Traveling is a new form of education. You learn different skills while traveling than you would during school. Travel builds character and educates us naturally by experiencing and doing ourselves, much more than education from text books. Yes, travelers have gaps in their resumes. And yes, travelers will ask you how long they have off during the year, yearning for their next vacation. Yet travelers are the best people to hire.
We are a new generation: we are the millennials. We are shaking things up, taking gap years, learning the new social media trends, always looking for a new exciting adventure and have a closet full of participation trophies.
However, recruiters see those gaps and can’t help think, “What were they doing for that period of time?” They see unemployment, un-ambition, and a whole lot of partying (well, at least my mom thinks so) but we need to throw out these misconceptions because companies will be losing the best future employers.
We have been traveling, growing ourselves, discovering who we are and who we ultimately want to be. Travelers bring tons of unique benefits to an employer and are so well-rounded! So travelers, it’s time to highlight your travel experiences when applying for a job!
This is why businesses should hire a traveler.
1. We like to try new things.
Ever tried scorpion? Or sleeping in a tent? Obviously, these aren’t work experiences people encounter everyday, but ultimately, travelers like to try new things. Whether it’s a new software program, excel sheet, or a restructure, travelers will always try something new at least once and will learn to make the most of it.
2. We can negotiate our butts off!
Have you ever been to Asia or South America? Well, you will know that you have to haggle for almost everything. Find the item you want, be set on the price you want and how you will get it. In other words, we can negotiate with other businesses pretty well. We have a goal in mind like a future partnership or a new deal, and we will negotiate the heck out of it until we get what we want.
3. We know how to budget.
Journeyed candidates know how to stretch a dollar. We can make a whole lot with just a little. Making budget reports and staying within budget is second nature to us. How much travel can we get out of X amount? We can do the same with your business.
4. We take risks.
As travelers, we are faced with stressful and different situations that force us to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. But we are willing to overcome our fears of the unknown and explore it. We jump off cliffs, eat mystery meat in Asia, and ride in tuk tuks so a bit of a business risk is nothing for us to fear, but rather embrace. Hey, the best experiences happen outside of our comfort zones and so do the greatest successes.
5. We know how to adapt to change.
As travelers, we thrive on change. We hop place to place, use different currencies, adjust to all time zones, and change our environments constantly. Basically, we adapt easily. We are much more open to change and can adjust with no trouble in regards to reorganization and management alterations a lot better compared to those who don’t venture out.
6. We are cultural thinkers.
Travelers will know how to deal with people from different cultures and backgrounds. With such an interconnected world, this will become more and more important. We know how to communicate with other cultures, respect customs, and accommodate to other countries which is essential to networking.
7. We can say “thank you” in many languages.
Businesses often work with other countries. A traveler loves to pick up languages from the countries they’ve traveled to and it is much appreciated when dealing with international clients. We are invaluable for communication at trade shows, conferences and networking events. You don’t know how far a simple “M’goi” (thank you in Cantonese) goes when speaking to fellow Chinese businessmen. We aren’t fluent but it shows we are trying to accommodate them.
8. We have good communication skills.
Not only are travelers willing to learn a few words in another language, but we have to talk to locals to see the best of the city. We talk to the people in our hostels to hang out. We love to get to know other travelers and travel together. We aren’t afraid of conversation, we can make a good chat out of anything, we connect to people on a deeper level and love to hear different opinions. That, my friend, makes a great salesman.
9. We are quick to make decisions.
Frequent travelers have to make decisions all the time while they are on the go. They have to weigh up the pros and cons of transportation, accommodation, and assessing risks. We travel for a limited time, so to maximize both time and money, we are efficient decision makers.
10. We are willing to learn.
You won’t find many travelers who sit in hotels and pools all day and say they have traveled that city/country. Travelers have a dire need to learn about the world around them. We want to learn about new cultures, customs, and traditions. We travel to learn about this big world, about ourselves and about other people.
11. We are good at problem solving.
Missing flights, delayed busses, lost suitcases? We have all been there, but travelers know how to keep their cool when something goes wrong. In event planning, something always happens (seriously, no event goes perfectly), but it is the way we manage the issue and solve the problem that makes work out in the end. It’s like they say “It’s not about the destination, it’s about how you get there.”
12. They tell great stories.
Graduates leave their school of partying, college bubble, and alas, find a job. They went to school, they played sports, and maybe won a championship. But travelers leave the home of their comforts, explore beyond their social circles, and see the world. Travelers have great stories, many interests, and can keep you wanderlusting for days.
13. We are dreamers.
Travelers see the beauty in things that aren’t so beautiful. They are able to see the world in a different way. It’s not ordinary, it is magical. Therefore, when we work, we want to make our workspace our new world while bringing value and culture to the workspace.