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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 January 14, 2019

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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  • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
  • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
  • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
  • Is this aligned with my passion?
  • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

7. Be Prepared to Let Go

It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

The Bottom Line

Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

Reference

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