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take a sabbatical and leave corporate life behind

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Getting started
How do I get started?
Kit and caboodle
Recommended reading
Spoil yourself
Holidays and Vacations
Getting more out of....Career Freedom
I've got the basics, what next?

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Escape the
rat race

Hola de Mexico. You just put down your glass of tequilla and stop munching on those tacos so you can write properly. Ah that’s better. Things so far so good. You're currently in a really cool town ...

So you want to escape corporte life? Yeah, of course you do.

Then read on... or jump straight to Getting Started.

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A great little town ...called Oaxaca where you’ve just started intensive Spanish language classes. Boy are they intense! Seven hours a day, four of which are conversation. You’ve never spoken so much in English let alone Spanish (okay a little bit of poetic licence there maybe -- but hey I you’re a road poet now right?)

You spent a week in Mexico City. It was really interesting but down right polluted. There's no getting away from the cars and fumes and the cloud cover means the air just can't escape.

Then you hired a car for a week and toured northern Mexico (Texas just a Stetsons throw away ).

Now you’ve got a really spacious and really cheap apartment in Oaxaca and plan to spend a month or more here while you absorb mucho espanol muy rapido and a few tacos too, of course.

Imagine it. Just give up that corporate career and disappear to another part of the world, learn a language but learn to live free.

Ah freedom, it’s intoxicating, it delicious. If you haven’t tasted it for a while, then you won’t know what you missing – just know this – it’s totally and utterly addictive.

Hey, you don’t have to go to Mexico – may be India’s your thing – but there’s no harm in going somewhere you can learn a new language – like Spanish, French or German.

Tell us what got you interested in Career Freedom.

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Getting started

So where does something like this start?

Well usually it begins with a chance reading of a newspaper or magazine article about other people taking time out from their career.

Try to speak to other people who’ve done it. What colour is your parachute, the book, is good starting point, to help begin a general reassessment of what you want to do with your career and life.

Start telling people what you’re planning and be open to lots of chance conversations with people at work, in pubs and bars. In particular, listen to (if you can) or read inspiring stories of people who overcame great barriers to fulfil their dream.

A great recent book is by the sailor, Pete Goss. He talks about his round the world trip and the barriers he overcame to make his dream happen (like sleeping nights at the railway stations because he couldn’t afford the hotel bill, when visiting potential sponsors).

A true desire for career freedom starts from a realisation that there's more to life than just London, New York or whatever town you happen to live in and that may be it is time to shake things up a bit, take courage and allow yourself to be walk a different path.

However, if you want to keep the option of returning open then make sure you pick up a useful skill whilst taking your career break:

  • Learn a new language
  • Teaching English as a foreign language
  • Get a travel piece published and a few photos too
  • Take on some voluntary work

Check out JoJaffa's recommendations on which new skill to learn.

Cost - The big question is how much will you need and can you afford it? In financing a trip you’ve essentially got 3 main costs:

  • Getting there
  • Living expenses
  • Skills training before you go (ie TEFL)

To off set against that you have two potential areas of income:

  • Work that you perform while abroad
  • Rental income from your home (if you have one)

If your income is greater than your costs – great, you can stay as long as you like. Otherwise, you need to count the pennies. Check out JoJaffa’s advice on how to manage your costs.

If you can afford the four week course and have the inclination, a TEFL course will pay its weight in gold – and may extend your career break from 6 months to a few years.

Don't wait too long before making your decision. Think through the sacrifices. Be carefully (it's a lonely path being out of the rat race at times) and don't be put off by all the people who tell you how "brave" you’re being!

Decisions you need to make

What sacrifices will I make?

Make a list of all the things you’ll need to give up. Include things like ‘status’. If you’ve had a successful career – this is going to take some adjustment. May be you will sell your car. Also, there'll be no more fancy week ends away.

Are you really willing to give up your career (that is if you think your job is a career?).

Where are you going to go:If you intend to learn a language whilst away – that will govern where you’ll go. The other main consideration is that unless you are going to work, then head for a developing country where your pound or dollar buys more.

How long are you going for?Do you want to take a career sabbatical or do you really want out of the rat race? May be a sabbatical can last a year, much more than that and it’ll get more difficult to return to your original job. But hey, is that a bad thing after all?

