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How Traveling Makes Your Career Brighter

How Traveling Makes Your Career Brighter

Many people might not know it, but traveling is the school of life. Traveling is more than a leisure or a pleasure you can give to yourself. It is more than an activity or a sweet escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

There are so many things that you can learn from the road, life lessons that nobody can teach you unless you experience them yourself. Traveling is actually an open invitation that urges you to be the best version of yourself you can be. It plays an important role not only in your personal development but can make a great impact on your career journey too.

Some people don’t understand the constant need to pack up and head to different places and gain experiences. They chose to squander their time working in their day job and get stuck in the monotonous routine of daily life. Taking time off or a break to travel can make a huge difference in your life, and definitely in your career as well. Here are 10 important lessons you can acquire from traveling that can further your career.

1. Embrace the unknown

Traveling is full of uncertainties, just like life. You never know what will happen once you step into a destination with new surroundings and new people. Do not be afraid of the unknown; rather, anticipate it with excitement because that makes your journey worthwhile.

Nothing in this life is predetermined, even in your career. When things don’t go as planned in your day job or profession, learn how to deal with and adapt to unanticipated situations. Embrace the unknown and take things as they come. If you can adapt well to different situations and can respond accordingly, you have gained one of the best qualities of leadership that you can practice in the workplace.

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2. Get out of the box

Traveling will open you to new challenges, things you probably have not yet discovered and experienced. Do not let those opportunities pass without trying them at least once. Broaden your horizons and go beyond the confines of your comfort zone. That’s the only way you get to see things clearly and differently.

In your career, don’t limit yourself to things that you can and cannot do. Life is not about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself by doing what you truly love. Grab the chance to be a risk taker and be amazed at how many more adventures you will see and experience yourself.

3. Challenge yourself to learn something new

Every trip you take is an opportunity to gain more new skills, know more about yourself, and see the world from a different perspective. Never get tired of learning something new every time you set foot outside of your comfort zone. And this is how you should approach your career as well.

Never stop learning because you will need that skill in making smart career choices and decisions. Remember, every lesson you learn from your travels is important. You should not stop seeking knowledge, because you still have a lot left to learn.

4. Go for a change

Travel is all about changes and it’s a good thing for your career, too. No matter how busy you are with your work, find a way to travel as often as you can and go to all the destinations you dream about. Going to different places will change your perception of life and how you should deal with problems.

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If you think you have no power to change, you are wrong. When you travel, patience is one of the skills that you will learn. And for the things that you want to change in yourself and in your career, extreme patience will be needed.

5. Sometimes, it’s okay to get lost

Getting lost is part of traveling. If you’ve never tried it, you haven’t experience a great exploration yet. Sometimes when things go unplanned that’s where the excitement lies. You do things you never imagined yourself doing. You find alternative solutions for problems that you encounter for the first time.

If you feel like you’re getting lost in your career, think back on the journeys you have had. Remind yourself about your goals and how you are going to reach them. After traveling and learning so many new things, you start to realize how smart you’ve become.

6. If someone else can do it, you can too

Traveling helps you develop your confidence. It teaches you how to communicate with foreign people and how to go to places you’ve never been to. Have the the confidence and courage to do anything. Going to different places is not only about exploring new locations but also meeting people and understanding their culture. So yes, if other people can do it, why can’t you?

Same thing in the workplace, don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Don’t be scared to approach someone or make friends with them. Building good relationships with your colleagues will make your work easier and lighter.

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7. Fulfillment comes from simple things

The greatest moments of going to places come from meeting new people, exploring new environments, and the conversations you have with others in a foreign place. You don’t have to be extravagant when it comes to being a traveler. Take delight in the simplest things. Be appreciative. Be spontaneous.

In your career, there are moments when you struggle to wake up in the morning and prepare yourself for work. Professional difficulties are inevitable. However, beyond such challenging and demanding periods, learn to approach your work with gratitude, appreciation and with a joyful heart. If you do this, you are giving yourself a fair share of happiness.

8. Always try to be nice

When going to new places you will surely meet people from different walks of life. Some are kind, some are accommodating, but there are also human beings who will just ignore you and don’t care about you. When you accidentally bump into these kinds of people, don’t allow them to leave a negative impression of the place you visited. Always try to be nice to them even if they are not, because there are more nice and kind people who are willing to help you than ignore you.

Working with difficult people is tough. Know how you’re going to deal with them. No matter how many difficult people you meet, make sure that you always show kindness to them and do not let them affect your work performance.

9. Happiness is not all about money

Traveling may cost you money but it doesn’t have to be that expensive. You can still enjoy traveling to various places without breaking the bank. Apart from your budget, also focus on other things that are real and important, such as how you can live simply like the locals, how you can apply the experiences and the learning you gained, and how you can make a difference to the lives of others. Traveling will open your eyes to how the rest of the world lives.

