Feeling like your life is on hold? Maybe it’s time to plan a career break. If the thought of leaving your desk fills you with a mix of happiness and dread, you are not alone. We like normal. But far from stalling your career, a career break can take your working life to a new, improved level.
Sure, there are practical things to think about: should you leave your job or agree to take a sabbatical? Should you rent or sell your house? What about the dog? None of these are intractable problems. What you need is a proper plan coupled with the passion and determination to see it through.
Career break choices are almost limitless. You could spend time helping people or animals in South America, help restore a historic building in India, learn Italian and/or cooking, work in a related or non-related version of your profession overseas, or simply pack a bag and visit a country that fascinates you.
Here are six expert tips to get you started:
1. Get informed Scour books, maps and the internet for great career break opportunities, you can also find forums for information and inspiration from other career breakers.
Give something back From studying coral to helping schools or small businesses in other countries, there are plenty of great volunteering options. Do something you love.
2. Make it pay If you want to finance your travel, explore the options for working in a country you’ve always wanted to visit.
3. Pack thoughtfully If you’re planning to be gone for a year or more, think carefully about storage options and especially what you really want to carry around with you!
4. The journey counts This is the perfect time to tick off some travel greats like the Pacific-Coast Highway in America, the Trans-Siberian Railway, the Ghan in Australia, the Orient Express. Need we say more?
5. Take to the water If you love the open sea or want to visit uber-glamorous places like the Bahamas or Monaco, why not find out about working on a yacht?
6. Useful links Click on these for instant help and inspiration.
careershifters.org Career break or sabbatical? How to decide what is right for you. thecareerbreaksite.com Hundreds of career breaks. Inspiration and advice. Help planning and organising your sabbatical. Volunteer, teach, train, work and travel. changeboard.com.sg Career advice, insights & tips from and for HR professionals.