Taking a Career Break.
June 19, 2006 2:37 AM   Subscribe

What options do me and my wife have in terms of taking a career break/going travelling/working abroad?

Basically; we're sick of our jobs (communications and marketing for her before she handed in her notice today, web stuff for me) and to a lesser extent our lives. We have some savings; we have no dependents; we have a house which we could either rent out or sell.

What can we do? We're getting pretty desperate to change things around as we can't keep on living our current lives. We're thinking of taking 6 months to three years out of things.

In an ideal world, if we went with a longer timeframe, it'd be split up into: travelling; working on, for example, a conservation project abroad; working in Canda/somewhere similar for 6 months to two years doing a temporary job. Possibly with the end result of moving to Canada/elsehere permanently depending on how it went.

The travelling side of things is OK, but does anybody have any suggestions of projects we could work on abroad, and where we can found out more about it. And is our dream of being able to live and work in Canada for a year or two realistic, or just something we're deluding ourself with? If not Canada, where else, preferably English speaking, would it be possible for two university-educated 28/29 year old Brits to live and work for a year or two?

Thanks a lot for any help you can give a desperate, and getting desperater, man.
posted by Hartster to Work & Money (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I see from your profile that you're in the UK. If you are under 35, check out Bunac - their Work Canada program let's people between 18 and 35 work for up to a year in Canada. There are no limits on the type/duration of work (except for the 1 year limit) or anything. Pretty good stuff, really. They also have some volunteer programs as well.

I would note that if you go to Canada on this visa, there's a good chance of being kicked out at the end of the year (my girlfriend was not allowed to be sponsored by her employer, because the type of work she was doing was not specialized enough). However, since you are a web developer, you can often get sponsored easily because you have specialized technical skills. And your wife would be allowed to stay and work in Canada as long as you were.
posted by antifuse at 3:29 AM on June 19, 2006

My wife and I spent a couple of years in the UK as 29 yro Aussies working full time in internet related fields.
My suggestion is you will find so many changes going to a new country you won't have the same boredom with your jobs, and international experience will be well looked on should you ever return.
There was a huge benefit for us in having well paying full time work, we could easily take time to travel in Europe, plus we had a house and a car without the worries a more itinerant lifestyle brings.
You might also find that immigration people are more happy to give a visa to somebody who has an offer of employment etc.
Of course, you know what I would do if I had the luxury of an EU passport (how many countries does that allow you to work in now!), so don't write off the idea of working in the Czech republic or Italy for a year. Even Ireland if the english is a must.
Compared to the USians, or even Aussies and Canadians you have immensely more freedom to work abroad for as long as you like, so I am not sure why your question is so downbeat.
posted by bystander at 3:33 AM on June 19, 2006

If you have undergraduate degrees you may want to consider teaching English in Asia. My friend's parents did it when they retired and loved every minute of it. They were in rural Japan. I'd be very careful though, my sister in law almost ended up in a Chinese prison because of a crooked employer in that country.

From what I hear, Japan and South Korea are two of the best places to go.
posted by ChazB at 5:21 AM on June 19, 2006 [2 favorites]

Ha - you sound like my husband and I (And probably 90% of young, professional, kid free married people)

We tossed around the idea of teaching English in Japan (like ChazB Mentioned) because its apparently pretty easy to get a job doing it, and you don't need to speak Japanese.

That's not the "Preferably English Speaking" answer you'd hoped for.
posted by delladlux at 4:32 PM on June 19, 2006

Response by poster: ChazB and delladlux: Japan is an interesting one, as my sister currently works out there as a government translator. However, to be honest with you, at this stage of things, I'm not sure I fancy a year of teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Antifuse: thanks a lot for that BUNAC link: that seems pretty ideal, with presumably the hope being that, if things went well enough that we wanted to stay beyond the year, one of us would get a decent enough job offer to qualify for a work permit.

bystander: that's sort of what I am hoping, that the stimulus of being in a new country is in itself enough. I'd love to work in Italy or the Czech Republic, but I just don't know how realistic it is for the two of us to find jobs in a country where our knowledge of the language is, at best, very sketchy (my sister got literally all of the language skills, leaving me with just the numbers and basic greetings in French and Italian). If we were younger (and mebbe richer), possibly it'd be different.

I dunno; maybe I am too downbeat; hopefully things will turn out OK.
posted by Hartster at 5:05 AM on June 20, 2006

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