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May 18, 2018 | Opinion

Want a successful career? Travel.

By Michael A.

The obvious benefits of travel include expanding your horizons (literally), learning about new cultures, falling in love with foods you can’t pronounce, and flooding your Instagram with unreal views from places like Paris and Greece. But travel also positively affects your life in a huge way most people overlook: your careers.

That’s right, Mom and Dad. Traveling—especially group travel—can make you a serious contender for job openings and help point your professional life in a more cultured, confident, and unique direction.

So here you go—nine reasons group travel is one of the best things you can do for your resume (and yourself in general).

Photo by @brimoelter

1. Set your “soft skills” in stone

Weird name, useful abilities. Soft skills like communication, negotiation, cross-cultural understanding, self-sufficiency, and decision making are a part of your everyday life in the business world. And group travel gives you plenty of opportunities to work on them through your interactions with the people in your group—and with the people you’ll meet along the way. It’s okay to be a softie. Your future boss will thank you for it.

2. Be the most interesting person in the room

Sick of the same old conversations about the weather? Talk about your favorite pubs in Dublin, or the zipline adventure in Costa Rica to make your voice stand out. Having epic travel experiences to draw upon while you’re shaking hands and kissing babies will help differentiate you from the other people vying for that same position.

3. Make your high school language teacher proud

Stating the obvious—travel improves your foreign language skills. US News and World Report reported that skills in a foreign language can improve your earnings 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, when you travel to Paris, and you can order off the menu for your fellow travelers, they’ll be extra happy to have you by their side.

4. Make your social media stand out (in a good way)

Potential employers check your social media. That’s a fact. On top of making sure they’re SFW, you can make them memorable and attention-grabbing by including some of your travel photos. A selfie of you hiking Europe shows your active side. A pic of the Mona Lisa shows your cultured side. And a shot of you with a monkey is just plain awesome. Travel will fill your feed with dynamic (not to mention beautiful) posts that show a future employer who you really are. Plus, think of all the likes.

5. Roll with the punches

Travel teaches (and sometimes forces) people to be more adaptive. A last-minute request for a report from your boss will seem like a breeze after catching a last-minute flight to Lisbon because you may or may not have gone to the wrong airport in Rome…it happens. Your professional life will constantly throw challenges your way. The best way to stay on top of the chaos of life is to embrace, adapt to it, and roll with it.

6. Play well with others

No matter what job you’re doing, chances are, you’re going to be interacting with people. Group travel allows you to tackle new experiences and challenges with people you may not seem to have a lot in common with…at first. After spending time with them, you start to recognize and appreciate the strengths of others and learn that just because they’re Team Edward and you’re Team Jacob doesn’t mean you can’t get along.

7. Try new things

This goes without saying—when you travel, you’re going to try new things. When you visit Japan, the local restaurant will be different than the ones you’re used to eating at when you’re home. And that’s okay. It’s okay to eat dinner at 10pm instead of your usual 6pm. It’s okay to visit the Louvre even though back home you never go to art museums. You’re in Paris. Visit the Louvre! Trying new things opens you up, and can potentially open your eyes to something you’ll end up loving for the rest of your life.

8. Discover your independence

Your Wi-Fi is out. You need to get back to the hotel. Who you gonna call? No one! Cuz you’re an independent person who can handle getting back on their own. Travel teaches you that you’re way more resourceful than you think, even if you weren’t part of the Scouts. Whatever happens during your travels, just repeat three words “I. Got. This.” Because, you do.

9. Make connections

Group travel means that you’re with 30+ other people who want to experience the world as much as you do. And on your journey, you’re going to create bonds that will last a lifetime. The best part of it all…you never know who’s going to be in your group, or who you’re going to meet along the way. Because the world is smaller than it seems, and who knows who you’ll run into the next time you’re looking for a job. So be cool to everyone, get to know them, and have some fun along the way.

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