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September 20, 2017 | Opinion

4 ways travel can help you professionally

By Jeff D.

The benefits of travel are numerous, well-documented and life-altering, but they can also be of vital importance to your career.

Here are four ways to use your travel experience to enhance your prospects.

1. Brush up on “Soft Skills”.

Meeting new people is always a good idea. Communication, negotiation, cross-cultural understanding, self-sufficiency, decision making—these are known as “soft skills”, and travel will give you plenty of opportunity to have meaningful interactions with others. Perfecting these traits can take you farther than some of those super technical skills you may have acquired.

2. Build your small-talk arsenal.

Trading cultural currency and mastering cocktail party chatter are 100% career skills that can move the needle for you**.** Whether eating dinner with a Thai family, riding horses in Costa Rica, learning about fine art in Paris or walking in the footsteps of Lord Byron in Sintra, having epic travel experiences to draw upon at critical networking situations will help you stand out. Getting noticed for being interesting is always beneficial, right?

3. Foreign language skills are amazing.

Make your high school French teacher proud—travel improves your foreign language skills. US News and World Report reported that skills in a foreign language can improve your earnings from 10% to 15%. A trip overseas is the perfect excuse to re-engage with your underused language skills, take a language class and participate in some conversations with locals. Plus, if you roll out some bilingual talent on your EF Ultimate Break trip, you’ll impress the hell out of other travelers.

4. Way better social media accounts.

According to another US News and World Report piece, 40% of potential employers will be scanning your social accounts before they hire you. Make sure your Facebook and Instagram are on point by flooding them with travel pictures so you stand out.

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