Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Have You Ever Taken a Career Break?

what is a career break?

Taking three months to travel around Central America travel was such an adventure, but after quitting my job last year, I also viewed my trip as a career break -- a time for me to figure out what I wanted to do next with my life. I spent the first few months of 2014 reading, taking in a lot of information, and figuring out the direction in which I wanted to go next. At 27 years old, though, taking a break when everyone else my age seems to be taking off is a bit out of the norm. But a career break coupled with a backpacking jaunt climbing Mayan ruins and swimming with sharks?? Carpe diem right?

For me, I used my career break so I could slow down and take some time to:
  • experience life without the pressure of my vacation days ticking away
  • brainstorm and dream about the future
  • decide which direction I’ll go in next without the pressure of doing it now
  • appreciate the positives and negatives of my past experiences and consider what I need in my next position
  • evaluate my goals and the things that bring me personal and professional satisfaction
The Happiness Project and The Four Hour Work Week were two books that really struck a chord with me because of the way they made me think of lifestyle redesign. Now my brain throws around terms like location independent, passive income, and multiple streams of revenue. 

My husband might be planning on going back into the military but I’m personally not interested in any type of career that is so rigidly structured. My option to pursue traditional employment, whether on- or off-base, will be limited by picking up and moving every six months as he goes through his training. More importantly than that… do I even want traditional employment? Do I want to go back to a corporate office lifestyle? Would I be happy and satisfied building my career in human resources (my previous field)? A discernable pit in my gut whispers no.

My immigration status only complicates and delays finding a regular full-time job anyway. As a Canadian I feel fortunate to be at an advantage compared to other countries in regards to visa approval (except that one time… ahem) but the whole process is generally taking forever. Legally, I likely won’t be able to work in the States for another five months.

I need a career that’ll be flexible for my lifestyle, won’t suffer through my immigration process, and will bring me personal and professional satisfaction. 

I remember when the highflight of my work days was lunch, that one glorious hour where I’d get to breathe fresh air and eat and talk and dream. I can’t go back to living for my lunch breaks and weekends. In a recent post from Candice she talked about working to live instead of living to work, a concept that I wholeheartedly stand behind.

funny job career ecard

Things are still up in the air as I try to figure out my life, but I have something exciting in the works that I’ll be ready to talk about next week! My latest lifestyle project is taking shape... 

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  1. hey, lovely post :) I am also at the same crossroad of life about career

    1. Thank you Aman! These crossroads are a confusing place to be, aren't they?

  2. I just read The Happiness Project and loved it! Good luck as you try to figure out your next steps :)


    1. Yeah it was really inspirational wasn't it? Really made me think about happiness (duh), motivation, and what brings me fulfillment. Thanks for the kind words :)

  3. So know what you mean! I plan my whole work day around my one hour of lunch. It's bliss to me

    1. Oh no, I hope that changes soon! Living for lunch is no way to live

  4. I hope your break has helped clarify some things for you. I know it did your blog a lot of favors! Great post as always. Btw... thanks for the mention :)


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