Posts Tagged ‘career resources’

Escape Your Re-Entry
Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

You’re back from your career break a changed person. You’ve awakened parts of yourself you didn’t know you had. I’m not just talking about your new ability to speak in mime and pee anywhere – I’m talking about your creativity, cultural sensitivity, and values you’ve acquired! You’ve built relationships across the globe and changed the way you think about other cultures. You’ve even changed the way you think about your own country and culture and maybe you are questioning what you ‘should’ be doing now that you have returned.

You are back home, but does this mean you have to plug back into the rat race to survive once again? Not necessarily. You could take these new skills and mindset and channel them into something different. Does that sound too hard? Then you may want to enlist the help of Escape the City.

The moment I heard about Escape the City I knew our sites were kindred spirits. At Escape the City they are on a mission to help you find exciting alternatives to a corporate job. It’s a community of talented corporate professionals who want to do something different. The guys at Escape the City bring you the most intriguing job openings weekly that are far from corporate cubicle work.

Mikey Howe, one of the co-founders, explains, “We want to help every person that wants to break away from the corporate mainstream and do something different. Whether it be a career change, starting a business or going on a big adventure, our aim is to connect people with the information, people and opportunities that they should know about but don’t.”

How can you utilize Escape the City to find ‘different’ work?

Escape the City NEWSLETTER

Sign up for their newsletter and get the top 10 opportunities sent to your inbox every Monday. I love to read them to simply dream. Here were some of my favorites from this week’s newsletter:

Terra Viva Project at the Tlalli Farm in Brazil seeks enterprising individual
Manager – Terra Viva Project – National Park of Itatiaia, Brazil

Promote reading and education to empower the poorest at-risk children
Librarian/Reading Promoter – Safe Passage – Guatemala City, Guatemala

7-month fellowship in New Zealand for American public policy leaders
Ian Axford Fellowship in Public Policy – Fulbright New Zealand – Wellington, New Zealand

A fantastic new opportunity to join Gap Daemon as a Travelling Intern
Travelling Intern – Gap Daemon – Global

Catchafire is one of the hottest tech companies in NYC with a social mission!
Junior Service Officer – Catchafire – New York

Escape the City WEBSITE

You can also search for ‘different’ career opportunities on their website. You can control the search results by a cool slider that goes from “Play it Safe” to “Off the Radar”, and choose if you are looking for volunteer work, graduate work, or professional work.

When I asked Mikey what the coolest jobs they’ve ever posted was – he couldn’t list just one, “My favourite was the Paradise Hunter job. Travel to 12 different paradise locations over a year, get paid $60k, host the Paradise Hunter TV Series and once you’ve found your paradise destination, you are given a property worth up to $150k in that country! Otherwise i thought running the post office in Antarctica was a pretty cool one or maybe the beach lodge manager position in Mozambique. And can’t forget mine clearing in Cambodia…”

Don’t lose your career break momentum when you return home. If upon your return you aren’t ready to go back to the status quo, then consider continuing on the path less traveled as you restart your career! Check out Escape the City!

For a little extra motivation – check out their great video.

Start Something You Love: Escape the City…1 year on from Escape the City on Vimeo.

Leaving Your Job Gracefully
Monday, October 31st, 2011

There was nothing scarier for me after the decision to travel around the world than the aspect of leaving my career.

For 20 years I had identified myself by my career and the idea of leaving terrified me. I’ve written a lot about this internal turmoil and the resulting feelings a year later.

Warren & Betsy Talbot

One of the many aspects I had to confront, and I am sure you are wrestling with as well, is how do I leave my job gracefully and when do I tell them. There have been jobs in my past where I wanted just to light a match, set it to the kindling, and burn the bridge in spectacular fashion. Trust me when I tell you that the corresponding elated and satisfied feeling will die away quickly when you see the impact in has on your career prospects.

Assuming you are looking for a less incendiary departure, here are a few suggestions:

When do I tell my employer?

This is one of the most challenging questions facing us all and there is no right answer. In my case I gave 15 months notice that I would be leaving my career to travel (yes, this is a LOT of time). I had spent almost a year thinking about when would be the right time and debating the benefits and many of the concerns of telling them too early.

