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Career Break 2012

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
red 27, oops. Laughing
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
gorilla wrote:
A lot depends on how far people you know are willing to throw work your way.

More importantly ensure that everyone knows from your CV that you didn't get made redundant and didn't "burn out." HR people will often assume this.

There's quite a lot more truth in that than I want to believe.

When I was return to hunting for a job working behind a desk, the hardest part was getting past the HR department. In the end, a trusted recruiter (from former work history) got me interviews with managers bypassing the HR department. That's what did the trick.

HR personel seem to think anyone who doesn't waste their entire life working as company slave is not worthy of their organization, however little they (HR personel) knows about the working of their own organization!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Hurtle, Laughing I was too slow as always! (changed it now...)
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Hurtle wrote:
abc, it'd be handy to have a crystal ball to plan this kind of thing, wouldn't it? Laughing

Not a crystal ball. But quitting at the height of the job market would very likely guranteeing in coming back when the market is at its low point though. Just the nature of things.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
fatbob wrote:
I really can't believe some of the answers in this thread as they seem to be so biased by personal experience as employers/employees/never dids/dids etc.

As I read it the OP has already made his mind up & I can't see its anyone's place to try to persuade him otherwise. To return to the initial question and betraying my own bias I'd agree with gorilla, ski bumming needn't be the lazy weed-smoking, sofa laying, boozing unfocused stereotype.

Valid point about trying to persuade the OP to change his mind about the career break. Reading about the OP, however, I didn't get the impression he's "made up his mind" about the break, at least not the timing of it. So a little injection of experiences in the work place shouldn't be out of line. It's up to the OP to consider (or not consider) these voice of experience as to how applicable (or not) to his own situation, and truely make up his own mind.
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Johnnyh talks good sense spiritwise.

Did you hear that story about that guy who, on his death bed, looks up as the light fades away and says with his last gasping breath: " Gott Damn! I really wish I had spent more time in the office."

Neither did I.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I suspect that doing something different is an easier sell to HR these days than it was a few years back. I agree you need to be careful not to look like you got dumped and couldn't find work for a very long time. But actually the kind of people who do get dumped and do nothing for a year do have other tell-tale signs/signals.

I'd be impressed by anyone who just took time out to explore something else.

I still wonder if having taken a different route going back toe "work for the man" would be that important anyway. In my view, once you've see that there are other ways of going through life you tend not to go back to the one which was killing you day by day. Not without taking some significant control back.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
James the Last wrote:
With a qualification like yours, change your career a bit, go work for a bank, and get moved to Geneva.

Funny, I tried that, TWICE. But no such luck! Sad Even worked for a Swiss bank but my request for transfer to Zurich didn't quite hit the right spot I guess... Embarassed
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Quote:

I would certainly spin it into a major positive on my CV and in interviews though.

Laughing you might try, but an experienced assessor would take some convincing if you had actually been a ski bum. People produce such daftness on their CVs - many job application forms (including all the ones I used to work with ) ask for specific, job related, evidence and tell you NOT to enclose a CV! Wading through all the guff people tend to put on the CVs can be a big time-waster.

I remember one young woman put on her application form that she had started her own business providing baby-minding services in a very obscure Swiss ski resort. One of my fellow assessors told me off for being cynical when I said "What the bet Daddy has a chalet there?". And guess what? He did. She'd just done a bit of pocket money baby sitting, like any enterprising 6th former in the UK.

If you want to spend 3 months being a ski bum, no reason why not - it would no doubt be highly enjoyable. But I think you should face the fact that a good number of employers would NOT see it as a positive career move (including your present employers, presumably, as they won't give time off without pay).
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I don't have a crystal ball but, frankly, if I was late twenties, no kids, in a job I wasn't sure I wanted to be in... I wouldn't hesitate. Who knows when we'll reach another boom and secure job market again? The OP could sit there greying away at his desk for years waiting for 'the right time'. And then, suddenly, kids and mortgage come along + other responsibilities (e.g. ill or aging parents) begin to weigh in and 'the right time' gets pushed back further and further. I think robapplegate said it all - who knows what's round the corner? What we do know is that life is short.

