Career Management

You’ve got your degree and landed a job in your dream industry. You’ve worked hard for a few years and then the travel bug bites. You’ve heard about the beautiful beaches in Thailand and the romantic atmosphere in Paris. You’ve seen pictures of them on the Internet and you want to experience some of these places first hand. BUT… you are worried that taking time out of work to travel will damage your career. Well, it depends on how you handle it.

Negotiate with your employer:

If you are planning to take some time off to travel, share your thoughts with your boss as early as possible. Explain your situation to your boss and ask politely but firmly for a sabbatical. If your company doesn’t have a sabbatical policy, you may still be able to reach a mutual agreement with your supervisor. Depending on the work you do, you may be able to work remotely. If your request is denied no matter how hard you try and you really can’t shake off that travel bug, then you have to ask yourself if this job is really for you.

Tell them about your travel experience with pride:

Now that you are back from your travel adventure, it’s time to send out some resumes again. It’s understandable that you don’t want to seem as if you have been unemployed for a year. Therefore, don’t hide your travel experience. Tell your potential employers what you have been doing for the past 12 months (or however long your break was). Some of the employers may be even impressed by your experience! If you stand out boldly and carry yourself like a rockstar, you will be.

Travel can help your career:

Taking time off to travel gives you a chance to reflect on your life. It may open doors that you didn’t even know existed. There are people who find their calling during their travel and turn the travel experience into a new career. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for professionals, including lawyers and doctors, to leave their professional career behind to travel the world. There is a misconception that travelling means sipping champagne and relaxing by the pool of a five-star hotel. In fact, you can learn and experience a lot more on the road than when you stay at home. For example, you can work and volunteer abroad. This way, you won’t have a big gap in your work history, if that is what worries you.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Sophie Deering

You can follow Sophie at @SophieDeering.

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