For me the decision came down to wanting to talk about my plans with people around me. Also, I just wanted to be honest with everyone and not have to feel like I was hiding the single biggest thing that was happening in my life. So, I made a leap and announced my plan one morning about what I was doing and the why this was so big for me.

The result: In those 15 months after giving notice I was promoted twice, was given my dream project to drive an effort and acquisition I felt was key for the company, and received a wonderful bonus for the hard work. The company was able to let me run with projects because they wanted to keep me motivated and I certainly was. It was a great 15 months of fun work, new challenges, and a result I am very proud of today.

Key things to consider:

  • When you give notice, provide your boss with recommendations for how you will spend your remaining time. Let them know you will remain motivated to work hard. Talk about helping to recruit your replacement and get them trained and up to speed before you leave.
  • Make sure to focus the discussion about your desire to explore the world. Do not turn this into your opportunity to explain all the ways they have disappointed you in your career. Remember, you may want to get back together with this partner.
  • Read your situation – every scenario is different so be sure to have an idea at how your boss will take the news. Be prepared for the worst case scenario (walked to the parking lot and start your trip earlier than expected) but plan for the best. Provide you employer with reasons why keeping you on is going to be good for them.
  • Always keep the door open to the future. For most people, this is a “career break” and as such there is at least a “plan” to return to the corporate world. Keeping your options open and remaining flexible is generally a good strategy. Make sure that you could return to the company if possible.
  • Not everyone will understand – this is something I faced immediately after giving notice. People simply could not grasp why I would even consider doing “something this stupid”. It is inevitable you will come across this at work and will spend many hours trying to explain. This is normal. What you are doing is odd (sadly) but you are following your dream and your heart. Explain why you came to the decision and remember why it is so important to you. Your career will likely be there if/when you return.

Warren & Betsy Talbot

Leaving my career remains one of the hardest, and best, things I have ever done. I am still happy that I gave so much notice and was then able to tell all my friends at work about my adventure. It created a new way to open discussions and to share the idea of career breaks with others.

When are you telling your employer? What concerns do you have?

About the author:
Warren Talbot and his wife Betsy quit their jobs and sold everything they owned to travel the world in 2010. You can learn more about how to Live the Good Life at their blog, Married with Luggage. In addition, their new digital guide Dream Save Do: The Step-by-Step Blueprint for Amassing the Cash to Live Your Dream provides you with the inspiration and process to save for your dream.

Consulting to Pay for Long-Term Travel
Monday, August 15th, 2011

Don’t think you have the funds to take off and travel the world? Feel like you are chained to your job for financial stability? Consulting could be the answer to both of those concerns.Kristin Zibell, the author and editor of Take Your Big Trip, a web site dedicated to helping would-be travelers live their travel dreams, shares how she made consulting pay for her travels and how you can too. She can also be found on Twitter at @takeyourbigtrip.

kristin zibell
My career break to travel wasn’t planned, but once started, it lasted two years and took me to 16 countries across four continents. I’m not independently wealthy, nor have some secret to blogging success that others haven’t figured out. Instead, I used 10 years of professional experience to sell myself into short-term consulting gigs during an economic downturn and pay for long-term trips to India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

My first big trip developed because I needed a life break as the result of a divorce. I decided to leave, among other things, my excellent post-MBA job and take some time off to travel to India. When I returned a few months later to a very cold Midwest winter, the only answer I had to the endless “what now?” questions was “All I want to do is travel again.” Where? Egypt. How long? As long as I can.

Initially, the hardest question for this security-minded Midwesterner was, “how do I pay for it?” Consulting proved to be the answer. This article contains a few tips I learned along the way to help those considering a career break to travel understand how to use consulting as a way to pay for it.

Believe in Yourself

Believe that you can do it – traveling for as long as you want AND paying for it. There may be a fear that no one will hire you if you’re a traveler or have a flight plan. This fear is extraneous for educated professionals with years of experience – most have sellable skills and wide networks ready to mine for consulting opportunities.