If it were me, I wouldn't go away until the cash ran out. I'd leave myself something of a financial safety net - a few months rent or whatever - and I'd give myself a specific timeframe within which to decide what I wanted to do next with my life. I wouldn't want to wait until I was in a position that compelled me to take on another job I wasn't really sure I wanted just to make ends meet; it would cancel out the purpose of the break in the first place.

TEFL somewhere like Japan, or doing an instructor course and maybe volunteering with a disability snowsports programme, (properly) learning a new language.... if your break has a focus for personal development, I don't think a prospective employer would see it as something disadvantageous.

I personally don't see anything wrong with being a ski bum, though I can see how some - but not all - prospective employers might.

Hope you go for it and have a great time!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
abc, I'd probably agree if the OP had more experience, and this looked like being a short downturn. But the reality is this downturn is going to continue and jobs for surveyors won't pick up in the near term. The OP could find himself forced to take more time out of his career than he intended, and end up with more "gap year" experience, than he has career experience. If he had 10 yrs work experience say, I think that would be less of an issue.

I think the ideal would be to try and negotiate a sabbatical. Or you could take instructor exams during your holidays next season and save the full season for when you're qualified and good work, or train for your L3.

By the way I'm speaking from personal experience of the job situation in the OP's specific industry and assuming that he enjoys his job. I'd be wary of giving up a career that would support a skiing habit for the rest of your life (and anything else you may enjoy that costs money!). Those who are saying go for it etc are on the whole a bit older and more senior than the OP I think. I know of people in the current and last recession in property who lost their job and never found their way back into the industry, good people, who just happened to be at a level in their career where unis and employers had hugely over-recruited during boom times.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I was lucky enough to be able to work from home and decided to move to a location that would allow me to ski when I wanted, even if it was only for a few hours in the morning before working on the computer in the afternoon. After having the freedom to ski when you want, you may not be that excited to be working full time again in London so start thinking about how to set you life up so that you can ski 25-60 days a year (ideally with a flexible schedule to pick off powder when available) while still being able to earn a living that you are comfortable with (and can raise a family on later if you choose). Lots of good advice so far including the perspectives offered by ABC, Gorilla, James the Last and Mag7. Easier to pay your dues now that you are young and single, so figure out what will work for you and go for it!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Quote:

TEFL somewhere like Japan, or doing an instructor course and maybe volunteering with a disability snowsports programme, (properly) learning a new language....


Along these lines, I've heard of a cool sounding course in Kitzbuehel. Basically you do the Austrian anwarter instruction exam, and get a job sorted, but the MAIN point is learning german - with lots of timetabled lessons a week in it. if you make the most of the language learning opportunity, that can only help work-wise in the long run.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Employers want stability and will always hire someone they think will stay for a long time. The biggest hurdle you will face, on your return, is convincing a prospective employer that you won't jack in December and go and do another season.

From a pool of job applicants with similar qualifications, you will be at a disadvantage.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't go for it, but you should have your eyes wide open regarding getting back into your career.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Chuck the job, have as much fun as possible for as long as you can manage it.

No point over analysing the situation. If you've got half a brain you'll sort something out work wise when needs must.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
beanie1 wrote:
abc, I'd probably agree if the OP had more experience, and this looked like being a short downturn. But the reality is this downturn is going to continue and jobs for surveyors won't pick up in the near term. The OP could find himself forced to take more time out of his career than he intended, and end up with more "gap year" experience, than he has career experience. If he had 10 yrs work experience say, I think that would be less of an issue.

Totally agree on the principle regarding the length of work experience.

I don't know about the OP's field so your own insight is probably a better guild. However, the OP does need to keep in mind the longer he delays, the more likelihood he might get saddled with other obligations. In different profession, there're different point of their caree where continuation is more important than others. That, I assume, the OP had already investigated.

