business travel tips

Since graduating from university, I have had the opportunity to travel throughout several continents around the world including North America, Europe, and Australia. While I did not realize it at the time, travelling would ultimately help to build the skills that I use daily in my career. Travelling has enabled my personal growth and professional development, teaching me time management skills, communication skills, resourcefulness, and providing the ability to work well with others. How has travelling done this exactly? By extending yourself outside of your comfort zone, limitless growth is possible. It’s finding the right opportunities to extend yourself that may be difficult. This is how travelling has helped to shaped me both personally and professionally.

Effective Planning and Time Management Skills

My first “real” travel experience occurred when I compiled three weeks of vacation time while employed at my first post-university job. With intentions of seeing as many European countries as possible, lots of research needed to be accomplished prior to leaving. Flights, accommodation, restaurants, transportation, budgeting, supplies, and safety (to name a few) needed planning before the trip could become reality. From catching trains, buses, planes, and trying to see all the sites in just a few days, I became aware of how travelling (and working) involves calculation, prioritizing, to-do lists, and setting goals. Having successfully visited nine countries in three weeks, I would not have had a great trip without developing time management skills.

Precise time management will help you be as productive as possible without sacrificing priorities. Time management is critical to success, whether it’s displayed through travel when someone is trying to plan and carry out their plan, or in business when a company is evaluating new projects. The ability to forecast, predict, or evaluate business options is imperative to having a high-growth, high-potential company.

Developing Greater Communication Skills

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
– Leon Megginson

Although planning and time management are important aspects of travelling, another is being able to adapt to different people. From my journeys, I have met many unique individuals who have helped me learn and strengthen my communication skills to accommodate new personalities and mind sets. Interacting with people from different areas of the world will undoubtedly make you a better listener and communicator. Whether you’re attending a job interview, composing emails, interacting with clients, collaborating with colleagues, or building a relationship with a strategic partners, there is a constant need for strong communication skills.

Being able to adapt to change and think quickly is crucial to any business role. Someone who has a stationary mind and is stuck in routine will find it difficult to overcome a challenging, stressful, or unfamiliar situation. Travel helps people escape their comfort zone by participating in new experiences and meeting new people. It builds inspiration, creativity, and helps solve problems in new ways.

When meeting with clients, it is important to make them feel comfortable by adapting to the individual you’re speaking with. My role as Mentor Works’ Business Development Analyst has continued to show how helpful excellent communication skills can be. For instance, my style of communication when talking to an engineer is much different than how I would communicate with someone in a human resources role. Tailoring communication methods will ensure your message is received in a helpful, actionable way.

Related Blog: The Factors Most Relevant to Predicting Performance – Depending on the position, assessing emotional intelligence (EQ) can be more important than IQ when predicting the employee’s performance abilities. Learn ways to assess and build a high performing team based on their emotional intelligence.

Using Teamwork for Greater Accomplishments

Whether travelling alone or with a group of friends, there will always come a time where teamwork is necessary. This could be as simple as getting from one destination to another, where you rely on the skills of friends to navigate attractions or lodging. Accessing public transit, visiting historical attractions, or finding a restaurant that will accommodate the entire group can be difficult without a team which has the skills to adapt and solve problems.

In business, it’s essential to implement a collaborative team with variety of skills to solve common problems. Teams must be comfortable with tackling large-scale problems and plan for the future in a non-biased way. Not sure how to get started when building your team? First assess skills or competencies which are lacking in your organization but would contribute to greater success. Next, recruit the right employee based on their hard and soft skills, ensuring that you’re searching for people that will supplement skills currently existing in the organization. When the ideal candidates have been found, provide them with an employment offer. Some hiring activities could even be funded by Canadian government grants.

Continued Travel for Personal and Professional Growth

Although I started travelling more than four years ago, I feel like I have just begun. I will continue travelling the world, enjoying the amazing scenery, historical attractions, food, and the people. Most importantly, I will continue to travel to grow as a person and a professional.

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Written by

Jeff is a Wilfrid Laurier, Business Co-op graduate with over four years of combined experience in account management, business development and marketing. Today, he is a Business Development Analysis at Mentor Works, where he informs, educates and leverages various Provincial and Federal government funding programs for companies across Canada.

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