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Money is a necessity, yes, but your happiness doesn’t depend on it. Some people choose to get a job that aligns with their passion, even if it doesn’t pay well, instead of choosing a higher paying occupation that doesn’t interest them at all. Remember, money can be great but it is not everything.

10. Learn to put yourself in other’s shoes

One good thing about traveling is that you become sensitive to other people’s culture. You practice being humble and become open-minded about things, not judgmental. When you travel you will learn how to put yourself in others’ shoes. You try to blend in with other kinds of people and win their hearts. And most of all, you get to understand how they live in their everyday lives.

When things get rough in the workplace, avoid practicing the blame game. Pointing fingers will not solve the problem, it will only cause a huge disaster. Put yourself in other people’s situation because that’s the only way that you can understand their true feelings. If you practice humility, fair judgment, and a deep understanding of others, you will be less likely encounter more difficult problems.

Featured photo credit: i want to travel/Tobias Tschurtschenthaler via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

Have you ever caught yourself in a daydream where you’ve gone for that upcoming promotion, and you’re now the boss at work? Or how about the one where you’ve summoned up all your courage to quit a job where you’re feeling stuck in your career and live your dream instead? Or when you’ve changed career paths to do what really makes you happy?

Then, you snapped back to reality and realized that you’re not the boss, not living your dream, and not even happy in the career path that you’re on.

Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of individuals who’ve told me they feel stuck in their careers, that something had to change for them to break free and be happy, but they lacked the confidence to take that step. My mission is to make sure that nobody feels stuck in their career because of a momentary lapse in bravery that’s dragged on for too long.

Read on to find out how you can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work. .

Here are my top ten tips for becoming unstuck in your career.

1. Make Time for You

If you’re feeling stuck, frustrated, or unhappy with how your career is panning out, the first step is to work out why.

Maybe you’ve arrived in your current career by accident and haven’t ever made time to deliberately think or plan what you’d love to do and how you’d get there.

Prioritizing time to think is the first step you need to take to stop feeling stuck and start getting ahead. Book some time into your day where you can have an uninterrupted meeting with yourself. This is your thinking time.

Work out what makes you happy at work, what doesn’t, and where you might want to go. Decide on the steps you want to take to progress your career in the direction that you want it to take.

For example, are there training days, evening courses, or online learning that you can do? Have you considered getting a mentor to help you get ahead?

By booking in a meeting with yourself, it signals it’s important (to you and your colleagues) and also stops others spotting a gap in your day and filling it with a meeting.

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2. Grow Your Network Before You Need It

Who you know is more important than what you know for career progression. Don’t wait until you’re feeling stuck in your career to start expanding your networks. Do it now.

Adam Grant, the author of Give and Take, says you’re 58% more likely to get a new job through your weak ties than through your strong ones. Your strong ties are those in your immediate circle whom you interact with often. Your weak ties are your friends of friends. They move in different circles to you, they know different people, make different connections, and are more likely to introduce you to new and different opportunities[1].

When I was thinking about setting up my current company, Lucidity, I turned up to every networking event. I drank a lot of coffees with a lot of different people to understand what they did, to ask for advice, to unpick what their problems were, and to look for opportunities for collaboration and connections.

It paid off because, when I launched my business, I let my network know how I could help them, and soon I had my first clients.

Pay attention to building and nurturing your networks and focus on how you can add value to other. That’s where your next career opportunity is most likely to come from.

3. Surround Yourself With People Who Inspire You

According to Tim Ferriss, “You are the average of the five people you most associate with,” and his associations with different people ebbs and flows depending on what he’s working on and trying to achieve[2].

For example, if you are trying to be fitter, it’s easier if you hang around with people who love doing exercise–they help you to up your game.

If you want that promotion, a career change, or to set up your own business, seek out people who are excelling at it already. They’ll have valuable things to teach you about breaking free and getting ahead.

4. Work on Your Personal Brand

Jeff Bezos defines a personal brand as “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” People will talk about you when you are not in the room anyway, so you might as well be deliberate about what you’d like people to say!

Your personal brand isn’t about pretending to be something you’re not. That can actually keep you feeling stuck in your career. It’s really about being your best “real you.” It’s about owning your strengths and being purposeful about how you want to be perceived by others.

What do you want to be known for? By being more deliberate about how you want to come across and what you’re looking for in your career, you’ll increase your chance of attracting the right opportunities.

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Once you’ve given your personal brand some thought, make sure that you show up online. Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? And if you don’t have one, get one. Make sure it communicates what you want to be known for and that it’s consistent with your other social media profiles.

Try these 5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding.

5. Be Accountable

Achieve your career goals faster, and grow and learn by making yourself accountable. Tell other people your goals and a timeline. and have them to hold you accountable.