Moreover, the OP had so far not said he's totally loves and enjoys his work. That's a significant factor. This maybe a career break that could potentially turn into a career changer. If that being the potential, waiting till 10 years later would be quite a waste of life! (he could very well discover he wants to return to the same line of work also, since he didn't say he hated it) So the earlier he give it a go, the moer time he has to find out for himself.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

TEFL somewhere like Japan, or doing an instructor course and maybe volunteering with a disability snowsports programme, (properly) learning a new language.... if your break has a focus for personal development, I don't think a prospective employer would see it as something disadvantageous.


Agreed. But that's not quite the same as just hanging round with a bunch of ski bums, is it?

The JET programme specifically exists to set up opportunities to teach English in Japan. I met quite a few people who had benefitted greatly from taking part in that programme, including one young guy who had very much liked his Japanese boss, in a remote town where he was the only "round eye" then had to help support him through the ghastly experience of the man's son having committed harakiri having done badly in exams. He had learnt a fair amount of Japanese, really got to understand a bit of the culture and was most thoughtful and interesting, talking about it at interview.

(I do wish people wouldn't call ski pistes Harakiri, by the way. Not too keen on Kamikaze either, though we have one of those a few hundred meters from our apartment)

I also agree that prospective employers might wonder about when you next want to set off on a few months "broadening experience". Two of my three kids took a year out in the midst of their 3 year degree courses - with the agreement of the university. I was always a bit dubious about that - though actually they both got top marks on return, to my relief and did do some fairly constructive things in their year out. Prospective employers quite like some evidence of sticking power, though there's not much argument for plugging away for years at something you hate.

My second son is 33 and far from "settled down". He is single (after many years in a relationship), studying for a Ph D in Italy and about to go and cook for a week in a fancy chalet in Courchevel. His elder brother has 3 kids and a mortgage. Occasionally they envy each other, I think! There's no way you can have it all in this life.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
pam w I think in the modern corporate jungle "sticking power" isn't as highly prized as ability to do something for a couple of years, talk a reasonable game about it and move on (&up) between organisations before you get found out. I can think of no other explanation for the some of the numpties I've encountered. At a crude level a lot of employment is about body shopping and if there's a gap to fill you'll pick the most suitable candidate out of those available at the time and deal with whether they are any good later.
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Thanks all!!!

ok... loads of great responses and lots of great information and advice to digest. Too many responses to reply to each one individually but i'll respond to some of the questions raised and clarify a few of my thoughts on this:

Firstly about my job and career. I'm a chartered surveyor and now that i'm qualified i will always have that forever, no-one can take that away from me. I hate my job but like my career... this is down to my employers as i've been promised things which haven't materialised. Therefore i am starting to consider other employers and hence the thought of doing this break.

If i do this break (still undecided) i will come back to working life in my career in london. How ever much i dream of doing a career change it really doesn't make sense now i've given it some proper thought. I'm in a great career which will pay for untold future ski holidays and i've invested a hell of a lot of time, money and effort (uni and prefessional qualification) to get to where i am so far... why throw that away!

so... i've pretty much concluded that if i do this break next year it will be an extended holiday rather than a 'career break' or career change and i'm not going to be shy about admitting to that. I've dreamed for years to ski for a season and why shouldn't i be allowed to do that!! With regards to jobs when i get back... i'll take the risk. I can't live my life worried about things i can't control in the future... we only have one life! I'm very confident i can get a job at the same level i'm at, at the moment and if not... i'll survive.

I've committed to going to my mates 30th birthday in Vegas in May 2012 so maybe Jan to May 2012 should be my time away?! 5/6months away culminating in a blow out in Vegas!

Now just need to decide what to do and where to go... at the moment the things i'm keen to do (on my checklist as it were) are:

- ski minimum 3 months with the aim to massively improve
- learn (or start) to learn another language
- Go somewhere which isn't the European Alps

Edit (also added to list)

- off piste instruction
- avalanche safety course
- Meet some awesome like minded people!




