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How to Take a Career Break and Travel

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: March 5, 2019
How to Take a Career Break and Travel

Taking a break from your career, hopping on a flight and travelling the world is a fantasy everyone hopes will one day come true. But most people are afraid that by doing this, they will lose their job forever and not be able to find another which is as good. A gap in one’s CV can also be a deterring prospect. Undoubtedly, taking a career break to travel requires some guts. Taking such a leap requires a sense of adventure and strong-will.

However, if done with the correct planning and vision, it can actually benefit your career in the long run. Here at oneHOWTO, we will discuss about how to take a career break and travel.

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  1. Should you take a career break to travel?
  2. Taking a career break- What to consider
  3. How to plan for a career break and travel
  4. Coming back from a career break

Should you take a career break to travel?

Taking a career break to travel can develop you both professionally and personally. People who go on a career break often come back with an enhanced set of skills and a more positive attitude towards life. A planned and successful career break often results in refreshment and energy for the future.

With your batteries recharged, you can come back to your world re-energized with a clearer focus on what you want to do next. During your career break, you get a chance to move out of your normal life and look at it from a new perspective. You can come back with a new level of confidence and self-reliance. Taking such a break can actually give a boost to your resume. Not only do you gain confidence but you grow a refined global outlook and better communication skills that could attract new employers in future. According to experts, people who return from a career break feel: happier, reinvigorated, refreshed and ready to accept new challenges.

How to Take a Career Break and Travel - Should you take a career break to travel?

Taking a career break- What to consider

If you are planning to take a career break and travel, you must be concerned about a number of worries. While making up your mind and actually setting out, it’s normal to worry.

One of the major worries, naturally, might be your financial situation.By taking this break, you will no longer receive a monthly pay check, which for anyone can be worrying. Another main thing which could be of concern, is, where will you stay? However, despite all of these worries, once you set out to travel, you will find that slowly, if planned correctly, all will fall into place. Yes, these are all valid concerns, however, once you are on your trip and meeting new people, you will find that it’s all about taking it day by day.

How to plan for a career break and travel

It’s all about planning! Take a look at these tips on how to plan for a career break and travel:

  • Choose the right time and duration: Your instinct would say that you should post your resignation right now, book your tickets and go. But this can be risky. We suggest selecting the right date and duration before making a rash decision. Naturally, your bank balance will play a significant role in determining the duration of your trip. Make sure that you save accordingly.
  • Check your bank balance: If you are taking a career break, this means that you will not receive any income during this time and you will depend entirely on your bank balance. We suggest, that before anything else, if you have any debt, pay it off before you travel. In addition, make sure that you don’t take up any new loans during your break. If possible, we recommend trying to arrange some side income during your break, such as: freelance work, starting a travel website or blog for revenue, investment dividend, or rental property income. Also keep some emergency funds at hand in case of an unexpected expense while travelling. Something which has become increasingly popular, is working in a hostel in exchange for accommodation. Either way, whether you decide to couch surf, stay in a hotel or hostel, we advise trying to control your spending habits and learning to live minimally.
  • Plan the career break: Before you finally go on this career break, be strategic with how you plan to leave your current job, especially if you hope to come back to it. We recommend speaking to your boss before leaving and discussing possible options of you coming back to the same job. As this would be an unpaid leave, your boss may be open to negotiation. If you quit your job, do it gracefully by providing a notice with the set time frame with which you are contracted.
  • What to do for a career break: Instead of taking this career break for vacation, you should make plan to use it beneficially. Sure, you can sit back and relax for a little, however, why not use this time to do something productive? A career break would be a perfect time to pursue passions, whether it is: reading, writing, gardening, traveling, social work, volunteering or else. You may also decide to join a course, raise a family, or try something new which you have always wanted to do.
How to Take a Career Break and Travel - How to plan for a career break and travel

Coming back from a career break

When you return from a career break, things can sometimes prove to be a little difficult. This is why we have some tips for you:

  • Analyze your situation and update your resume : Update your CV with any new information you may believe might be important, i.e: new skills, jobs, qualifications. Analyze where your head is at, do you want to go back to your new job? Or do you feel you are now ready to try something different. Don’t rush, as this may result in you taking a job you don’t want to really be doing.
  • Build a network: Reach out to your ex-clients, friends, relatives and colleagues, and inform everyone that you are back, revived and looking for a job. With social platforms such as: Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook, there are many groups and online communities which help people find work, so take advantage of them!
  • Prepare for interviews: It is likely that in these new interviews after taking a career break, the employer might question and ask about the gap in your resume.They will most likely ask: why you decided to take a break from your career, what did you do during this period and most importantly, what you learnt from it. Be confident with your answers, put emphasis on your rejuvenated drive to work, focus and passion.

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