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Sabbaticals and Career Breaks – The Options


There are many different activities and occupations that you can pursue on a career break, but here you will find information and ideas about some of the more popular career break opportunities.

Travelling and working abroad

This could simply be independent travel to a number of countries, time spent living in a country that has always interested you, or an extended holiday, cruise or trip in a camper van.  Or you might want to work abroad to pay for your travel, perhaps teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL), or taking on seasonal work such as bar work or fruit picking.


Give something back, help others and at the same time pick up new knowledge and expertise.  There are many charities and organisations, both in the UK and overseas, who could utilise your skills.  If you are thinking of volunteering abroad, try Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) or Raleigh International.


Is there a subject which you have always wished you could study and delve deeper into?  Or do you want or need to improve your knowledge or qualifications for your current or future career?  Part-time study combined with a full-time job can be tiring, frustrating and lengthy, so throwing yourself into more intense, full-time study, either for your own pleasure or for the benefit of your long term career, could be an option.

Being creative

Have you ever wanted to try to write a novel, paint or learn to sculpt?  Perhaps office life and lack of time stifle your creativity and don’t give you enough time to explore your artistic side.  Having a career break can offer you the chance to devote some energy to producing something beautiful and satisfying.

Working on a project

Is there something you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t got round to?  Perhaps working on your property, landscaping your garden, overseeing the building of your new house?  Project managing something like that, added to the physical side if you’re hands-on, can be draining. A career break could give you the opportunity to complete your life’s work!

Taking care of family or friends

You might feel that you simply never have time to catch up with friends and relatives, particularly if they live at some distance.  Or circumstances might have changed and you need to look after a friend or family member, perhaps through age or illness.  Or perhaps your family is growing and you want to be a full-time parent for a while longer.  NB here we’re talking about a voluntary career break which is over and above your statutory entitlement – find out about your rights as an employee here:

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