Today's newsletter is being brought to you with extra cheerfulness. The first reason is the lovely sunshine which always puts people in a good mood. The second is that it's nearly Easter and greedy people like us are looking forward to the upcoming chocolate fest. Mmmm... chocolate...
So here's our monthly round-up of photos, video, blog posts, news, questions and answers and of course, a joke. Enjoy!
Fancy yourself as a budding travel writer? The Telegraph is running a weekly travel writing competition - the prize is £200 of currency of your choice!
BIC (yeah, the pen people) are running a competition where you could win one of 4 Gapaways for a month-long trip this summer, and there's a £4,000 grand prize as well. The destinations are South Africa, South America, South-East Asia and the Australian outback. Nice!
WHAT'S NEW ON THE SITE?
Gap Africa Projects have just joined us, and their name is pretty self-explanatory! They have a number of big cat and conservation projects like the cheetah rehab project, and they also have a game ranger training academy.
PHOTO CORNER - YOUR MONTHLY DOSE OF INSPIRATION
Colourful travel photo series - just the thing to brighten up your Friday afternoon!
A round-up of lovely photobombing animal pictures.
VIDEO CORNER - YOUR MONTHLY DOSE OF OMG
A polar explorer forgot what treats he hid in his cache for his return journey. This is him finding them. (Warning, contains much shrieking in foreign). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC8gJ0_9o4M
ON THE BLOG
Fancy doing something different on your career break? Here is a handy guide to doing adventure sports - by which we mean diving, sailing, waterskiing, snowboarding - you get the idea. And remember - it's not just for younger folks, we get a lot of older career breakers doing this kind of stuff!
For International Women's Day, we did a special post on 6 advantages of being female while travelling. Not because we wanted to exclude the chaps (we don't) but because ladies tend to get told to be a bit more cautious (and they have to carry more stuff).
We've got a guest post from Guardian Jobs on how to cope with anxiety before a job interview - very useful if you're one of the majority of career breakers who look for a new job on their return.
Are you interesting? Do you want to share your story on our blog? We're always looking for guest posts, and people to interview, so email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be featured.
EMAIL OF THE MONTH
I am writing to you from Ukraine. I like travelling.
I request you to send souvenirs and information about you to my address
[No address was included]
QUESTION OF THE MONTH
Question (from an HR person we think): "What is the usual amount of time an employee has to work for a company before they're allowed a career break?"
Answer: Generally 2 years is the minimum. Some companies might ask for longer if the employee wants to take a longer career break. Paid sabbaticals (rare as fish trousers) normally require you to work for many years.
If you have a question for us, email email@example.com - we never share your name or any identifying info, and we delete your email once we've replied.
CAREER BREAK, TRAVEL AND WORK NEWS ROUND-UP
A Canadian travel guide has come under fire for suggesting that women wear a fake wedding ring while they go travelling. This is the same advice that we give to solo female travellers - and we've used it ourselves! Having to build a 'pack of lies' around it (as one critic stated) is codswallop - normally you just smile and point to it, job done. Our opinion is that women should make their own decisions to feel safe and avoid harrassment while travelling.
Baggage handlers at London Stansted are going on strike over Easter. If you're planning to fly in or out of there, read this article from the Telegraph which has useful information on what to do.
If you're using an ISA to save for your career break, be aware that some accounts are closing them before the official April 5 deadline. So if you want to get that tax-free interest, sort it out now. Today, preferably.
With all the hoo-ha over pensioners and the pasty tax, you might have missed the news that the qualifying period to claim for unfair dismissal has gone up from 1 to 2 years. We reported on this in last month's newsletter, but the law actually comes into force in April. If you think you've been booted out unfairly, your best first port of call is ACAS. We direct a lot of callers there - they're really helpful and know employment laws inside out.
My favourite hipster band is Dog Whistle.
You won't have heard them.
Have a super weekend!
The Career Break Site