Next Steps: Career Choices & Resources
[singlepic=1568,300,,,right]Even before you’ve returned from your career break travels, you probably put some thought into what you want (or don’t want) from your next job.
If you are anything like us (Michael, Michaela, and Sherry), you probably fall into one of these categories:
- You want to return to the Briefcase, but on a different career track
- You want to utilize your skills and talents to pursue freelance work
- You want to pick up the Backpack again, never to return to corporate
BACK TO THE BRIEFCASE
You had an incredible around-the-world experience but are ready to re-enter the corporate world. Michael always knew he’d return to corporate, and used his career break to refocus on what his career goals were. These were some of the resources he utilized to get a job upon his return:
Executive Search Firms:
And don’t underestimate the power of your network. Keep in touch with your former colleagues and mentors during your travels and they can be extremely useful for opening up doors for you upon your return. LinkedIn makes this easier to do than ever.
And if you wish to seek employment from a firm that embraces the sabbatical mindset, YourSabbatical offers a comprehensive list of companies that do so.
You can segue your old career skills, and even some new ones you picked up as a travel blogger and photographer, into the freelance world.
I’ve always used my creative skills in the various jobs I had. So after my career break travels with Michael, I decided to finally pursue my dream of becoming a freelancer. I utilized my contacts at previous jobs to obtain work and have been building clients by word-of-mouth efforts for my business, Wanderlust Productions.
Some resources that I also use to help network, improve my skill set, and keep me motivated include:
- MediaBistro – Offers jobs, classes, a community and news for media professionals
- FreelanceSwitch – A community of freelance professionals from around the world, offering advice, resources, and a job board
- Freelance Radio – Hosted by freelancers from a wide range of backgrounds in the media field, including a writer, graphic designer, and web developer
And here are some other sources you may find useful:
- All Freelance – Directory of Freelance Job Boards, Resources & Articles
- How Design – Job search advice & job board, insight on your resume & portfolio, and interviewing tips for creative professionals
PICK UP THE BACKPACK AGAIN
You’ve been won over by backpacking and never want to settle down in the foreseeable future.
This is what Sherry felt like after her original 16-month career break. Here is how she obtained her CELTA certificate and ended up teaching English in Vietnam:
CELTA Certificate – ESL Jobs
- Teaching House – The largest CELTA center in the USA with locations in New York, Boston, Miami and San Diego
- Teaching House Job Board – Job board for teaching English in the US and abroad
- Transitions Abroad Teaching English Abroad
Overseas Programs, Jobs, Articles and Resources
And for over 30 years, Transistions Abroad has been a useful and comprehensive resource for Work Abroad, Study Abroad, Cultural Travel Overseas, and International Living.Living and Working Abroad.
One of the things you’ll have to get used to, however, is a much smaller paycheck. But Sherry has been able to transition from a six-figure salary to making just $18,000 a year. And here is a great article by Nora Dunn, a self-professed Professional Hobo, on how to travel full-time for $14,000 per year.
Here’s a whole other category that may apply to you. During your career break travels you may have had the opportunity to do some volunteer work. Maybe you were inspired enough and wish to re-focus your career path in the non-profit sector?
And keep in mind, it may be tough to find work right away, so while you continue your search, it may be worth doing some volunteer work to fill your time. And you never know – it could lead to a job!
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK
What ever career path you end up back on, don’t forget the importance of networking. In addition to staying in touch with your previous colleagues and associates, making new contacts is invaluable to your job goals. Find forums and events that speak to your aspirations and work it. A great site to find such opportunities is Meetup.
Do you have any job success stories or advice to give? Please share!