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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 16, 2019

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

Office politics – a taboo word for some people. It’s a pervasive thing at the workplace.

In its simplest form, workplace politics is simply about the differences between people at work; differences in opinions, conflicts of interests are often manifested as office politics. It all goes down to human communications and relationships.

There is no need to be afraid of office politics. Top performers are those who have mastered the art of winning in office politics. Below are 7 good habits to help you win at the workplace:

1. Be Aware You Have a Choice

The most common reactions to politics at work are either fight or flight. It’s normal human reaction for survival in the wild, back in the prehistoric days when we were still hunter-gatherers.

Sure, the office is a modern jungle, but it takes more than just instinctive reactions to win in office politics. Instinctive fight reactions will only cause more resistance to whatever you are trying to achieve; while instinctive flight reactions only label you as a pushover that people can easily take for granted. Neither options are appealing for healthy career growth.

Winning requires you to consciously choose your reactions to the situation. Recognize that no matter how bad the circumstances, you have a choice in choosing how you feel and react. So how do you choose? This bring us to the next point…

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2. Know What You Are Trying to Achieve

When conflicts happen, it’s very easy to be sucked into tunnel-vision and focus on immediate differences. That’s a self-defeating approach. Chances are, you’ll only invite more resistance by focusing on differences in people’s positions or opinions.

The way to mitigate this without looking like you’re fighting to emerge as a winner in this conflict is to focus on the business objectives. In the light of what’s best for the business, discuss the pros and cons of each option. Eventually, everyone wants the business to be successful; if the business don’t win, then nobody in the organization wins.

It’s much easier for one to eat the humble pie and back off when they realize the chosen approach is best for the business.

By learning to steer the discussion in this direction, you will learn to disengage from petty differences and position yourself as someone who is interested in getting things done. Your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is mature, strategic and can be entrusted with bigger responsibilities.

3. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

At work, there are often issues which we have very little control over. It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates which affects your personal interests.

Gossiping and complaining are common responses to these events that we cannot control. But think about it, other than that short term emotional outlet, what tangible results do gossiping really accomplish? In most instances, none.

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Instead of feeling victimized and angry about the situation, focus on the things that you can do to influence the situation — your circle of influence. This is a very empowering technique to overcome the feeling of helplessness. It removes the victimized feeling and also allows others to see you as someone who knows how to operate within given constraints.

You may not be able to change or decide on the eventual outcome but, you can walk away knowing that you have done the best within the given circumstances.

Constraints are all around in the workplace; with this approach, your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is understanding and positive.

4. Don’t Take Sides

In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in between two power figures who are at odds with each other. You find yourself being thrown around while they try to outwit each other and defend their own position; all at the expense of you getting the job done. You can’t get them to agree on a common decision for a project, and neither of them want to take ownership of issues; they’re too afraid they’ll get stabbed in the back for any mishaps.

In cases like this, focus on the business objectives and don’t take side with either of them – even if you like one better than the other. Place them on a common communication platform and ensure open communications among all parties, so that no one can claim “I didn’t say that”.

By not taking sides, you’ll help to direct conflict resolution in an objective manner. You’ll also build trust with both parties. That’ll help to keep the engagements constructive and focus on business objectives.

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5. Don’t Get Personal

In office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.

People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel really good about it for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.

To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies which you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.

Another reason to hold back your temper is your career advancement. Increasingly, organizations are using 360 degree reviews to promote someone. Even if you are a star performer, your boss will have to fight a political uphill battle if other managers or peers see you as someone who is difficult to work with. The last thing you’ll want is to make it difficult for your boss to champion you for a promotion.

6. Seek to Understand, Before Being Understood

The reason people feel unjustified is because they felt misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting the others to understand us than to understand them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.

Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you understand where he/she is coming from, they will feel less defensive and be open to understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.

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Trying to arrive at a solution without first having this understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.

7. Think Win-Win

As mentioned upfront, political conflicts happen because of conflicting interests. Perhaps due to our schooling, we are taught that to win, someone else needs to lose. Conversely, we are afraid to let someone else win, because it implies losing for us.

In business and work, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Learn to think in terms of “how can we both win out of this situation?” This requires that you first understand the other party’s perspective and what’s in it for him.

Next, understand what’s in it for you. Strive to seek out a resolution that is acceptable and beneficial to both parties. Doing this will ensure that everyone truly commit to the agreed resolution and will not pay only lip-service to it.

People simply don’t like to lose. You may get away with win-lose tactics once or twice but very soon, you’ll find yourself without allies in the workplace.

Thinking win-win is an enduring strategy that builds allies and help you win in the long term.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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