She walked over and asked me, “What type of planning did you do to come back? So, how did you get a job when you returned?”
Wow, great question I thought. This was just Meet, Plan, Go (not return). And to be honest, I never really thought about returning. But hey, I did return. And I even returned to corporate. I had an answer. And so did many of the veteran career breakers.
I fielded the question during the “Meet, Plan, Go” event in New York City this past September 14th & 15th. The sponsored gathering led by Briefcase to Backpack, held across 13 American cities (yes, Canada too) aimed to encourage us hard-working Americans to take a ‘career break.’
A panel of ‘career breakers’ all with different stories from serial career breakers to one-timers discussed personal experiences, provided answers to questions and concerns and spread inspiration. For me, I was a volunteer. I worked logistics to assist. I fielded questions afterwards during the networking section as the group mingled.
As for my return, I’d lie to say it wasn’t a struggle at first. It was. But it’s because I realized how amazing the world can be. It’s an incredible place.
After a internal struggle, I actually used the language skills I learned on my first stop of my journey (“Becoming Pura Vida in Costa Rica”) to obtain my best project. Sixteen sweet months in Mexico. Yes, my career break helped my career. Surprised? Don’t be, it seemed to help everyone I met who took one.
Confident, I was now finally ready for to answer her question. I smiled and said, “Congratulations.”
She seemed puzzled. I told her, “Congratulations on making the decision to take a career break, it will change your life for the better. Now all you just need some advice on how to get back”
She smiled. Ice broken. Fear vanished and excitement entered the conversation. And then I told her my story and advice on how to return. Maybe she left a step close to taking a career break. Actually with the 1400 people signed up across the continent I trust more than a few left a step closer to taking a break.
I’ll continue to help push the idea of a career break into the American Psyche. I’ll tell my story. I’ll share my memories and continue to live life under my mantra – Stay Adventurous. Plus, I’ll encourage people to reach out to Briefcase to Backpack for the support they may need. And hopefully with events such as this one, and the stories of success from those who returned and changed, the idea of the ‘career break’ will reach the tipping point here in America. I already believe it’s on its way.
Stay adventurous, Craig
The photos are from Briefcase to Backpack; they obtained a quality volunteer photographer to take them.