Happy Autumn (or Fall, if you prefer)!
Did you know it was Thanksgiving yesterday? We give thanks to all of our readers, followers, sponsors, partners, clients, contributors, family, friends, and beloved pets. We do this for you, because of you, and thanks to you.
As well as our usual sharing what we've been up to, we've got ways you can get involved, our latest feedback and as always, a mildly-amusing joke. So grab your plate, your comfy seat, and settle in to our cosy newsletter.
BLACK FRIDAY DEALS
STA Travel have a lot of Black Friday deals, with some good flights deals and 40% off tours, travel passes and camper vans.
Expedia have lots of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals too, with up to 60% off.
The Photo Shed Academy (one of our newest partners) has 30% off their programme if you book before 30 November.
Booking.com have a Black Friday sale with up to 40% off.
We're still working on our survey of people whose career breaks didn't turn out as they expected. Did you start your break thinking you'd end up in this new career and finding a completely different one? Did you take your career break thinking it would be a six-month break and have it turn into a lifetime commitment? Tell us your story! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and put "Survey" in the subject line. We'll be in touch.
VOLUNTEER IN MEDICINE
On our site, we have one big section all about volunteering, and we've got sections dedicated to the different kinds of volunteering you can do, to make it easier to find the kind of placements you're interested in.
This month, we're focusing on volunteering in medicine. Whether you're currently a health care provider or interesting in passing on skills and knowledge in your current field, you'll find plenty of options and find answers to your questions. Career breakers with relevant qualifications are obviously highly sought-after, but you don't always need experience to do a medical volunteering placement.
ON THE BLOG
Exciting news this month! Career Break Site founder Rachel appeared on BBC 4's You and Yours to talk about career breaks. You can read all about her experience in her blog post and listen to the program here. Jo Clay, one of our career breakers, appeared on the associated Smart Consumer podcast to talk about her experience.
If you want to travel long-term on your career break (which is what most career breakers do in fact), we've got a blog post to help you. We know it's hard to get the money together, sort your job out, know what to take and so on. Read about how you can travel long-term here.
Is your CV looking a bit flimsy? Volunteering abroad can help with that. Here are 10 incredibly useful skills you will develop when you volunteer abroad - and it's not just things like "how to teach" or "mending a fence". It's those sought-after, highly transferable "soft skills" that are so popular amongst employers these days.
And, as promised, George shared her carry-on packing tips. It's a really comprehensive post because she details why she packs everything and how she benefits from it while travelling. Read George's top carry-on tips here.
We've gotta tell you, we are loving writing this book. Pulling together all the amazing things you can do, finding tips from your fellow travellers, and helping you make a difference in the world. It's still in the works, still going slowly (because of our MASSIVE SUPER SECRET OTHER PROJECT) but we'll keep you posted, especially if you're on our VIP list (you'll get a sneak peak!).
Also, we still have some space for case studies so if you'd like to be in our book, please drop us a line with a brief (and we mean brief) overview of your career break story. And we'll try our best to find a spot for you!
MESSAGE OF THE MONTH
Yeah, we didn't really like this one. It's from a man we'll refer to only as A, kindly making an enquiry on behalf of a mate.
"I was looking at your site. It's very informative but I'm trying to urgently find some information that isn't covered. I know someone who's employer is currently trying to force then to take a sabbatical, with the intention already stated that they will be replaced while on sabbatical and reinstated in another, lower position. They have stated that they refuse and been told they did not have a choice. My question is, can an employer *force* a sabbatical, especially when they will knowingly return the employee to a lower role.
It seems to me more that they wish to demote (or fire) my friend, but have no grounds of misconduct to do so, so are thereby trying to force a sabbatical so they can change her role while she's away."
Well, the reason there's no information about this on our site is because it's not something that we've heard about before. Forcing a sabbatical is not a thing. This is immoral (and probably illegal) behaviour by the employer, and A's friend needs to get some legal advice on what to do. If she's got money, that would be an employment lawyer, and if not, she should contact the ever-brilliant Citizen's Advice, who will be able to help her.
Thank you for contacting us, A, and please keep us posted on your friend's situation.
TIP OF THE MONTH
Do you bring your own pillow with you for physical and/or emotional comfort while you're travelling? Our top tip this month is to bring a brightly-coloured pillowcase. Your pillow will stand out in any room, so you won't forget or lose it along the way.
Q: You asked us not to tell any Thanksgiving jokes.
A: We can't just quit cold turkey!
Q: If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?
We've put some more clues into this newsletter as to our forthcoming announcement. Did you spot them? Have you got any idea what we're up to? Come and chat to us about this, or your career break plans, or just whatever you like, on Facebook or Twitter. We spend far too much time there anyway.
As usual, next month's newsletter will come out earlier, so you get it before Christmas. Thanks for reading and we'll see you then!