How much money do you have?Look at what you’d need to sell – like there’s no point in leaving a car rusting on the pavement. Also, how much can you save per month whilst you are still working. If you need more money, may be you’ll just need to stay working a little longer. Sometimes, you can rent your flat or house and move out while still working – that’s a great way of improving the finances – but don’t expect the hospitality of others to last too long.

Are you going to work?Do you intend to work or just pay your way? Often, you may be able to find work in return for accommodation and food. Usually, paid work requires visas and unless you’re teaching English or have a precious skill you may find it difficult to get paid work.

Maybe you’re still thinking about your career? Okay, go for a bit of planning. Try these two sites first: or

If plain old job hunting is what you want start with a directory like or – they list all the best job sites and do a grand job of keeping it up to date and accurate.

There again, if you just can’t face yet another round of CV re-writes and the strain of job hunting then give it all up and go for freedom.

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Getting more out of....Career Freedom

If you're visiting extraordinary places and countries, take time to enjoy the very best. Whether it be the:

  • Taj Mahal
  • Inca Ruins
  • or
  • Pyramids of Egypt

it's worth treating yourself to places of exceptional beauty or stature.

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Kit and caboodle

Need a good book, video or more advice? JoJaffa has picked out the best for you. For each book/ video just click on the amazon link find out the price and get more information.

If you can suggest any good books about Career Freedom, let us know.

Recommended Reading

Book : What color is your parachute workbook
by Richard Nelson Bolles
The bible for anyone wanting to change jobs or change direction. This edition is in workbook format so that you really can take action on moving forwards.

Amazon UKin association with...Amazon US

Book : The International Directory of Voluntary Work
by Victoria Pybus
Lists over 700 organisations in Europe and worldwide looking to take on workers in a voluantary capacity. The place to start if you think you vocation lies in this direction.

Amazon UKin association with...Amazon US

Book : The Directory of Summer Jobs abroad 2000
by David Woodworth
256 pages of summer jobs in Europe and across the world. Don't expect fantastic salaries, but if it's experience and adventure you're looking for on a budget, then this book has to be in your kit bag.

Amazon UKin association with...

Book : Alternative Travel Directory: The complete guide to work, study and travel overseas
by Clayton Hubbs
This book looks ideal - although we've not been able to review it. But if it does what it says on the cover then it'll be well worth it.

in association with...Amazon US

Book : Close to the Wind
by Pete Goss
Pete Goss shares his adventures and philosophy - and the lessons learned - during the Vendee Globe race and the ten years of preparation for it. He tells of the dramas of the race, including his rescue of Frenchman Raphael Dinelli.

The amazing story of Peter Goss. A story of a dream and overcoming the barriers to realise it. Goss began his sailing life as a merchant seaman and then as a skipper on one of the 10 yachts in Chay Blyth's British Steel Challenge. He describes his rebuffe Close to the Wind is Goss's story. He starts with the years of preparation as a merchant seaman and skipper on one of the 10 yachts in Chay Blyth's British Steel Challenge. He describes how he attempted to get sponsorship but was constantly rebuffed and had to willing to spend many nights sleeping in freezing railway stations to get to the money he needed to fulfil his dream.

Amazon UKin association with...Amazon US

Get your self well kitted out for your travels. One of your best investments will be in shoes and jackets. Check out Fogdog for a great range, lots of product reviews and excellent prices. Fogdog can deliver worldwide - but alow extra delivery time if you live outside the USA.

Also worth considering:

  • Hotmail account
  • Rucksack
  • Some sort of sleeping bag - even if it's a light sheet
  • Mobile phone - just make sure it works in the country you are going to (you might be surprised)

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Spoil yourself

Also, every country will have its luxury hotels out in the country where you can live like an inca noble or a maharaja.

Many places and sites are over hyped these days, but the true greats always reward the visitor, especially if you allow yourself an extra few days to walk around and absorb the atmosphere of the site.

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Open Outcry

Got a question? Get an answer!

Post a message to the careerfreedom discussion board.

You might just

  • have a general question about Career Freedom?
  • want to make a comment
  • want to share tips and advice with fellow JoJaffa-ers?

... Then why not use our Career Freedom chat board

Maybe someone has already asked that burning question you're longing to find the answer to ...

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If you are interested in Career Freedom, you'll probably also enjoy some or all of the following

Start an Internet Business.

Start a Home Based Business.

Try buy to let property development.

write a book for fun and profit.

Host a Murder Mystery Party Game just for the fun of it.

or just do something for the adrenalin rush

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