If you’ve reached the point where you’d rather watch paint dry than attend the Monday morning meeting, or can’t face another commute with a stranger’s newspaper pushed into your face then you need a career break! A break or sabbatical allows employees to leave their job for an agreed period to learn something new or to have a few weeks leave to reassess their career.
Once you’ve agreed time off with your bosses, it’s time to pack up, jet off and see the world. Before you do though, it’s best to have a plan of action in mind instead of just wandering aimlessly from airport to airport. For instance, if you’ve agreed six months off and have emphasised a need to improve international client relations, then it might be worth considering where your firm has its largest market share. When traveling around Asia bear in mind that hundreds of different dialects are spoken, food will range from five-star haute cuisine to something a lot more rustic and business is conducted very differently. For example, in Japan, it’s common for companies to exchange gifts and share a meal together before getting down to the sums. Think about where you’ve always wanted to go, is it Africa? Australia? Or America? Then plan how you’ll use your time while there. Why not go backpacking? Start a travel or food blog? Or practice your budding photography skills?
Want to brush up on your communication and people relation skills? Why not Teach English as a Foreign Language? You’ll still be bringing in a salary but won’t be bound by the restrictions of a working visa. TEFL teachers are constantly in demand so if you book a short, intensive course before leaving the country you could be qualified to teach students all over the world in two weeks! TEFL will also open your eyes to the realities of language, how difficult it can be for someone who doesn’t understand what you’re saying which will, in turn, encourage you to think carefully when trying to get your point across in future. Teaching’s also an excellent way to keep your brain ticking over. Just because you’re out of the office doesn’t mean you want to stagnate and planning lessons, running vocab drills and helping students write short stories will certainly keep you on your toes.
Over 63% of those who decided to volunteer last year were on extended leave, a self-discovery journey or career break. While volunteering may not conjure up the wild, exciting and glamorous excitement of singles vacations, it’s a fantastic way to meet a bunch of new people while helping communities in need all over the globe. Countless organizations run volunteering programs that could see you teaching art, helping protect wild animals, learning about healthcare, running the local radio station and building brand new houses for those who’ve lost theirs in natural disasters. Programs tend to last for as little as two weeks all the way up to six months, so if you’re looking for somewhere to reassess your life why not do it on a white, sandy beach in Costa Rica?