Increased competition in the workplace and diminishing opportunities in the job market may discourage you from being able to step away from the desk for a while. However, to be able to fully realize self-fulfillment, you have to expand your experiences beyond the office environment. The following are reasons you should consider taking a gap-year from work to broaden your horizon through travel:
1. Renew Your Career Interest
Working consistently can lead to burn-out or tunnel vision, and this can affect your level of motivation. Taking time off rejuvenates you and reignites your drive to invest in your career. You’re able to put your goals into perspective and prioritize what is really important during your time off.
2. Increase Your Professional Value
You might be discouraged that taking a break in your career takes you to the bottom of the ladder; however, a “career break” is one of the best résumé builders. Today, many employers are looking for candidates who are globally oriented. You give terms such as ‘work’ or ‘life’ experience a more holistic approach when you decide to travel.
3. Learn a Foreign Language and Culture
Have you always wanted to learn Mandarin or French? Have you wanted to know how to eat with chopsticks? First-hand experience of a different language or culture is only possible when you step away from the desk. You master a foreign language better when you surround yourself with locals and adapt to their culture. Travel gives your cultural experiences with more depth and meaning. As a result, you mold yourself an ideal candidate for employers looking for workers who are a good cultural fit for their organizations. You’re able to break cultural barriers and interact better with other people.
4. Gain Independence
Going to another country takes you away from the support network of your friends, family and colleagues. It gives you the opportunity to be on your own and make decisions independently as well as responsibly. Your sense of accountability increases, and you become more self-sufficient. You also demonstrate the ability to take initiative, which is a trait employers like in job candidates.
5. Expand Your Network
It is difficult to meet new people when you’re working a regular job and when you remain in the same environment. During your journey, you come into contact with people from various backgrounds and experiences. You get to learn from people who have similar interests as yourself and gain more opportunities to engage in your career interests once your break is over. In addition to this, you strengthen existing relationships because you’re able to give time to the people you know.
The first duty you have is to yourself. You don’t have to cave into the social pressure of doing the “next thing”. At the end of the day, you are in charge of the direction of your career, and you can choose an unconventional method to progress in it. Career is a lifelong pursuit that does not have to necessarily be professional. It also involves personal development and wellbeing. Give your travels more depth by volunteering for various organizations so that you invest yourself in a meaningful cause.