Choosing how to spend your career break is important, not only so you feel satisfied when your break comes to an end, but also so you can add something positive to your CV. I knew that I wanted to spend my career break travelling the world, but I did still consider other options and it comes down to what is important to you. Asking yourself the questions below and by following these simple steps can shed a bit more light on how to organise your career break of a lifetime.
Decide what you want to gain from your career break?
Do you want to find love, gain more experience, put yourself outside your comfort zone, see the world, learn about new cultures, make new friends, broaden your horizons, learn new skills or just do something completely different? Whatever your reason, you need to determine what you want to gain from your career break and why and this will guide you to what type of break will suit you best.
What do you want to do on your career break?
The list is endless of what you could do with your career break and I do have other posts which go into further detail under the career break section of my website. In summary the main career break options are:
1. Teaching abroad with a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language).
2. Travelling the world.
3. Working abroad.
4. Volunteering abroad.
5. Taking a course, such as learning sign language or training to be a diving instructor.
6. Take part in an internship.
7. Something out of the ordinary.
Decide what you are going to do about your job?
You need to decide if you want to approach your employers and ask for a sabbatical or if you want to quit your job and start afresh when you return. Do you want to return to the same field of work, or try something completely different? You could even have a plan to become self employed and start your own business during your career break or when you return.
I left my job because I wanted ultimate flexibility, so I had to ensure that I had enough savings left for when I got home and was looking for another job, so do keep this in mind.
As with everything, there are various options available and it is up to you, to chose what is best for you. Just remember that your employer is not legally bound to grant your request for a sabbatical, so you may have no choice other than to leave. If your employers do agree to a sabbatical, you need to ensure that this is in writing.
The exciting part is next...
So you have decided what you want to do with your career break and have saved your money... its time to book it. Booking that flight, that course or internship is one of the most exciting parts, as your dream will feel like a reality. Whatever you book, just make sure you use a reputable company, to avoid any potential problems in the future.
Your organisers should assist you with applying for visa (if necessary) and your accommodation and any training that is required.
One you have a leaving date, you need to inform your employers of your plans and make sure you have time to work your notice. I had to work a three month notice which felt like a lifetime, as I was so eager to jump on that plane and start the trip.
It's time...remember that you deserve this time, make the most of it and more importantly have fun. (However, don't forget to sort out your affairs before you leave, I have a detailed post on the important things you have to sort out before you leave which you can read here).