My Career Break Ends Today

I went from corporate world to unemployed to career breaker to this.

I really can’t sugar coat that title, it pretty much says it all. But before I make my big announcement, I’d like to share what it has been like for me since coming home from a year of travel.

Reverse culture shock?

Definitely. Don’t get me wrong. Being able to sleep in my own bed and take a reliable shower (with hot water!), to eat my mother’s home cooking, that was nice and felt surprisingly normal. But being home, not working or traveling was something I’m not used to. To hear an accent I actually know and understand well, that was shockingly weird. Driving was weird, or why people drive so erratic and fast. Going into a Safeway or Walmart was weird, or the amount of mayonnaise jars stocked on the shelves. Even returning to a closet full of clothes was simply overwhelming – I wore out of my backpack for a good week before venturing to the closet.

Things were the same but different at the same time. At least, my perspective of things were different. With the exceptions of a few weddings and a couple of new babies popping out, my friends and family were doing the same routine they were doing before I left. Yet a routine was something I wasn’t used to since I was always on the move the year before.

Career breaker seeks job.

The concerns of ones who’ve quit their job or put their career on hold to travel long-term are inevitable. The main one being, “Am I committing career suicide taking this trip?” Will companies see a career break as a person who doesn’t take their work seriously? That was something both Q and I worried when we left.

I’m happy to say, we worried for nothing. I’ve been on a number of interviews and my year of travel was never perceived negatively. Interviewers didn’t have a bad thing to say about travels. In fact, slight envy and a complete understanding as to why I would want to take time off to see this incredible world of ours.


January came and I dove deep into the job hunt. The first full week of job searching was exhausting. Patience was running thin after the second week and I was really tempted to just book a flight to the Philippines to escape the ‘real world’. But I didn’t. Instead, I started to network, hard. I contacted virtually everybody I knew, friends, old boss’, past colleagues, friend of a friend, etc. Anything to get my resume into the right hands.

Not going to lie, finding a job took longer than I expected. I really wanted to be selective on what company I ended up with. The main thing I did not want to do was settle and work somewhere I wouldn’t be passionate about. After the first month with no luck and no interview in sight, I came close to doing just that. To settle. But I didn’t. If there’s anything I’ve learned this past year, is that all things happen for a reason so I knew there was something out there right for me. I just needed to be patient.


Now, I am happy to report, I recently accepted an offer at a big data marketing startup. Surprise! My 540 day weekend ends today.

Today, I start a new and exciting chapter in my career!


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26 Responses to My Career Break Ends Today

  1. Brett Domue March 18, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    Congratulations on finding a way to fund your break from your career break!

  2. Nate @ House of Annie March 18, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    Congratulations! I am also on the job hunt and it is good to know there are successful stories out there.

  3. Kim Dinan March 18, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    Congrats on the new job. Sounds like a good fit!

  4. Bobbi Lee Hitchon March 18, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Congratulations on the new job and it’s great to hear that taking time off isn’t career suicide. Though I wonder at what point it is. I totally feel you on the overwhelming closet full of clothes. When I first went home after a year and half I felt scattered by all the stuff I had at home. I didn’t realize how much I had. Kind of puts how much we actually need into perspective.

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin March 18, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

      Thanks Bobbi! Yup. It takes me much longer to figure out what to where these days. =P

  5. Edna March 18, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    Congratulations! Good on you for waiting for the right job. I’m sure you’re going to rock it!

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin March 18, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

      Thanks Edna! Loving it so far. Who knows.. Might be opportunity for relocation abroad in the future. =)

  6. Sheila March 18, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    Congratulations on the new job. I was wondering what was next for both of you once you were home. Good Luck!

  7. Tony K + Steph H March 18, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    Congrats! It’s so nice to hear from people have taken a career break to follow their dreams and when they return home, have no real trouble for having done so. Better yet, the two of you continue to live life to its fullest, wherever you are! So happy to hear that you’re starting this new chapter in the right way with the right job!

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin March 18, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

      Thanks guys. It wasn’t easy the last few months. But in the end, it worked out like it usually does.

      • 30HomeGames March 28, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

        Optimism goes a long way. It’s a big deal that sometimes doesn’t need to be. Its dramatic and the achievement shouldn’t be scoffed at but at the same time, its like “I got this!” :)

  8. Pola (JettingAround) March 18, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Good luck! It will probably be an adjustment, but a steady paycheck I’m sure will make it sweeter. :)

  9. Lana Bump March 20, 2013 at 6:55 am #

    It’s good to know what to brace for when we get home. I would love to hear how Q’s career break and re-entry into “normal” life is going!

  10. Sherry Ott March 20, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    Yeahhhhh! I love this and am thrilled that you didn’t settle. I think everyone I know says the hunt takes longer than they hope/expect – but it does always work out. I can hardly believe you are back – I feel like you just left!

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin March 20, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

      I know! I gotta admit, I’m so glad I’m really happy where I landed. I feel like you have to come back to a job you really love after a career break or else you might be tempted to leave for another RTW trip quickly. Who am I kidding? I’m always tempted. =P

  11. The World Wanderer March 20, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    Congrats on the job! :) Good for you for not settling!

  12. Ellen & Justin March 20, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    Congrats on the new job! I hope you’ll be able to take a few long weekends here and there to get out and explore some more. I find that life is better when balanced … not too much work, but also not too much travel. Good luck :)

  13. Lazy Travelers March 21, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    congrats, sir! its hard to go back to work after ANY length of travel. we applaud you for not settling!

  14. Jessica Kleiner March 24, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    congrats! and congrats on not settling, which in my opinion, is even harder than finding a job in the first place! I’m sure it’ll be nice to have some steady money flowing into your bank account!

  15. Ana Silva O'Reilly March 26, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    Congrats, k!! Time for a new adventure!

  16. Traveling Ted March 26, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    Congrats on the new exciting opportunity.

  17. craig zabransky March 27, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    Wow, what a long weekend… I once heard a quote from Vanilla Ice. “I had a long weekend that lasted two years….” hopefully your re-entry goes better than his…

    stay adventurous, Craig

  18. BeyondBlighty April 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Congratulations! I recently returned from 7 months travelling and believe me, that first 2 day weekend was a shocker. But it’s good to have the home comforts again, and I’m not sticking around for long this time…

  19. The World of Deej April 11, 2013 at 6:17 am #

    Not sure how I missed this, but congrats. It was a good run, and I’m confident this new chapter will be just as successful as the last.

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