Career Break? Yes Please!

I’ve been a big fan of The Displaced Nation for quite some time now. How could I not, with a tagline of ‘A Land of Plenty for the Global Voyager,’ promising advice, opinions and yarns? One of my favorite features on the site is the interview series called Random Nomads.

The questions posed aren’t your average ‘where have you lived/traveled and how did you like it?’ variety; they’re fresh and interesting, and the answers even more so. Interesting, that is.

At the end, you vote ‘yay or nay’ as to whether the Random Nomad should be admitted to The Displaced Nation.

The latest Random Nomad interviewee is Jeff Jung. What caught my eye about Jeff is not that he’s lived in several countries (he has) or traveled much of the world (he’s done that as well), but what initially caused him to become a global nomad and what he’s done since ‘settling down’ in Colombia.

And believe me, those quotes around ‘settling down’ are well earned, since he makes his living traveling. And encouraging others to travel.

You see, a few years ago Jeff was going along in life, working as a consultant-turned-corporate-marketer, when he realized that he was burning out and needed a break.

Rather than laugh it off, put the idea of hitting the open road out of his mind or relegate it to dream status as many of us do, Jeff actually did it; he stopped work and headed off to Latin America to travel and sharpen his waning Spanish language skills.

One thing led to another, and what was to be a short break became a longer one of serial wandering. What was supposed to be a career break became a career change.

Jeff and his friend Cheryl decided to help encourage others to plan and execute their own travel-focused career breaks by co-founding CareerBreakSecrets.com. The popular website and entertaining blog have even led to a television show, aptly titled the Career Break Secrets Travel Show.

Many career breakers are in their late 20s, 30s and early 40s, fighting burnout as Jeff did or experiencing a midlife crisis-driven reassessment of life career and goals. Some may have been downsized, outsized, rightsized or laid off (all ‘job speak’ for becoming unemployed) in the global recession, or are simply in need of rejuvenation and recharging through extended travel.

But Jeff reports seeing more breakers that are even younger; having finished their education and put in a couple years’ work in the real world, they realize that they aren’t on the right path but are unsure where that path might be. Hence a mind-clearing travel break to determine what’s next.

Similarly, more breakers are in their 50s and up, ready to get off the corporate (or non-corporate) treadmill but not entirely sure what the next phase of life should be. Or they realize that ‘life’s short’ and want to fulfill long-postponed dreams before it’s too late. Or perhaps they just want to chuck it all and enjoy an early, mobile retirement.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for people who dream big and then make it happen.

And as for Jeff’s status regarding Displaced Nation? I voted a resounding ‘yay’.

If you’re interested in Jeff’s presentation ‘Why a Career Break Can Reignite Your Life’, check it out below:


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