Put your working life on hold with a career break: volunteer, learn a new skill or language or a take part in a once-in-a-lifetime adventure
A career break is a step out of the old nine-to-five. It’s a chance to put your working life on hold for a while (or maybe take it in a different direction completely) and do that thing you always wanted to do: be it learning Spanish in Guatemala, helping street kids in India or leaping off a bridge attached to a flimsy bit of bungy cord in New Zealand.
You might think you can’t take a career break. Common excuses include “I can’t risk giving up my job”, “I’m too old”, or “I’m just too frightened”. But they’re all nonsense! Anyone who wants to can take a career break – you just need to do a bit of planning first.
Making the mental leap is the first step. Believe you CAN take a career break and then decide what you would like to achieve on it – be it flying to Outer Mongolia or walking to Timbuktu.
Get out the maps and begin plotting your Michael Palin-style Pole to Pole adventure, scour the internet for volunteering opportunities in South-East Asia, post questions on forums to find out what other career breakers have done before you – get as much inspiration and information as you can.
There are practicalities to consider: should you quit your job or arrange a sabbatical? Should you sell your house or rent it out? Who is going to look after the cat? But none of these are insurmountable problems if you have a good plan and the passion to see it through.
The options open to you on your career break are practically unlimited. You could spend time volunteering (perhaps with people in Romania, with animals in Kenya, with ancient buildings in Peru); you could set out to learn a new skill (languages in Morocco, cookery in Italy, belly-dancing in Turkey); you could try working overseas (either in a profession related to your current one or something completely different); you could build a travel itinerary based around countries beginning with the letter A (Austria, Australia, Argentina, Angola…). It’s up to you.
Far from breaking your career, career breaks can take your working life to a whole new level. Get planning!
There are rally no limits on what you can do with your big break, but here's a few things to consider first
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