If you've got a case of wanderlust but are hesitant to put your career on hold in favor of traipsing around the globe, the results of a new survey will undoubtedly be music to your ears. Because according to data gathered by Hostelworld, being well-traveled may actually make you more employable.
Although it can feel daunting and sometimes even irresponsible to travel the world rather than take the first steady job opportunity that comes along, many employers view travel as an asset when they're reviewing those stacks of résumés. The survey found that 64% of UK adults think traveling makes a person more employable but, notably, this number jumped to 82% when employers themselves were polled.
There are a number of reasons being well-traveled can make a person more employable. The perception that it boosts confidence topped the list, followed by stronger interpersonal skills, the ability to adapt to new situations, and a more global view.
Among those surveyed, 62% of the participants who had traveled reported that their experiences helped them figure out what they truly want to do with their lives. Another 61% reported that job experience abroad looked good on their CVs, and 46% of the travelers said they made connections during their travels that ultimately helped them land long-term employment when the time was right.
The study also showed that individuals who travel are more likely to be entrepreneurs: 34% of the travelers were self-employed, compared to 14% of the participants who hadn't explored the world.
"We know that for some people employment can be a barrier to travel — whether it be young adults wanting to get on the career ladder, or those further down the line with mortgages to pay — but our research shows that this doesn't have to be the case," said Feargal Mooney, Chief Executive Officer at Hostelworld.
These are certainly legitimate concerns: Regardless of how much a person enjoys traveling the globe, it's often impossible to not compare ourselves to our peers who are rapidly climbing the corporate ladder. However, Hostelworld's research indicates that travel has a positive impact on long-term employability.
"Thousands of young adults will be graduating this summer and thinking about their next steps in life — but with growing competition in the jobs market, candidates are finding it harder and harder to stand out," Mooney said. "Traveling not only allows people the space and time to think about what they want to do with their lives and ignite their passions, but also provides you with invaluable skills including increased confidence that will help you to stand out from the crowd."
When we graduate, many of us assume that the next step has to be securing a career in our field of choice. The fear of falling behind our peers is strong, especially when social media is quick to remind us of every single promotion they secure. And despite how much we may value following our own path, plenty of people are concerned that employers may not see traveling as an asset.
But as it turns out, following a passion for travel isn't just good for the soul, it also means many employers will view you as more confident, versatile, and entrepreneurial. So if you've got the travel bug, there's no need to fight it in favor of locking down a corporate job STAT.