In winter 2009 – when the Dow Index started with a “6” – I believed I could find a job to pay for my next big trip and strove to do so. Several recruiters called for lucrative positions in Arkansas and Texas, promising full-time, permanent employment in “this economy.” But I politely declined their offers, believing I was meant to travel.

Showcase the Skills You Can Sell

As a consultant, thy name is the brand and thy resume, portfolio, and interviews the marketing. Potential clients want to know that you can step in with a professional demeanor, take charge when the way is unclear, and deliver effectively to the short and longer-term project goals. In addition to technical skills or an industrial focus, a consultant’s resume is succinct and showcases leadership and results.

My resume always includes a summary to hit the technical and industry experience and then shows actual results as evidence of my experience and expertise. In interviews, my stories elaborate on the results delivered and skills needed following a succinct STAR format: Situation, Tasks, Actions, and Results. My portfolio has a few key examples that illustrate my most successful or applicable projects. Even if there wasn’t a fit, agencies and recruiters were happy to connect me with other opportunities because I showcased well.

Get Creative

Consulting jobs are typically by word of mouth or through staffing agencies. I did not know this when I first started, so I applied for full-time jobs where I had the skills and experience. After getting an HR recruiter or hiring manager on the phone, I listened to their needs. Then, I would explain what I was looking for: a consulting or contract position and could step in immediately on their projects. Then, I’d shape the conversation to tell them what I could do for them in the immediate future. My creativity paid off during the depressed economy when companies had work, but little desire to add overhead.

Honestly, Ask for What You Want

When there’s a good job available that doesn’t meet your exact needs on travel timing or budget, it’s easy to acquiesce or stay silent in fear that something else may not come along. This is a false belief. Recruiters and interviewers will ask, “What do you want?” Stating that you’re looking for a short-term consulting position in your area of expertise to help you travel long-term is okay and honest. No one reacted negatively when I shared my plans. In fact, the travel aspect was attractive and made me more memorable as a candidate. Staying true to your desires in the details is important too. Ask for what you want in pay, location, expenses, and timing. Overall, remember that you are meant to travel and believe, “this or something better” when looking at offers.

By reading this article and reviewing this web site, you’re already on the path to long-term travel. Realizing that you can use the professional skills you’ve spent your career developing to pay for your travel dreams is the next step. Good luck!

Additional Resources:
Create Your Travel Vision
Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself

Kristen is on our San Francisco panel for our October 18th event. Come and be inspired by her and the rest of our kick-ass panelists!

Kick Ass Hosts: Paul & Christine Milton
Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

All of our local kick-ass Meet, Plan, Go! hosts have inspiring stories of their own career break travels. In the time leading up to our National Event in October we will introduce them to you so you can see why they are part of our team.

Meet our Kick-Ass Seattle Hosts: Paul & Christine Milton

Seattle Hosts

Michaela & Sherry join Christine (left) and Paul Milton (right) at a recent meetup

Long term travel is an amazing experience. It’s captivating, educational, challenging, and inspirational. Those who have done it have laptops and smartphones full of photos of far away places and email addresses from those whom they’ve spent a few days with; sharing taxis, hostels, hikes, museums, beach side bars and overnight trains.

Let’s face it. Most of us aren’t witty travel writers and we’re not glamorous TV stars. We’re not going to spend the rest of our lives traveling the world, submitting creative blog posts or poignant documentaries from exotic distant lands. Of course there are those doing it, but they’re the minority in the global travel community.

The travel community is made up of people like you and me. Most who mark the calendars, strap on a backpack and look forward to scuba diving, mountain trekking and passport stamps are the temporary traveller. We’re able to take 3-12 months and head out into the world – seeking to learn about the unknown in other countries, and deep within ourselves. Sooner or later, the trip will come to a conclusion and you’ll be back in the job market, nervously anticipating sitting across the table from a prospective employer in an interview.

Was your trip a waste of time? Was it a job killer?

Honestly . . . no.

It was the best thing you‘ve ever done and just the thing that you’re new company is looking for.

Christine and I left Seattle in July 2009 and travelled for 18 months, returning this past January,
2011. With what we’ve done and where we’ve been, we were ready for what lay ahead.

