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I am in my twenties, and would like to quit my job as a shop assistant in a cake shop. I have been working for a few years in the same shop. I am working happily with my co-workers, but I just feel tired, and would like to tour around the world and see various cities for a few years.

What will the consequences on my work history be if I take a few years off to tour the world? Will I have difficulty in getting a job when I return?

marked as duplicate by gnat, Lilienthal, Chris E, jimm101, Michael Grubey Mar 29 '16 at 0:06

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    Don't forget to take into account where the necessary money will come from. This depends on the cultural background but, where I'm from, it starts to become a bit unacceptable to keep asking your parents for money when you're in your twenties or older (I say parents because that's who people go to for such "favours"). – Radu Murzea Mar 28 '16 at 10:52
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    It definitely matters why you took the break and what you did with the time instead. Spending a few years volunteering, or (obviously) caring for a relative or child or even trying to get a different career started if different from just bumming around the world. Is suggest instead looking at why you feel tired and fixing that... which may not require changing employers. – keshlam Mar 28 '16 at 12:52
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    If you're going to see the world NOW is the time to quit your job and do it. It only gets harder as you get older and you might never have the opportunity to do it again. As far as "judgement" from potential employers in the future goes... if you can frame your experience in the right way, some will see globe-trotting as a plus rather than a red-flag, and others will just never understand. It depends on who you're interviewing with and how you present yourself and your experiences. – teego1967 Mar 28 '16 at 15:02
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    @keshlam "just" bumming around the world? Knowing how other people live is invaluable life experience. It probably helps in some workplace environments (like where you need to work with international teams), but in places where the citizenry is expected to vote it makes for a more informed voter, which Is better for everyone. – Amy Blankenship Mar 28 '16 at 15:38
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    I've always held the opinion that if an important part of my life (such as time to travel) is a problem for a potential employer, we're both better off if I don't work there. Frankly I think more people should empower themselves in this way - then employers wouldn't be able to get away with as much control over our lives as they currently hold. Good luck. – user45638 Mar 28 '16 at 17:25
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So my question, will I never be employed or have difficulty in getting a job after I quit my job and go touring, because some employers do not accept some one like me?

You are in your twenties, and tired of working. Now, you want to take a few years off. Certainly that is something that will get the attention of a potential employer, and might raise a red flag.

When I hire people, I don't want to hire someone who will leave after a short period of time. I invest a lot in hiring and training new employees. So I don't want to waste that investment on someone who won't be around.

A hiring manager might talk to you and think "Gee, here's this young person in her twenties who decided she didn't need to work for a few years. If I hire her, why would this time be any different? Won't she just get 'tired' again quickly and quit my company?" You'll want to be able to talk about that in an interview, and reassure the hiring manager why this time will be different.

That said, there are many jobs where they traditionally don't need or expect people to stick around very long. Sometimes, they are entry-level jobs, sometimes the training period is very short, sometimes they are just used to a high percentage of their employees coming and going. If, after your several year hiatus, you decide to go back to work and seek out that sort of job, you might not have as much difficulty convincing a new employer to hire you.

Certainly, you'll be able to find some job eventually. And you are in a better position than most to know if getting a job as a shop assistant in a cake shop after not working for several years is feasible.

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    I'm not sure but working for few years at a same place doesn't sound like a short tenure to me – VarunAgw Mar 28 '16 at 15:08
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    CFO: "What if we train people and they leave?" CEO: "What if we don't and they stay?" – FreeAsInBeer Mar 28 '16 at 19:09
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Everything on your resume - everything! - needs to support the claim of your resume: I am the person you should hire. It's fantastic that you are thinking in advance about how your actions will look on your resume. All you need to know is that you are the person who writes your resume - it's not an objective recitation of only facts, it's a true story that you tell.

So, right now, you're not telling a good story at all. Barely a few years into your working life, you're "tired" and want to go randomly "take some tours in some cities around the world for some time." If I ever see this on a resume later, I won't want to hire that person. I will, as others have said, worry you will do the same thing after starting to work for me. And having a blank spot - the cake shop job ending in 2016, and now here you are sending out a resume in 2019 with that as the most recent job - is awful too, because I will make up my own story about what you might have been doing, and it won't be flattering.

Does that mean you shouldn't go? Absolutely not. But at some point, you will need to decide what you are going for and what you are going to. Right now, you want to go away from your cake shop job. You may not know yet what you are missing, what you are looking for. But at some point, you will be energized, you will know what you wanted and who you are and all of that. And you will be ready to work again. When that happens, you need to look back at the time away. What was it for? What did you learn or achieve? How did you support yourself? Who are you now? And once you know that, you can write a section on the resume that describes that time in words relevant to the job you're applying for and makes that time part of your true story that shows you're the person who should be hired.

Say you're going to be a baker forever. You travel around the world and eat a lot of pastries. In some countries you actually visit people's homes and learn how to make certain breads or pies or whatever. In others you briefly work in a bakery when you run out of money. You return to your home country after three years knowing so much about breads and pastries around the world, an experienced traveller, and fluent in two new languages. That's going to look amazing on your resume and every bakery in town is going to want to hire you. Now if instead you want to be a reporter, or an actor, or a history teacher, then the parts of the story you put on your resume won't be about breads or pies, they'll be about things you saw and did that relate to those professions.

