International Workers’ Day: A History and Celebration30/04/2023
Finding a job and kickstarting your professional career is usually extremely daunting. As a graduate in her early 20s, I understand this anxiety and the need to showcase transferrable skills. “Transferrable skills” is a term often brought up and just refers to the value gained from every experience–internships, volunteering, school, and even travelling. Travelling and picking up languages wherever you go can elevate your applications to the best jobs–here is why.
When people think of travelling, what usually comes to mind are Instagram-worthy resorts and days filled with expensive tourist experiences. But many fail to see that travelling can be as valuable as the last job position on your CV. It all depends on how you utilise your time abroad. And the obvious first benefit you gain is multilingualism.
Language learning is said to naturally improve cognitive function: it can sharpen memory, boost academic performance, and even slow down the mental effects of ageing. Besides this, languages also offer insight into your character and capabilities in challenging situations. Understanding a different language fundamentally comes part in parcel with cultural insight.
Countries, even those with the same national language, still vary in social norms, political or religious contexts, popular culture, and more. At the workplace, having insight into multiple cultures enables access to a wider clientele and breaks down information barriers. In customer-facing roles, connecting with someone on a more personal level makes them feel comfortable doing business with you again.
Coming across people of foreign backgrounds proves your ability to empathise and value different viewpoints. Even in the corporate world, this is essential if ever you need to broker a deal. Besides adept communication, you also most likely are someone with great problem solving skills. Living in environments with varying degrees of safety and even inept bureaucracies increases your self-reliance and social awareness.
People, especially those straight out of university, usually are put off travelling due to high costs. There are ways, however, to move abroad and still save. One popular method is finding foreign schools to teach English in. Countries like China, Japan, and Spain have high demand for native English speakers to offer full language immersion to primary and secondary students. While the pay is not always the best, you can still have most living costs covered and a little spending money left over to enjoy.
Working in a foreign school requires professionalism, savvy adaptability, and at least some proficiency in their national language. Juggling all this at once proves you will be extremely capable working in a more comfortable environment at home. Additionally, many websites offer listings of hosts around the world offering accommodation in exchange for certain services. These could be housesitting, babysitting, and even administrative tasks for grassroot nonprofits. While your time to explore and enjoy is cut into, a professional commitment might be the best way to mingle among locals and gain an unfiltered view of the region.
So what exact industries seek well-travelled employees? Besides understanding that every kind of job can benefit from the skills listed above, fields like diplomacy, government and other public sector work are the most obvious answers. Less thought of jobs that demand language and cross-cultural skills include education, marketing, law, field research, and product localisation.
To conclude, travel is not just a mental break or running away from a doldrum day-to-day routine. It can seriously be leveraged into obtaining well-paying jobs and even changing careers. MyLanguageHub’s language courses are perfect for English and Spanish learners looking to communicate effectively abroad. The company also offers certified and notarised translations of important documents like degrees, job contracts, and more, which is highly beneficial and provides a layer of security when navigating life overseas.