Think about the basics of interviewing and the questions that are presented. It readily becomes a question of not, what do I say, but rather what cool story of my travels will best summarize my abilities to handle whatever this company has in store for me.

“Tell me about a stressful time and how you resolved it”:

How about the time in Athens when the port workers went on strike and the ferries sat empty,
forcing us to quickly change our transportation plans to include a train and a bus to get to a
different ferry in a town hours away enabling us to continue on our journey, making sure we
stayed ahead of the wave of thousands of others travellers who need to do the same.

“How do you adapt to new situations”?

Every situation is a new situation while traveling. Where to go, how you get there, where to
sleep, what to see, where to eat. . . . sometimes even how to eat! Travellers are continually in
a revolving door of temporary friendships and meeting fellow travellers from different countries,
ethnic backgrounds, ages and mindsets.

Many travellers know what it’s like, stepping down from a train in a town who’s name they can’t
pronounce, in a country they’ve never been to, trying to find the hostel or guesthouse, then locate a good plate of street food and a cold beer.

“How do you handle conflict”?

Tell them about being in Cairo and fare haggling with taxi drivers, the servers who demand an
extra tip stating that the one on the bill is “for the kitchen staff” or dealing with the manipulative
and pushy perfume and papyrus vendors?

How do you work in a team environment?:

How about learning to travel with your spouse, and the demands and conflicts that arise from
spending 24/7 together.

“Tell us about the time you went outside your comfort zone”

. . . . boy, where do I begin!

Listen to your inner self, the thoughts in your head. Quit your job and travel the world. It could
be the best job decision you’ve ever made.

Check out the Seattle event details.

Boot Camp: Report for Duty
Wednesday, December 8th, 2010


Boot Camp

What you can expect from Career Break Boot Camp:

  • An 8-week course and seminar series specially designed by Life Sabbatical & Long-term Travel Coach Tara Russell of Three Month Visa Coaching and Consulting and career break gurus Michaela Potter and Sherry Ott of Briefcase to Backpack.
  • Weekly lessons (delivered online every Sunday), each of which will have a defined objective and touch on such key concepts for travel preparation such as finding inspiration, overcoming mental hurdles, saving & budgeting, alternatives to traditional tourism, owning your journey, essential to-do list items for the road, home, & career, and preparing for re-entry.
  • Wisdom & guidance from career break veterans – a hand-picked community of road-savvy travelers.
  • Inspiring video and audio files prepared exclusively for MPG CBBC.
  • Access to a wealth of recommended reading and resources for aspiring world travelers.
  • Valuable tips & resources from experts in the fields of: Financial Planning | International Volunteering | Teaching ESL | Journaling | Blogging | Insurance | Downsizing | among others
  • Opportunities to interact through discussion groups and forums.

But perhaps the best inspiration we can offer you to join the course is the feedback we’ve received from some industry experts and members of our Beta Boot Camp.






The Art of Non-ConformityADDITIONAL BONUS
As an added bonus, the first 20 people who register for Boot Camp will receive a $100 gift certificate towards any of the Unconventional Guides by Chris Guillebeau.

And every person who registers will receive a free copy of his book, The Art of Non-Conformity. This will provide an added dose of inspiration to fuel your travel dreams.

So what’s stopping you? Report for duty on January 9, 2011

We are only taking a limited number of committed people. It will be on a first come, first served basis. Once we reach our limit, the course for this date will be closed.

Negotiating Your Sabbatical or Career Break
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Negotiating Your SabbaticalNot everyone is lucky enough to work for these companies…the companies that understand the value of unplugging from your career and taking a sabbatical. There are many people who love what they do and the challenges of their career, but they feel burned out. They feel if they don’t step away from the position for a bit, they may lose the love for their job. Most of these people don’t feel like they have any options.

This is where Barbara and Elizabeth Pagano come in. They are teaching people how to negotiate a sabbatical with their company. This mother-daughter duo are no strangers to sabbaticals. They took their own sailing career break; learning new skills, and getting some much needed time away from the 9 to 5.

Barbara and Elizabeth’s typical 9 to 5 is – a firm that partners with businesses to deploy programs that attract, retain, and accelerate top talent through the use of structured leaves of absences.

