Are you a fresh grad looking for more work and life skills and experiences? We discuss how travelling can help you before starting work.
If you’re a fresh grad looking to jump right into work immediately after graduation, here’s your sign to take a breather and consider going on a ‘grad trip’ before starting your professional journey. Here’s how my biking trip not only gave me some downtime after graduation but helped improve my personal skills.
If you're one of the people whose commute home from university or work is ruined when a biker cuts you off on the highway, know that you're not alone. I’ve personally found myself in this situation almost on a daily basis and I’d end up yelling some choice phrases that my English teacher wouldn’t be too proud of.
You might be wondering — Since I think people who’ve chosen to live life on these two-wheeled contraptions are maniacs, how do I believe riding them would enhance one's abilities and skills? Therein lies the first clarification we’ve to make. Simply knowing how to operate a motorcycle doesn't make you a biker, it makes you a user manual. To me, a genuine biker is someone who rides because they love the freedom and independence it provides while being committed to riding safely and respectfully. They’re willing to put in the time and effort to learn about bikes and riding skills.
That said, what are these life changing skills they can provide then? Let's dive in.
It's no trade secret that commuting on a motorcycle is risky business, especially in heavy traffic. Sometimes, on the road, you'd be confronted with situations that’ll demand an instant response since your life may rely on it. As a result, you'll be more alert not only when driving but also in all aspects of your life, including when you do your work.
Every time you set your feet on the pegs or start your working day, there’ll be occasions when you need to make that crucial course correction and plan ahead accordingly, looking for all the potential risks and how to overcome or prevent them. These very steps will make you more efficient, responsible, and consciously aware of the decisions you’re making.
If you ride to work on a motorcycle, the last thing you need is a breakdown on the road because you put off replacing a worn-out part or failing to perform a necessary service. You’d need to know when to schedule the maintenance according to the mileage and ensure that everything is working accordingly.
This is crucial in the workplace since it prevents you from putting off even the simplest of jobs. You’d soon realise that you too could benefit from some maintenance with some time off in the evening to clear your mind before returning to the fray the next day. Riding with a group of people also helped me to check-in with others and ensure that we’re all riding safely with each other.
Possibly the most important thing on the road when riding a motorcycle is making sure you can be seen. You’re always thinking of ways to be more visible, whether it’s wearing a reflective jacket or adding more lights on your bike.
This goes for work as well. It’s important to always make sure you can be seen whether it’s by your lecturer or your manager so you can get the right feedback on that assignment or work you submitted. Getting notice not only allows you to grow your skills better but might even be useful when you’re looking to be promoted
When riding a motorcycle, you’d need to be able to think several moves ahead of where you are. You’d need to watch out for all kinds of dangers and potential hazards that may approach from behind or the side of you.
In an organisation, the ability to look ahead and gain valuable insights from past experiences and your competitors is essential when tackling day-to-day tasks. Additionally, being organised in the process will also be helpful in plotting a course for future success
There’s two sides to this coin. First, many choose to ride motorcycles because they’re more affordable than cars (though this honestly depends on the bike you’re riding on). You’d generally save money on petrol and would be able to go to more places in a shorter duration as compared to cars. Through a biking road trip, being tactical in your money and planning how to spend less money allows you to not only get more done in your workday but also to maximise your resources when getting things done.
While there's always the option of upgrading to a more expensive bike, helmet, or jacket to get you to your destination more effectively and efficiently while being in style, you’d need to exercise prudent and wise spending. And that goes for all kinds of trips. Using your time before work to know when, where, and how to spend your money will give you the experience to practise self-control, have a good handle on budget and finances, and allocate your resources more efficiently. When you apply what you learn in this discipline to other areas of your life, the benefits become obvious.
Now before you go to your parents and say “Ali shared that I should ride a bike to learn all this”, I'm not saying that this is the only way to learn these skills.
In reality, the knowledge and experience we receive from our passions and past times can help us become better individuals, more productive workers, and lifelong learners. You should be knowledgeable and aware of how best you can build your own experiences and actively seek opportunities to incorporate them into other areas of your life.
So regardless of what your next adventure may be, I hope your next adventure will be as fruitful as mine. See you on your next adventure!
Ali Moossajee is a Taylor’s Alumni who pursued a Bachelor of Quantity Surveying (Hons) at Taylor's University. Through his experiences leading several organisations at the University, he has developed a passion to share his learnings through writing to create an impact on society. He also enjoys cultivating connections with others and hopes to inspire others to grow and develop their purpose.
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