Firstly, travel is not for everyone. This post is not to pass judgement on those who spring out of bed on a Monday morning and genuinely enjoy the job they do, but is for those of you who already have that niggling need for adventure or constant urge to punch your boss in the face. In other words, you want some career break advice but don’t know where to start.
Secondly, sorry to disappoint but this post won’t teach you how to write your resignation letter but instead discusses the excuses holding you back and how to overcome them.
So, if you’re ready to trade your commute for a camera, sandwiches for street food and boss for a backpack then find your top excuse and make mine a pint.
If you’re a “I’ll do it tomorrow” type person
Have you ever wondered what the number one regret is from those on their deathbed?
“I wish I lived the life I wanted, not what others expected.”
Travel may be pushed further down your priorities as excuses like promotions, pregnancies and partners overtake, as society likes to take charge.
However, there is no time like the present as the future will always be uncertain. Redundancies could be around the corner, she might secretly fancy your best friend and well, heart attacks happen. Stop making excuses for what could happen at the control of others and focus on plans to make something happen for you. Not to mention, the longer you wait, the more you will accumulate that will be harder to leave behind.
If you’re a “I can’t afford it” type person
Firstly, get a pen and some paper and read this – how anyone can afford to travel the world.
Secondly, it is not money holding you back, it’s fear.
For some, it’s the fear of what others will think. At the end of the day, it is your money so if you choose to spend it on a trip to Malaysia rather than a mortgage then go for it. Those who question it? Cross them off your postcard list. Pack the sunscreen, post the Visa application and hold a polite two fingers up to those who tell you how to spend your hard earned pennies.
For others it’s FOMO: a fear of missing out. Stop the Starbucks, the subscriptions and the Saturday night splurges and suddenly you can afford your first flight. Being a hermit for a couple of months will be worth it when you’re hash-tagging blessed from a beach in Bali.
Finally, it’s a fear of hard work. Compared to spending money, saving is bloody hard work. Whether you do the overtime, chuck your stuff on eBay or get a second job it’s time to roll your sleeves up. So, turn up the volume on the voice telling you “It’ll all be worth it” and turn the “Treat yourself” voice on mute.
All together now, “Work, save, travel, repeat”
If you’re a “what will I do when I come back” type person
Sorry to break it to you, but travelling is not forever.
Whether its two weeks or two years, eventually your trip will end and reality raises its ugly head. For the majority, your bank balance will be as sun beaten as you are and employment is your next destination.
If you are in the twenty-something category and assuming your “Gap yeaaa” expedition was funded by your previous job and not your parents, then the likelihood is your career had only just started. In essence, you were at the bottom of the career ladder so in reality, your job will always be there. Not literally same office, same desk but nowadays employers value life experience as much as actual work experience.
Whether you survived the lowest rated hotel on TripAdvisor or simply learned to put up with the “LADS, LADS, LADS” on your bus tour, these experiences have taught you far more than a year more of Excel would have. Giving you the skills to climb that career ladder much quicker than the colleagues you left behind.
Not to mention you got to see the world and you might even find your dream job on the way. Just like we have. The best piece of career break advice we can give you is to try Workaway. Volunteer work abroad not only adds some sparkle to your CV thus heightening the chances of employment when you return, but allows you to travel for free and meet incredible people along the way.
If you’re a “what will other people think” type person
From experience, our bosses could not have been more supportive about our decision to take a grown up gap year. In all honesty, most decent human beings would be.
They respect your honesty and ability to act on ambition, not to mention the new skills and experiences you will gain which could benefit the company later. In a world that has never been more connected via social media it has never been easier to stay in contact, find jobs on the move or even work remotely.
Parents naturally want to tell the world how fabulous their children and yes, “he’s currently slumming it in a hostel in Thailand” may not have the same ring as “he has just been promoted.” However, your travels will enrich you with memories, experiences and friendships that are a little more fulfilling than adding another bullet point to your CV, which fingers crossed your parents/grandma/boyfriend/cat support.
So before your next dose of Monday blues, it’s time to finally click print on your resignation letter, phone your mum to tell her your new life plan and get the selfie stick purchased.
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