Is a Career-break the new MBA?
Maybe not? But with the plethora of low quality online MBAs that are available, and career-break options now offering enriching and skills building opportunities, you may want to consider using a career-break to career-make. We have four great reasons why taking a career-break will help you skill-up:
1. Become a Linguist
Taking a career-break is the perfect opportunity to learn a new language. By spending even just a couple of months in another country and taking an immersion course you can get your language skills up to a conversational level. If you choose one of the more niche or difficult languages such as Japanese or Mandarin, gaining linguistics skills in these languages is sure to impress at any job interview. Consider choosing a language which will help you in your current role or future roles.
2. Improve your Management Skills
The link between volunteering and improving your management skills may not be immediately obvious. However, volunteering in a different country is multidimensional in terms of the benefits you will gain. Firstly, volunteer work often opens your mind to the conditions and situations other people face in life, and when it happens in another country you are exposed to a different culture and way of thinking. This is extremely useful for developing empathy, a key skill for good people management. Secondly, if you have other work-related skills and are involved in volunteer work there may be opportunities for you to lead teams, organise other volunteers, or take on a logistic or strategic role, all of which are extremely useful for your ‘real life’ work goals. Thirdly, as a volunteer working in a different country, you will have a good opportunity to practise and develop your new language skills. Communicating in a different language will force you to think more about how you communicate in your own. This is another skill which will improve your management of other people and will help you succeed in the workplace.
3. Become an ‘Interesting’ Person
Following in the footsteps of Google and Apple, more and more companies are making it known that they want to hire ‘interesting people’. Gone are the days of the workaholic when just being good at your job was enough. Now to work for the best you have to be a ‘rounded person’, and have time for hobbies and interests. If you’ve let your passion for collecting action men fall by the wayside then a career-break is an excellent opportunity to become interesting again! You can pick up all sorts of new hobbies such as dancing salsa or tango, diving, surfing, cookery, wine tasting, photography or yoga.
4. Become a Mentor and a Leader
TEFL or teaching English as a foreign language historically had a bad rep for being an easy way for students and backpackers to fund their daily visits to Irish pubs all over the world. Since then the industry has been standardised in many ways, particularly as a result of immense growth and investment from VCs and private equity. What people who have never taught English do not know is that as an English teacher you are more of a mentor and a leader than anything else. English teachers are trained to facilitate learning – not impart knowledge. This involves leading by example, counsel through elicitation, encouraging peer correction – and a hundred other teaching techniques and skills that are used by leaders and mentors all over the world in the workplace every day.
Cactus language offers the following types of language courses:
Evening language courses: 19 different languages in 15 UK locations
Language holidays: worldwide immersion courses in the country of the language
Private tuition: tailor-made and corporate language training solutions throughout the world
TEFL: teacher training courses for both English and other languages all over the world
Online courses: for teacher training, English and French