome of your encounters with people from different cultures, different backgrounds and age ranges.
Adaptability / Flexibility
We are facing very different situations that we have never come across while travelling. Though, there should be few people who cancel their trips after 2 days and just go back to their countries. We adapt to new situations and change our expectations accordingly.
I’m not just talking about speaking in another language. Many tourists and ex-pats arrive at their destinations without knowing the native language of the country. Well, most of the time we get along with it, don’t we? It’s because, communication is many other things than the language, and you will be practising a lot while travelling.
How many phone numbers do you have in your contact list starting with different area codes? You can build a huge international network of friends and business partners during your travels, meet-ups and business meetings.
We’ve already talked about empathy, observation, and adaptability skills you can gain while travelling abroad, now it’s time for the purest outcome of the combination of these skills: creativity. You will be inspired a lot by what you have learned during your trips.
We all know it is sometimes extremely hard even just to buy the cheapest yet comfiest flights. What about all the hassle with accommodation, insurance, social security, banking etc? One cannot simply manage all these without being skilled at planning. That’s what your travel and work abroad experiences tell us.
You made a big decision going to all those places. Not just plan-wise but compared to all the coward moments in our lives where we just couldn’t take the decision to make a move, these were huge successes! You proved that you can take a big decision for yourself.
Plans and decisions don’t work sometimes, but if you survived your trip or working abroad experience with nice memories, that shows you were good at problem-solving. Because we know all those challenges you face during the process.
No one expects you to solve all your problems, though. This is another skill you can show to us with your travel experiences. The new environment comes with the challenges, but one cannot simply give up on the pleasure of the cycle of learning, failing, trying harder and then accomplishing.
Now since we know you accomplished your travels after a lot of challenges by being resilient, how do you feel? That’s the pleasure I’m talking about. You should be very self-confident with your newly gained skills. You will communicate with new people much easier and show how brave you are for new challenges. At least we, recruiters, know that you must be capable of all these.
Last but not least, the most important skill you can gain out of these adventures should be self-awareness. Being alone in a strange place, making new friends, leaving them behind, exploring new hobbies, learning new habits will make you a whole new person. Enjoy yourself!
So, how do you feel now? Proud of yourself? I think it’s a very good time to re-check your CV, focusing on your soft skills. I’m not going to lie to you, most of the jobs will be requiring a lot of specific technical skills. But it is the soft skills that will make you outshine the competition. Come on, go and update your CV (and don’t forget to send it to us later)!