After spending the past 8 years working almost non-stop in the scientific world, I’m taking a break. Switching gears. Crossing a bridge. Whatever you want to call it.
It’s a big deal for me. I guess I’m still quite traditional in the sense of thinking of my working life as a “career” and assuming that I would be in the same field of work until I retire. I know, how un-millennial of me. Maybe I’ve just been conditioned to think this by the people in my social bubble who have stayed in the same field or even company until they retired.
One book that I read during lockdown that really changed the way I thought about life and spending was Die With Zero by Bill Perkins. This book talks about how when we are young, we are in good health but have little money but once we’re older, our health declines but we have more money to spend. So we need to think about what experiences we want in life and to plan them accordingly taking into consideration our health and money.
The next takeaway point for me was about memory dividends. Much like investment dividends, our experiences and memories of them make up who we are and give us something to look back and smile at as we get older. You can only have these memory dividends if you have life experiences that you want to have. You need to actively start planning these experiences today. Time doesn’t wait.
During one of my many lockdowns, I decided to break from my chains, fears and thoughts that I had to have a career and do something that I’ve always wanted to do instead. The unknown of it does worry me but apparently we regret the things that we don’t do more. Maybe I will discover my next career or some other opportunity will present itself and I’ll be taking another turn.
I’m taking this break to chase a life experience while I still can.
– I’m Moving Abroad
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5 thoughts on “Why I’m Taking A Career Break”
Yes, completely agree with all you wrote in this post! I’m like you in that, at least now in my late twenties, I believe I’ll be working in the same field until I retire (albeit with some potential switches between positions, between departments, but all within the government sector), but I wasn’t like that even just a few year ago. If there’s anything I’d look back on decades from now and be proud of, it’s to have traveled and do things outside of my comfort zone when I was in my early to mid twenties: I may not have had enough money or any idea of who I was, but it was through these experiences that made me who I am today. I hope you get to live a different life and experience the highs, the lows, and everything in between while you’re still young, and I’m excited to see where your endeavors take you!
It’s the adult world realisation hahaha. It is harder to switch fields completely but not impossible and also comes down to being at the right time and place. My body and brain feels like it’s been covered in cobwebs since the past 2 years- time to dust myself off!
Baz Luhrman’s sunburn song of the eighties encourages us to do something every day that scares us. Not a bad way to approach life to gain more experiences, in moderation that is. All the best in your new stage of life, it sounds very exciting and I am sure will reward you back in spades!
I would say I’m not following Baz’s advice daily. Thank you for your well wishes- I hope so!
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