6 Reasons why backpacking is good for your CV.
A lot of us know the feeling of trawling through page upon page of job adverts, looking for one that doesn’t ask for ten years of experience, four degrees and a gold Olympic medal… But what so many employers don’t understand is that yes, we might have taken time out after school or university to explore the world, and yes, we may have spent a little of that time getting drunk on the beaches of Thailand (Okay, more than a little…), but these experiences make most people a more rounded, confident and intelligent person.
So here are 6 reasons that potential employers should see that ‘gap yah’ as a positive:
1. You’re determined, hard working and can make sacrifices for what you want.
Planning a trip, whether it’s two months in South East Asia or two years in Australia, takes planning and hard work. It can take months or years to save up for that dream trip, and it can be hard saying no to those after work drinks on a Friday night or weekend away with your mates, but you have set your sights on something and, you are determined to get there.
2. You’ve learned about other cultures and attempted to speak other languages.
Been to Machu Picchu? Angkor Wat? Spent a day with a Vietnamese hill tribe? Travelling broadens your horizons in ways that a week’s holiday to Ibiza ever will (Not that I’d say no to a week in Ibiza…) and immersing yourself in other cultures is something that should not be overlooked. Maybe you can’t use a fax machine, but if you’ve managed to book a room in some remote part of the world without really speaking the language, that should surely count for something. Communication is repeatedly mentioned on job specifications, and here you are communicating with people around the world!
3. You’ve got confidence, organisational skills and time management.
Five countries in two months? No problem. Three continents in a year? Piece of cake. Travelling involves a lot of organisation, no matter how broad your timescale, and time management really does come in handy when you’ve got half an hour to change flights in an international airport. Just maybe don’t mention the part when your name was being blasted through the gate in three different languages…
4. You try new things and don’t shy away from challenges.
Okay, so maybe you haven’t worked in an office before and maybe you don’t know how to use Excel properly, but you’ve tried your hand at picking avocadoes, got up at 4am to meditate with a Buddhist monk, and volunteered at an orphanage in Columbia. When you’re travelling, life throws new challenges and experiences at you every day, and there’s only one thing you can do – greet them with open arms. How hard can Excel be anyway…
5. You aren’t afraid of stepping into the unknown.
Stepping off a plane in a new country can be intimidating and nerve wracking because not everything goes your way when you’re travelling. Being able to adapt to new situations and using your initiative when you have to make a split second decision, are so important when you’re away from home, and they’re also what so many employers are looking for.
6. You’re approachable, friendly and positive.
Making new friends from all over the world is one of the things that makes travelling such a unique and unforgettable experience. You wouldn’t expect someone to sit down next to you on the bus at home and strike up a conversation, but travelling makes this seem okay. It makes you a more open person, happy to speak to anyone and hear their opinion on everything from Donald Trump to ‘Kimye’. This aspect of travelling shows that you’re a team player, who will bring positive energy to anything you take on.
“Abigail is a 24 year old English Literature graduate from Newcastle who is passionate about travel and helping others plan the trip of a lifetime. She is currently back on UK soil after a three and a half month trip to South East Asia, and has now visited six out of seven continents. Next stop Antarctica!”