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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 September 18, 2019

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

1. Cloud Computing

“Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

3. Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

4. Scheduling

Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

5. Financial Skills

These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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6. Research Skills

These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

7. Marketing Skills

While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

8. Network Security Specialist

Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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9. Communication Skills

At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

10. Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

11. Graphic Design

As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

The Bottom Line

We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
[2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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