Madeye-Smiley


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Tue 15-02-11 21:39; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Japan?
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mikee_j, great post. Very, very best of luck to you! Very Happy
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hurtle wrote:
mikee_j, great post. Very, very best of luck to you! Very Happy

Many thanks! And thanks to everyone who has responded... seriously... what a great forum!

Quote:
Japan?

Exactly what i'm researching as i type!


With regards to instructor course, i've pretty much given up on. No need and would be a waste of money. However, i'm still very much open to a performance type camp. Great thing is that its only Feb! I've got so much time to plan this... just need to get saving.

Having said that, i might get offered the dream job next week, then its goodbye extended holiday. Cool
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
If you are looking fora break and want to go back to a new job, why not get your new job and persuade them to put abck the start date? Its surely wortha shout?
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
mikee_j wrote:


Quote:
Japan?

Exactly what i'm researching as i type!



If you need any tips, give me a shout!
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
mikee_j, wrote
Quote:

just need to get saving.

that's a very important bit, that's not been highlighted enough. You have 10 month of penny pinching in front of you. Cut down on beer tabs, eating out, all kinds of subscriptions, new clothes, new gadgets, etc. i wouldn't (couldn't) want to cut those things regularly, but for a goal like yours it's worthwhile, and it would give you quite a bit of flexibility and breathing space as to when\how you'll be returning from your break.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
MagSeven wrote:
mikee_j wrote:


Quote:
Japan?

Exactly what i'm researching as i type!



If you need any tips, give me a shout!



Japan is really looking like an awesome place to go and ski, especially at my level (advanced intermediate) where i really want to start lerarning to ski powder and off piste.

Whats Japan like for a season. Slightly concerned that the mountains are small in comparison to the big european resorts. Is there enough to keep you busy for 3 months or better to travel round spending a month in Niseko, month in Hakuba and elsewhere?

Also, found this website... http://snowseasonjapan.com/ which looks like a pretty good thing to do. Are there many other companies doing similar things which offer more off piste training? They do language courses too which is really appealling although have doubts about how much i can learn in such a short time?!

Doing the research and if i do this trip... it has to be between Canada, US or Japan. Japan is appealing to me more as it feels more of an adventure and really getting stuck into another completely different culture.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Their "language course" was just 1 hr a week, if I'm reading it correctly. That's not really too useful when you're already in the country and wants to maximize the contact opportunity!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Don't forget that Japan in general is seriously expensive!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
As a sad 50-something, I'd love to take a career break to spend a season skiing. However, at my age in my industry there'd be a very slim chance of ever getting a comparable job when I eventually return to the UK. The bottom line is is you're under 35 and can take a gap year, do it while you can!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
New Zealand, Fly Vegas to Christchurch start of June, do an instructors course at TC, buy a car and have a look round, relatively cheap, and the language isn't a challenge.
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Poster: A snowHead
hang11 wrote:
New Zealand, Fly Vegas to Christchurch start of June, do an instructors course at TC, buy a car and have a look round, relatively cheap, and the language isn't a challenge.

Missing the point? Puzzled

That maybe an easy holilday. But a bit light weight for a life enriching experience... Wink
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Meant to post on this thread when I first saw it but...

I'm basi L1 qualified, bummed 2 seasons in my early 20's, worked for TO last season (turned 29 out there)...if I could do any again I'd bum a season!

I choose the TO route last season as I have the dreaded morgage and wanted some security, just to prove having commitments doesn't mean you cant do a season. All my employers admired I have the commitment to follow my passion so come the interview just show how passionate you are about their company/job.

Finally it will change your view on life and you MAY have a change of heart about your career. I have gone back into the industry I've worked in for over 10 years (which see's me working outdoors anyway) but I've just started a 2nd job with Go Ape which has me instructing people who never get outdoors to use climbing techniques to get around the course. If I get the chance to go full time I will chuck in the steady job (which pays the morgage) without any hesitation!