However, through their eBook Negotiating Your Sabbatical, this time they are working directly with the employees – helping them lay out a plan to ask for and be granted time away for a career break or sabbatical.

The book walks you through the steps to going in and having ‘that’ conversation with your boss. All the bases are covered:

  • Building the foundation
  • Creating the proposal
  • Engaging in negotiation

In addition it includes an appendix which houses templates and Q&A.

Their advice? Don’t be spontaneous! Yes – you heard me right. Don’t decide at the spur of the moment to talk to your boss about a sabbatical, your chances of succeeding are about as likely as the US embracing healthcare reform. What this book teaches you is to plan, prepare, and practice asking for a sabbatical. Sabbaticals aren’t whimsical, they are serious. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun on your desired sabbatical, it simply means the conversation with your boss should be serious!

The book states:

“The most meaningful sabbaticals are planned ones, with specific goals and objectives – even if one of those goals is simply to recharge.”


Workplaces for Sabbaticals
Monday, November 29th, 2010

Elizabeth Pagano, a partner at yourSABBATICAL and co-host of Meet, Plan, Go! Atlanta shares insight on companies who recognize the power of time off.

Workplaces for SabbaticalsAfter my mother and I returned from our sailing sabbatical and we realized the impact that time away from work had on our business partnership and our individual careers, we wondered: Are companies recognizing the power of time off?

Indeed, some are – and the trend is growing. The company-sponsored sabbatical began in the 1960s with the likes of McDonald’s and Intel. Work for one of these companies, and you’ll get a sizable chunk of time away from the job (often fully paid) every so many years (the average is five) to fulfill a lifelong dream, travel, or do something you’ve been longing to do but couldn’t in a week’s vacation.

Even in an economic downturn, companies like Deloitte and General Mills rolled out sabbatical programs for their employees. And it’s not just an offering at big companies; companies with fewer than 20 employees are also on’s list of 100+ companies that regularly offer career breaks to employees. And we continue to add to the “Workplaces for Sabbaticals” list of forward-thinking companies.

Like the folks at Briefcase to Backpack, we’re working hard to impact the way we work and live, believing every career should include meaningful “pauses” along the way. The old model of educating ourselves and then working hard for 45 years BEFORE we can go and do something that we dream of doing no longer makes sense.

The companies that realize this and nurture their workers with holistic approaches, valuing both the professional and personal lives of their contributors, are worthy of recognition. They’re typically great places to work – so check them out, if you’re in the job market.

Favorite Blog: Quitter to Winner
Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Quitter to WinnerWe recently discussed how many career breakers remain in the “career break closet” – keeping their upcoming travel plans from friends, family, and especially colleagues and bosses. Some spend months, if not years, planning their escape, but are afraid to share the news too soon out of fear of losing their jobs – much like Keith & Amy Sutter. “We could not afford, either financially or professional, for word of our plans to leak back to our companies before we were ready.”

Quitting can be difficult for anyone, especially career breakers. Doubts can seep in as you start to question your decision. Hearing others stories of quitting can make it that much easier, and now you can on Quitter to Winner”, a resource for those quitting their job for a career break, sabbatical, entrepreneurial venture or new gig.

The blog was started by Michael Sjostedt, who noticed that “over the last few years people held onto jobs they weren’t satisfied with. But recent stats show that more and more workers are voluntarily leaving their gigs for yet-to-be-determined opportunities.

Job burnout certainly plays a role in the trend. Some might have a little red devil on their shoulders who whispers ‘life’s too short.’ Others have the hutzpa to strike out on their own, thinking they can crack the ‘earn more, work less’ algorithm.

Everyone’s got a reason and a story. I’m curious to learn why people jumped, how they navigated the free fall, and if they succeeded.”

You can read stories like Alice Gray and Lyon Graulty, who are taking several months off between jobs to bike the West Coast and raise money for Posada Esperanza, an Austin-based shelter for immigrant women and their children. Or James Morgan, who talks about his difficult transition from a teaching career into architectural woodworking. And Ryan Fuller and his wife, Jen, who got burnt out from their high-pressure consulting jobs and are now in rehab: via extended vacation in Argentina.