For example, you might want to get a promotion by the end of the year, have decided the sector you want to move to by the end of the month, or have got your new business idea before the next pay day. Whatever your ambitions are, you can tell a friend or a colleague, or share this with a mentor or a mastermind group.

When we tell other people our goals and intentions, they hold us accountable, and we are more likely to make progress faster.

6. Make Sure Your Values Are Aligned With Your Company’s

All the professional development, goal setting, and networks in the world won’t make you happy if you’re working for a company that ultimately has opposing values to yours.

Figure out what’s important to you in a job. For example, does your company’s product help people live a better life? Do you feel strongly about your company’s ethics and social responsibility? Does the company culture allows employees to be themselves and shine? Or maybe flexible working and more holidays for employees with families is where your heart is?

Some companies put their employees well-being at the core of their business; others put profits first. If you feel that your values don’t match the core values of your employer, it could be a reason why you’re feeling stuck in your career and unhappy.

It’s important to work through this and identify whether it’s the job that is not right for you, or if it’s a great job but the organization or sector is wrong for you.

7. Get out of Your Comfort Zone

Your comfort zone is your safe place. For any change to happen, you have to step out of your comfort zone.

It’s actually much easier not to change anything and to keep grumbling on about how you’re stuck and unhappy in your career than to step outside of your comfort zone to address the fearful unknowns associated with change. It’s part of human nature that we’d put up with the devil we know rather than risk the devil we don’t.

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This is true even if the devil we know is a boring, unfulfilling job because we’re wired to think that making a change to find a better option might actually leave us worse off.

If you feel stuck, it might be that your confidence has got the better of you.

To get ahead at work, start taking small steps outside of your comfort zone. Consider what you’re scared of that is stopping you from making a change. Then, tackle that in small steps.

For example, if you know that to move into the job you want, you’ll have to do more public speaking, but public speaking terrifies you so much it’s stopping you from going for the job, then start small to build your confidence. You can speak up more in team meetings, then slowly build from there.

You might also choose to set up or be part of a specific group. One of my clients, who found that confidence was holding her team back in achieving work goals, set up a “get out of your comfort zone club,” where they challenge and support each other to build their confidence by regularly leaving their comfort zones.

8. Learn to Embrace Failure

Failure is part of life. A New York University study found that children learning to walk averaged 2,368 steps and fell 17 times an hour[3]. Failure is simply the natural path to success.

The truth is that we don’t get everything right the first time. We fail, we learn, we pick ourselves up, and we try again.

In my experience, it’s common that whilst the theory of learning from failure is supported, the reality of being open about failures to enable personal learning is much harder to achieve.

We don’t like to admit that we’ve failed. We have a fight or flight response to failure. It’s a normal gut reaction to ask ourselves: “Will I get away with it if I don’t tell anyone?” We are fearful of criticism, of losing face in front of others, or even being fired for failure.

However, if you’re going to stop feeling stuck in your career, you must be open to learning from failure.

Reframe failure by viewing everything as an experiment because you can’t have a failed experiment—you just learn whether something works or not. Think of Edison inventing the lightbulb, when he said:

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“I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

9. Build Your Resilience

Resilience is the ability to tackle difficulties and setbacks, to bounce back, regroup, and to keep going.

Getting unstuck in your career, taking a different path, and achieving the results you want will take resilience. Having resilience is also the capacity to choose how you respond to the unexpected things that life throws your way and adapt and thrive in times of complex change.

Given that the world we live in is in constant flux, and the only thing that is certain is uncertainty, the ability to adapt and bounce back is an important life skill, as well as a career skill.

In her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth’s research shows that when measuring success, the ability to persevere beats talent every time.

Learn more about how to build resilience in this guide: What Is Resilience and How to Always Be Resilient (Step-By-Step Guide)

10. Ask for Help

It can be hard to ask for help, as it can make us feel vulnerable.

No one person can be expected to have all the answers. That’s why we need a group of people that we can go to for help, people who can pick us up when we have setbacks and also help us to celebrate success.

My advice is to be deliberate about creating your group. You can do that with a tool called a “Me Map”:

  1. Write down all the things that you might need support with, like help with career progression, interview practice, making new connections, talking through business plans, learning from failure, etc.
  2. Next to each thing, write the names of the people you go to when you need that particular thing.
  3. Make sure you get in touch and regularly connect with them.

Final Thoughts

You can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work by applying the tips in this article. Start small by incorporating three new things in your first week, and then adding more as your comfort zone and capacity expands.

Remember, no matter how stuck you feel, it’s never too late to make a change and land the career that you truly want.

More Tips to Stop Feeling Stuck in Your Career

Featured photo credit: NEW DATA SERVICES via unsplash.com

Reference

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