I get this question from many students who want to travel with Erasmus and Work & Travel, but are afraid that when they are coming back, they can’t catch up with home again.
There are usually 2 answers that I give to this question.
The first is the long answer. (the short one I will give you at the end of this article).
Out of 5 years of University studies, I have traveled a total of 2. This means that:
- I quit my job
- I stopped being in touch every day with my friends.
- I did not see my mom when she had a surgery.
- I did not help my dad with gardening
- I missed a funeral & several weddings
- I said tons of goodbyes and broke a few hearts along the way :)
When you travel, it is normal to miss important things from your home life.
It’s like when you ‘Pause’ your favorite song and when you want to replay it, you realize you did not press the ‘Pause’ button, but the ‘Mute’ button.
So the music continued to play. And you did not hear it.
When I came back.
Oh God, when I came back…
The strong me found herself in a post-travel depression. (yeaah I also thought this doesn’t exist)
I slept the whole Christmas-New Year-winter not knowing what I am going to do with my life again.
But, I also started Word Traveler blog and I searched for a job in Cluj-Napoca for 3 months. (because Word Traveler doesn’t make money yet)
It is not easy to catch up and be normal again. But as long as you know what you are good at, what you want to do with your career, there are no reasons why an HR Manager won’t hire you.
Despite the education and working experience that you can gain with Erasmus and Work & Travel, here’s what recruiters will see in you, as a traveler.
4 Reasons why you’ll Always get a Job if you Traveled
Travelers are fast learners and like to excel.
A desire to travel shows that you want to take in new information. This thirst for knowledge and new information sends travelers into the world to collect information and experiences that will better them and those around them. They welcome change and innovation. For many people, change is a scary thing. For a traveler, however, change offers a chance to learn and to experience. Consequently, travelers welcome change with open arms.
Travelers play well with others but can also succeed independently.
When traveling with others, travelers have to be part of a team while making plans and coordinating details. They know how to listen and tend to be more empathetic when dealing with fellow group members and with people they encounter in their travels. When they travel by themselves, travelers are responsible for ensuring everything goes as planned, demonstrating their ability to function independently.
Travelers can function both as leaders and followers.
Depending on the groups they have traveled with, travelers often function as both a leader and a follower. They may more commonly fall into one group over the other, (like me when I organize my trips), but they likely know when to step back when the situation demands. They are accepting of differences and are accepting others as they are in order to be successful in their travels as a team.
They are creative (even if they are not aware of it).
They often see things the rest of us may miss. They have discovered their own appreciation for scenery or history. They develop an eye for creative detail that manifests in their work. Travelers learn to think “outside-the-box” to solve problems. Traveling is fun, but it isn’t always comfortable. Situations and interactions can leave travelers feeling stretched out of their personal comfort zones.
What Traveling says About you as a candidate
- You have a high sense of self. You know who you are as an individual because you have been exposed to different people. Similarly, you know your strengths and weaknesses and you appear confident even when you don’t feel assertive.
- You are not stuck in your ways. Because you have traveled all over the place, you’ve had the chance to learn how to do the same thing in different ways.
- You know how to keep a schedule. You’d probably know how it is to run in the airports or catch metros. Travelers have flights to make, people to meet, hotels to check in and out of and reservations to make. When a schedule is not kept, fees and additional costs add up and empty pockets.
- You are a go-getter. When you see what you want, you go for it or ask for it. You are a good negotiator because you have had extensive practice to get the things you want.
- You don’t let your emotions rule. Travel often requires a level head for success. When something doesn’t go as planned, a traveler knows that an emotional outburst will accomplish nothing. Travelers know how to contain their fear, irritation, disappointment, or other emotion to get to where they need to be.
The truth is…
The most important thing about a traveler is that they are happier and know how to live in the moment. Traveling teaches you that you only have NOW and everything else is ephemeral.
Now, after reading this analysis, do you really think you won’t get a job when you come back?
Get out there in the world! You have nothing to lose.
P.S Have you guessed my short answer yet? It is “I don’t care what other people say.”