Many people have times they didn't work. Because they were at university, because they were raising children, because there was a war in their country. They can easily explain their gap. Your gap will be harder to explain. But because you have thought this through in advance, you can structure a gap that doesn't just have to be explained, but that makes you more employable when you return. Go for it!

  • This is an excellent answer that really goes above and beyond at explaining that your CV is not only about what you've done, but what you've taken away from every experience. – NoseKnowsAll Mar 28 '16 at 20:57
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It is perfectly OK to take some time off. It is a risk but should be a calculated one , if you have the resources to take that time off. For example , if you plan to take 3 months off , be prepared to be without a job for 5-6 months and be able to take care of the expenses for such a period.

If someone asks for a reason why you were unemployed , they will still hire you , if the reason was good enough.

Do not let anyone dissuade you , if you truly need a break.

Also do plan as to what exactly will you be doing this break.

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All the consequences I can think of are positive ones. And exactly this is what should fill the "gap" in your CV. Which actually is much more a step than a gap.

  • Being abroad means you will gain a lot of experiences with different cultures, languages and people.
  • Travelling does not mean you are lazy. The opposite is true. You are moving. And you are moving forward. In a lot of aspects.
  • Maybe you will learn some new languages.
  • Maybe you will even work for some time (like WWOOF'ing for example) in some very different fields.

So, in contrast to all the other answers here I am telling you that there is absolutely nothing you should be worried about concerning your job future. It will be even brighter once you come back. Very likely afterwards you will have made your experiences and maybe start to settle down while knowing much better what you want and what you can. And what keeps you "awake". Every reasonable HR person will value this.

  • +1 for an interesting perspective. I don't agree with it, but it's good to have a well reasoned post running contrary to conventional wisdom. – Retired Codger Mar 28 '16 at 16:23
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It comes down to a few different factors, such as the industry you're in, your experience, and the way you pitch it in an interview.

For example, as a developer, if I took off for a year or two and simply traveled around the world (which I would love to do) I would very likely have a hard time finding employment. Why?

Because programming is a very fast paced field, and technologies will have evolved a lot in that time frame. Unless I have some personal projects to demonstrate up to date knowledge I'm going to be less marketable than someone who's been working with those new technologies. And because I've lost out on a couple of years of experience I would now be competing with younger devs for jobs, not with people my own age - because they will have moved up in their careers, while I will have stagnated.

You'll have to look at your own situation and make a similar assessment.

One other advantage you have is that you're young, and quite a few people at that age do similar things (go backpacking around Europe, etc.). In an interview you can simply say that you wanted to see the world, and most managers will understand, and perhaps even admire your courage of going against the social pressure of getting a job, etc. and simply chasing your dreams (this will depend heavily on the manager, however).

Good luck!

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    I had five years out of programming (unexpected twins tend to disrupt your career path) and had no trouble finding work. It's not bleeding edge, and for sure there have been pain points in getting back up to speed, but you can get work. Just don't expect to be paid at the level you were at before. – Donnelle Mar 28 '16 at 22:25
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It is a double edge sword. Yes it will have some consequences as it will make your work history spotty, but at the same time, if you are working from a very early age, without any significant gaps between the jobs, and you are not a job hopper (like a new job every few months) the potential future employers will understand the need for expanding your horizons, by travelling internationally. And who knows, on one of those destinations, you may end up getting a job. I have ex-colleagues in obscure parts of the world doing odd ball things and never been happier. It basically boils down to the question: "how do you want to live the rest of your life ?" If a steady and somewhat guaranteed income is your thing, stay where you are, limit your travelling to the vacation time you have at your workplace. But if you are adventurous and have the financial means to back up your life style, why the hell not ??

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Yes, there is a risk when you take time off like that. However there are ways to mitigate it.

There are different formats for a resume. Some list past employment others focus on skills, and others focus on non-employment experience. When your ready to get back to work, make sure to use what is called a "Functional Resume Format" that will downplay the work history and focus more on skills. You can then list skills and experiences that you gain on your travels that will be specific to the job.

You will need to be prepared to explain your lack of employment. And saying "I was tired of working" is not gonna cut it. You may try "I wanted to travel and see the world and it seemed like something I should do before I start a serous carrier."

You will also need to "start over" on the carrier path. When your going for an entry level job, that gap is much more forgiving then when your looking at a mid level position.

Also, use the travel to your advantage. If your going to work for a company with clients all over Europe, make sure to stress that you spent 2 years in Europe, traveling and living in all those countries and thus have a better idea what they want. (Replace Europe with what ever is relevant of course).

Finally, be prepared for some backlash. Some people will be jealous, or think that you have done the wrong thing. This will go beyond hiring. If you see this in the hiring phase then just go else where. It will happen but shouldn't. Harder to handle is co-workers and "others" that could have a hard time. Either because they wanted to do that and their life/choices didn't let them, or because they think it's wrong that you just stopped working for so long. It's not much different then someone not liking you because you ware that red shirt. But it could happen and you need to be prepared for it.

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