26 January 2012

Young man on a career breakTaking a career break and getting paid work whilst you’re travelling is an increasingly popular option, but there are a few things to bear in mind:


1 Do not expect to get the same level job overseas as you are used to

Many people each year go overseas to Canada and Australia with fantastic CVs boasting of their many working achievements. Unfortunately, this does not mean that you will get the same level job over there. On the working holiday visas, you should expect to be employed at entry level jobs and work your way up - yet this is half the fun of it.

Why are you taking a career break? For many it is to get away from the stress of the daily grind. To have a job behind a bar in Sydney, grooming horses in the Outback or wiping tables in Whistler can be an extremely attractive alternative - especially as you can expect to develop a skill set completely different to the one that you have already gained. Your CV will look a lot better for it.

2 Organising admin overseas can be a faff

Setting up a bank account, registering for health benefits, working out the best SIM card to get, finding out the best internet rates at cafes, finding out about the best way to get a job overseas - anyone else shudder at the prospect?

Those who have been there, done that, got the t-shirt know that it is a hard slog to get everything done and to settle in at the same time. Getting everything sorted out before you go is a massive bonus, which is why going with a company is an excellent alternative. If everything isn’t sorted before you go, you know that it will be by the time you are settling in. Hello stress free solution.

3 It is unlikely that you will come back with bags of cash

Work hard, play hard, that tends to be the motto for those working overseas - but it doesn’t have to be the case that you squander all your cash. The money that you can put aside whilst you are working can either be put towards further travel, or maybe doing a volunteer placement. Or, if you are worried about finance when you get home, save that money - the exchange rate back from the Canadian and Australian dollar is very favourable

4 You should probably do it whilst you're young!

Getting a working holiday visa can usually only be achieved under the age of 30. Any older than that and your options are just hugely reduced unfortunately - so do it whilst you’re young! Many people who want to work and travel have regretfully not managed to achieve it, as they wait for it too long. Don’t let this be you!


This is a guest post from Anne Smellie of Career Break Site approved company Oyster Worldwide. Oyster have a wide range of career break options, including paid work abroad programmes.