A career that takes you abroad can bring you many great experiences and opportunities a lot of other careers can’t. Traveling to new places for work also often puts you in a position where you are solely responsible for your own success and failure. Careers such as photography, politics, pilots, flight attendants, commercial drivers, and a lot of sales positions demand that you be able to do your best while constantly on the go. Here are the five most important skills you need to be successful in a career on the road:
1. Time Management
When you are working out of town your schedule is your life, one poor judgment call or mistake on your part and you risk everything falling out of order. A missed flight, late arrival to a meeting, or late delivery will happen at some point. It’s important to be as prepared as you can for deadlines and it is definitely necessary to do something for yourself every once in a while to relax and distress. Just make sure business is always taken care of before pleasure.
There will be times when forces outside of your control prevent you from doing your job. A person meeting you could have missed their flight, be behind on their end of work, or you could be asked to have something done ahead of schedule to meet a higher executive’s demands. Careers that involve traveling leave plenty of possibilities for inconveniences so it is important to be able to adapt.
3. Ability to Self-Motivate
Being in a career where so many things are out of your control is going to throw more tough days at you then you can imagine. Always find a way to motivate yourself whether it is focusing on the possibility of a promotion, raise or remembering someone who is counting on you.
Traveling will constantly put you out of reach of the people you are working for or with. As the old saying goes “The show must go on”. If something has happened that will prevent you from meeting a deadline or getting your task done, let the right people know as soon as possible. In most of these careers a mishap on your part affects your employer as much as it affects you. Keep a charged cell phone, know of a place with accessible internet, and be sure to check these lines of communication regularly.
This is perhaps the most valuable skill you can have in a traveling career. When a task or deadline needs to be met and there are circumstances that prevent you from doing your job, the best employee will find a way to get it done. If a traffic accident has blocked a road and prevented you from getting a load to it’s destination you improvise and find another route. If your partner or someone you work with is not there to assist you with a presentation you have to be able to pull it off yourself.
Traveling careers can be very rewarding but also be hectic at times. If you decide to pursue one it is important to embrace the mentality that you will get better as you go. If you are passionate about your work, don’t let the inconveniences that sometimes come with traveling get you down. The important thing is to do something that makes you happy.
Mark Kinsel is the President of Driver Solutions and for the past 19 years has passionately shared his knowledge and experience to help young truckers find their way. He enjoys writing, fishing, and helping drivers find the best truck driving jobs out there.
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