If you’ve been busy getting your feet firmly onto that elusive career ladder you might be ready for a change of scenery. Chances are you have mates who are living the travelling life right now; chances are even greater their social media posts are making you sick with envy. 20% of Australians choose to make the big overseas trip between high school and university and these days a sabbatical or gap year looks great on your CV, providing, of course, that whilst you are maxing out your world experience, you also use a proportion of your travel time to focus on your career. One easy way to do this without cramping your travel style is to fit in a bit of online study. If you go for something related to your trip like tourism or an online business course, you’ll find that ‘research’ is barely distinguishable from ‘fun’ and you’ll return with a Facebook page full of pictures, a head full of stories and a CV that will move you straight back onto the next rung on that career ladder. We have 6 top tips to help you stay ahead of the game while you travel.
1. Look after yourself
We don’t want to sound like your mother, so we won’t mention ‘monster hangovers’ or ‘food poisoning’ but making the most of your travel experience is all about balance. Definitely enjoy yourself and let your hair down but counteract the ‘totally out of it’ times with experiences that will make you feel great about yourself and look good on your CV.
2. Update your technology
Travelling without technology is a no-no particularly if you’re planning to keep track of the world of business or do some online study from those white-sanded beaches. Invest in a good laptop and camera or smartphone and make sure you have cloud storage set up for all those ‘look at me’ shots. These items can be expensive so do your travel insurance research carefully.
3. Check out internet access options
Yep, we know, travelling is sometimes enhanced by internet silence, however you may be surprised by how often that distance between you and your career can give you inspiration that might further it. Before you book accommodation check out their WiFi policy; the ideal situation, particularly for online study, is free WiFi available in your room. It’s also easy to find out data requirements and charges too. Contact your current provider before you travel and remember that booking data packages from home is almost always cheaper than doing it while you’re overseas.
4. Set yourself goals
Goals might sound boring but the key to fitting some career enhancing elements into a great trip is to set a manageable number of them. As well as ‘live the good life in Bangkok’, think of a few activities you’ll enjoy but will impress when you mention them in an interview. For example, ‘I climbed Mount Toubkal in Morocco’ sounds much better than, ‘I drank too much vodka in St Petersburg’.
5. Use social media carefully
If you’re clever with your social media use while you are away you will create an instant good impression for anyone who is thinking about employing you on your return. A Career Builder survey in 2016 found that a staggering 60% of employers use social networking sites to view the profiles of job candidates. These employers are looking for two key aspects: professional qualities such as the ability to work hard or take an interest in the world, and communication skills, which can be ably demonstrated through online multi-media techniques.
6. Take the opportunity for online study
The great thing about travelling is that it gives you time. Some of this time, such as long-haul flights and airport layovers, comes in long expanses and gives excellent opportunity to study an online course. By far the best way you can enhance your resume while travelling is to study. There are online study options for most topics but if you don’t want to be too specific, consider tourism and engage in your very own travel research project, or go for an online business course and find out how the rest of the world conducts its business.
It’s easy to arrange online study opportunities before you travel. Upskilled are one of Australia’s biggest RTOs (Registered Training Organisation) and offer a wide range of courses at all levels including tourism and business. Talk to an experienced advisor today to find out more about studying while you travel.