And be sure to visit their Facebook Fan Page as Michael features inspiring career-related stories, blogs, and job boards from around the web.

Meet, Plan, Go! Sponsors
Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

We are very excited to have several great sponsors supporting our Meet, Plan, Go! event on September 14, 2010. In addition to the local sponsors and venues, we have several National Sponsors who will be able to offer attendees valuable resources for their career break planning. And if that weren’t enough, they are also offering some incredible giveaways, including trips to Peru, Cambodia, and France. Check out what some of them are offering!


GAP Adventures A world leader in adventure travel, GAP Adventures offers more than 1,000 small group experiences, safaris and expeditions on all seven continents to more than 100,000 travellers a year. The company’s worldwide adventures focus on cultural interaction, wildlife encounters, and active travel.

We are thrilled to say that GAP Adventures will be giving away* one trip on their “The Inca Journey” tour! This 9-day adventure combines Andean culture, the most famous Inca ruin and the lush Amazon rainforest. Highlights include Cuzco, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, Amazon Rainforest.

GeoVisionsGeoVisions offers exciting ways to experience first hand a new country, a town, a community through their volunteer abroad and teach abroad programs.

You have the ability to immerse yourself in a completely different land and culture while gaining a new cultural understanding. We are excited that GeoVisions will be giving away two volunteer experiences!

The first volunteer abroad program is a medical volunteer project in Cambodia. The second is a one month volunteer trip to France as part of their Conversation Corps program. And all attendees will receive $100 discount off of any GeoVision program! [restrictions will apply]


Career Break SecretsCareer Break Secrets offers fun and informative video travel guides and resources to places and activities you want to know more about for your often-dreamed-about career break, sabbatical or adult gap year. Their first season of video travel guides will feature career break activities in Spain, South Africa, New Zealand, Patagonia (both Argentina and Chile) and Colombia.

Globe Jotter Tours Globejotter Tours are travel adventures and creative writing lessons rolled into one. Their number one focus is on creating memorable travel experiences for small, down-to-earth groups. Along the way they offer classes to help you write personal travel memoirs and stories. They will be giving away copies of Globejotting: How to Write Extraordinary Travel Journals (and still have time to enjoy your trip!)” at every Meet, Plan, Go! location

Hostelling InternationalHostelling International USA (HI-USA) is America’s largest network of quality hostels and part of a global HI network of more than 4,000 hostels in over 80 countries. Come join our “Community of Travelers”!

Enter to win an HI-USA getaway weekend for 2 at your choice of either New York or Los Angeles/Santa Monica! Enjoy 2 nights shared accommodations | Continental breakfast | A local tour pass (TBA) | A local transportation pass

HI-New York is located in the heart of Manhattan, within easy access of Central Park, Broadway, Time Square, Museums, restaurants, clubs and all that the “Big Apple” has to offer!

HI-LA/Santa Monica is located in a relaxed neighborhood of shops, galleries and cafes just 2 blocks from the beach and the famous Santa Monica Pier and with easy access to Venice, Malibu, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and more!

Be sure to check out one of our 13 locations and come be inspired!

How To Find a Job While on a Career Break
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

“What are you going to do when you come back?” said my friend with her head tilted sideways; a concerned and perplexed look on her face.

I felt like this scene was a video caught in a loop as I planned my career break for the year leading up to my departure. It was nice that everyone was concerned about my well-being, but every time someone asked that question, it tied my stomach in yet another knot.

I didn’t know the beauty of ‘not knowing’ then. I was still in my ‘I must be in control’ mode. Slowly my traveling career break peeled away each hyper-planning layer of my personality and left me with delicious ambiguity.

It was that delicious ambiguity that helped me land my next job while I was on my career break. Yes – that’s right, my career break actually helped me find my next job(s).

An expat friend I had met while traveling heard I used to work at a luxury handbag company prior to becoming a career breaker. Upon hearing this she decided she should introduce me to two women who had started CAMENAE , an Italian luxury handbag business managed out of Singapore and Saigon. (Actually the manufacturing is all done in Italy, but the owners live in Singapore and Saigon!)


Career Break Guide Table of Contents

Meet Plan Go