Have you hit a corporate rut? Do you feel trapped in the rat race or ground down by the daily grind? It sounds like you could do with a career break. A career break is something close to an adult gap year, which gives you the time,space and freedom to get out there and do something different.
If you’re thinking about giving yourself a break, we’ve put together 5 inspiring career break ideas you may never have considered before. Forget teaching English overseas or “finding yourself” in India – try these ideas on for size instead…
1. Do something epic
Have you heard of Diana Nyad? This 64 year old marathon swimmer (who is the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage) is an inspiring example of someone who has gone out and done something truly epic. We don’t expect you to undertake an incredibly dangerous, shark-infested swim, but if you have adventurous urges, why not plan something epic for your career break. From cycling across Spain (and sampling all the chorizo on the way) to sailing around the UK – think big and do something epic with your career break.
2. Be an entrepreneur
If you’ve always daydreamed about starting your own business or launching your own product, here’s your chance! Spend your career break developing your invention and bringing it to market. There’s so much you can learn from the web these days, that it’s brilliantly easy to learn the skills you need to do, well, anything! And who knows, you might hit upon that million dollar idea and never need to return to work.
3. Use what you know
Are you a talented lawyer? A skilled marketer? A clever chef? Why not use your valuable skills to do something amazing. Contact charities and find out how they could make use of your abilities pro bono. From working with the Human Rights Office (PAHRO) to fight for human rights in South Africa using your legal experience, to offering your nursing skills with an organisation like MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières), this type of career break could help restore your passion for what you do, show you the world and help people in desperate need.
4. Indulge your creative side
Frustrated sculptor? Undiscovered fashion designer? Novelist waiting to happen? If you’ve always had a creative project up your sleeve but never given yourself the time or space to turn your talent into a reality, your career break could be a great opportunity to find out whether you’ve really got the goods or whether you’re better off sticking to the day job. Why not rent a place out in the middle of nowhere – or in a city you find really inspiring – to give yourself the chance to create something magic? You could even look into joining an artists’ commune or book a creative retreat.
5. Do a masters
Academia may not be everyone’s cup of tea and, yes, University courses are more expensive than ever before. However, if you’re passionate about a subject, or see a new path for your career, taking time out of professional life to be a student again could be a great idea – helping you to pursue your passions and take your abilities to the next level.
Are you planning a career break? What adventures do you have up your sleeve? Perhaps you’ve already taken an adult gap year and have some interesting stories to tell? We’d love to hear all about it! Share your story with our readers in the comments section below.