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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 13, 2020

Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance.

Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to choose a career for a more fulfilling life.

How to Know if You Need a Career Change?

The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

Physical Signs

Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

Mental Signs

One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

  • The tension in your neck
  • Difficulties with sleeping
  • Unable to concentrate
  • High anxiety
  • Depression

If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

Are You Sure You’re Not Changing for the Wrong Reason?

Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. Do you really understand your current situation at work?

The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization.

Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

Desire for an Increase of Salary

The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time.

At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.

Overnight Decision

Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.

Rejected for a Promotion

I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.

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Bored at Work

Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

  • How long have you worked in your career?
  • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
  • Do you receive recognition?
  • Can you consider working in a new department?

If after reviewing your work situation and none of the above recommendations can help, then it’s time to make a career change.

How a Career Change Will Change Your Life

I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

  • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
  • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
  • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

How to Make a Career Change Successfully

The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

1. Write a Career Plan

A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

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You can learn how to set your career plan here.

2. Weigh Your Options

If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job. In the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

3. Be Real About the Pros and Cons

It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the job market that are impacting the current situation.

A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:[3]

  • Economic factors
  • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
  • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
  • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
  • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

    A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

    4. Find a Mentor or Career Coach

    A mentor or a career coach that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

    • What is required to be successful in the role?
    • What certification or educational development is needed?
    • What are the challenges of the role?
    • Is there potential for career advancement?

    A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

    Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

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    5. Research Salary

    Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

    It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

    6. Be Realistic

    If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

    For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

    Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

    7. Volunteer First

    A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

    Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

    Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

    8. Prepare Your Career Tools

    I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

    • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
    • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
    • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.
    • Cover letter: A good cover writer will always impress your potential employers. Here’s how to write a killer cover letter that stands out from others.

    Bottom Line

    It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will find a job and discover the role in a career field that is the best fit with your skillsets.

    Master these action steps and changing career paths will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

    More About Career Change

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

    [1] Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
    [2] MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan
    [3] Creately: Personal SWOT Analysis to Assess and Improve Yourself

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