Coming back from travelling can seem daunting in so many ways but one particular area that concerns us all is finding work. A gap in your employment history doesn't look great and for some prospective employers, it may seem as though you are simply someone who has been on a long holiday and is perhaps not as motivated and committed as someone who, let's say has been in constant employment.
Whilst being in the same job for ten years looks great on a resume, how much new experience can you really gain at that time? Sure, you show you can commit to a business for a long period of time, but did you learn any new skills during that period that could help to push the business to new levels? Which brings me to point number one…
1. Finding the right company for you.
We are seeing more and more companies investing in their employees, from internationally recognised businesses, right down to smaller local ones. They have initiatives in place to ensure the well-being of their people and they encourage and help them to progress in their career because they know investing in their employees is going to increase the company’s overall profit. But there are still so many companies around that are not interested in developing and caring for their staff. Those businesses tend to be the ones that will look at the break in your CV and chuck it in the bin. Do not let this shake your confidence, you have a lot to offer the right company, just remember that! Speaking of a lot to offer, point number two…
2. Travel will have taught you new life skills.
You did not just spend your time sat on a beach (although those beach days were pretty great), you will have unknowingly picked up a few life skills which can easily be transferable into the workplace. Make sure you let those future employers know about them!
Problem Solving - Think of a situation that you were in that required you to have to think on your feet and solve a problem. I know you will have had a few! The important thing to remember when you relay this skill is that you had something happen to you or were in a situation, in a foreign country, with no immediate support from home. You probably did not speak the language or have good knowledge of the place or local culture but you evaluated, reacted and found a solution.
Confidence and trust - Because of the ups and downs you faced whilst away, you will have learned to become confident and have trust in your own abilities. Confidence is not arrogance. Your experience with travel will have taught you to believe in yourself, to make choices, try new things and be brave. An inevitable part of travelling is taking calculated risks. Most of the things you have done would have been new to you and if you didn't take risks you would not have left the country in the first place. You know what you are capable of and you are not afraid to push yourself to new limits.
Social skills - Travelling is undoubtedly one of the most social things you can do. If you went away on your own, you would not have stayed that way for very long. You are constantly meeting new people, striking up conversations with locals and other travellers from all around the world. If you were a shy person when you went away, I can guarantee you did not return that way. Travel teaches you to be a great communicator which is an incredibly valuable skill to possess.
3. Find something that makes your heart sing!
When you are looking for a new job, read the description of the role and think about how it is making you feel. Does it excite you? Will this position (and the company) make you feel proud to be a part of it? People who excel in their careers tend to be the ones who love what they do. Money comes and goes. In fact, you can make money from pretty much anything nowadays, so don’t let the money be the thing that makes you get out of bed in the morning. A high paid job that leaves you tired, stressed and emotionally unfilled will not benefit you in the long run. Find your ‘thing’ now and monetise it. If you can’t find a job that makes your heart sing, then create your own!