3 October 2011

Excuse 1: I haven't got enough money

Everyone apart from Simon Cowell says this. It's not so much of an excuse as a reason! But the truth is, there are people with less money than you who have managed to take a career break. We've met enough of them! And if they can do it, you can too. How? By working as you travel (see more about paid work abroad and TEFL), by saving up (yes, we can help you with that too) and by careful budgeting.

Excuse 2: I might not get another job

Well, no-one's saying you actually have to leave your job. Plenty of companies have a sabbatical policy (one in 5 at the last count) and many more are willing to offer sabbaticals to people who ask nicely. Tips on how to ask can be found here. Even if you leave your job, getting new, transferable skills on your career break will put you head and shoulders above other job-seekers when you come back - we've lost count of the number of career breakers who have walked into a promotion on their return (find out more about getting promoted here).

Excuse 3: I don't know what I want to do

This puts you in the same boat as roughly 80-90% of the people we talk to. Look at all our fab career breaks to help find things that appeal to your interests. Talk to people who've done it. Read about people who've done it. And remember – you don't have to do just one thing. Plenty of people combine work with volunteering, and travel, and learning something new.

Excuse 4: I can't leave my girlfriend/husband/kids/elderly aunt/dog

Again, people can and do. If you're worried about being away for such a long time, remember that a career break doesn't have to be for a year – many people take a few weeks or months. If you've got people depending on you, or pets, you can usually arrange for someone to look after them in your absence. And as for the kids? Take them with you - otherwise you could be waiting forever. This post on not waiting for the right time might help.

Excuse 5: My parents/friends disapprove

Yes, some people will, but you can't spend your whole life doing what other people want you to do. Besides, if you show them what kind of things you'll be doing and learning on your career break, they might be persuaded from the old-fashioned view that it's just a jolly, and realise that this could actually help your career. You can also show them some reasons from this list to help them understand.

Excuse 6: I'm scared

You and me both. Facing your fears is the best way to get over them. You can also help calm your fears by talking to other travellers, buying yourself a decent insurance policy, getting vaccinations, and taking proper kit. And remember the stats too – millions of people go travelling and the vast majority suffer nothing worse than foolishly buying a stupid hat. Developing your confidence will increase your sex appeal as well as improving your job prospects!

Excuse 7: The environment

Everyone has a different attitude to the environment, but the good news is that these days, there are lots of ways of travelling responsibly, from carbon offsetting, to simply listening to locals and respecting their ways. In fact, many career breaks involve conservation projects, so you could be making a positive impact on the environment, even though you fly.

Excuse 8: I'm too old

No you're not. Seriously, there are people in their 80s going backpacking, volunteering, surfing, and all sorts. Older travellers do have different concerns (eg accommodation, insurance, accessibility), but that doesn't mean you have to stay at home in your slippers. In fact, some volunteer organisations actively recruit olds because they have more experience (both professional and life) and tend not to get wasted and fall into rivers (although nothing on a career break is ever guaranteed!).

You got any more excuses? Email us in complete confidence and we'll do our best to help you out.