Save hard, plan well, go bum a season and enjoy!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I've pretty much decided a few things. One, i will do this break if i do not get a new job this year! Meanwhile i will save and save.

Been looking at loads of websites and there are so many options for a ski season... too many!! Finding it difficult to decide, but i got plenty of time.
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I did something similar but unfortunately not for a whole season. Took the package fro BP and then went from Chalet to Chalet around Europe wherever took our fancy and wherever the snow was. The 'our' is me and Mr PP, but you could do it on your own. The thing I didn't realise is how much chalet owners would discount at the last minute - we got some awesome deals - used the solutions room with Chalets Direct. Travelling by train was divine and when we stayed in a chalet there were always a new bunch of people to meet and sometimes ski with. We skiied with chalet hosts too. It also allowed us to pop in on small resorts for a couple of days which we wouldn't really do if we were booking a weeks skiing. You will have a blast - very jealous!!! Smile Oh and now have a much better job too!!!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Some interesting discussion here, funny since i am bang in the middle of one.

all i can say is make the most of it, dont put it off any longer! If you already want to get away from 'normal life' and dont want to become part of the office furniture so much then you shouldnt ignore it as before you know it 10 years will have passed, only problem for me now is having to think about going back - its not going to happen Very Happy A year of your life is nothing when you are enjoying it, yet can seem like forever if not.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Thu 5-05-11 11:01; edited 2 times in total
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I would suggest you need to save two months rent + deposit + living expenses for when you come back. I worked it out at about £4k if I wanted to do it. I decided to take the promo and the higher salary and go on holiday more. Its amazing how booking three weeks in Thailand can make work seem a little bit better wink
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
hj808 wrote:
Some interesting discussion here, funny since i am bang in the middle of one.

all i can say is make the most of it, dont put it off any longer! If you already want to get away from 'normal life' and dont want to become part of the office furniture so much then you shouldnt ignore it as before you know it 10 years will have passed, only problem for me now is having to think about going back - its not going to happen Very Happy A year of your life is nothing when you are enjoying it, yet can seem like forever if not.



Couldn't agree more... i need to do this now! (well, next year)

Where are you doing your season and how are you finding it?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
heidiky wrote:
Quote:

Have a look at these guys, http://www.rookieacademy.com/

Trained with them, good stuff! I'll be heading back to Wanaka anyway..something draws you back.


youve got to be exta careful how you type that place name havent you !!! LOL
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Pity you are single, otherwise I would have suggested my place.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
mikee_j wrote:
hj808 wrote:
Some interesting discussion here, funny since i am bang in the middle of one.

all i can say is make the most of it, dont put it off any longer! If you already want to get away from 'normal life' and dont want to become part of the office furniture so much then you shouldnt ignore it as before you know it 10 years will have passed, only problem for me now is having to think about going back - its not going to happen Very Happy A year of your life is nothing when you are enjoying it, yet can seem like forever if not.



Couldn't agree more... i need to do this now! (well, next year)

Where are you doing your season and how are you finding it?


Sorry, didnt see your reply until now!

I'm not doing a season unfortunately, have a couple of other passions so decided to go all out and just do it. Been in Milan since August, obviously have managed quite a bit of winter action being so close so no problems there, but I could have been anywhere tbh as its given me such a great lease of life in general.

Just taking myself out of the comfort zone has been massive. Like you, had a decent enough job, working my way slowly up the career ladder, but got to 28 and just couldnt hack the thought of waking up in a few years doing something i have no passion for. Now was the right time to do it, had enough sense behind me, but young enough still with no real ties to keep me at home. The day I spoke to my boss to quit was mental stuff, very scary, but looking back it was great to do! make sure to have enough money behind you to make the first month or 2 easy, its hard to say how much is enough as you can never have enough really - 3 months rent plus basic living expenses is what i had.

good luck!
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