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7 Tips for Those Thinking of Taking a Career Break


Feeling like your life is on hold or stuck in your job? 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 DirectAsia.com’s top 7 tips to get you started:

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.

Make it pay

If you want to finance your travel, explore the options for working in a country you’ve always wanted to visit.

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!

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?

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?

Useful links

Click on these for instant help and inspiration.

MeetPlanGo ‘how-to’ advice regarding career break planning and travel.

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.

theindependent.co.uk Why an extended break can be a good career move.

changeboard.com.sg Career advice, insights & tips from and for HR professionals.

Let us know what you are planning!

Travelling the World Doesn’t Have to Cost the Earth

DirectAsia.com offers a yearly travel insurance plan that saves you both time and money. You can choose the level of protection that’s right for you, and pay only for what you need.