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Sloan
Sloan

Posted on

What would you do if you had a year off between jobs?

This is an anonymous post sent in by a member who does not want their name disclosed. Please be thoughtful with your responses, as these are usually tough posts to write. Email sloan@dev.to if you'd like to leave an anonymous comment or if you want to ask your own anonymous question.


I'm leaving my current company in about 3 weeks, and I'm wondering if I should jump back into work or just enjoy some time off. But then as I think about it, what would I do in the time away? Travel? Maybe take some courses or learn some new skills? It seems like a long time but a year is also so short so I'm just not sure!

Top comments (18)

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him)

I personally would take the month to dive into modular synthesis... I've been getting into this hobby for the past couple years and there just aren't enough hours in the day. If I had my druthers, I'd be tinkering with synthesizers all day long!

Aside from that though, I'd also love to travel around Europe. Thanks to working here at Forem (the company behind DEV) alongside many international coworkers, I now have lots of friends abroad to visit. I really wanna take a month and explore several countries abroad!

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ellativity profile image
Ella (she/her/elle)

Great idea @michaeltharrington! You should definitely visit your friends in Europe!

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him)

Hi there friend in your Europe! ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿ˜†

Ella, you are most def on the list of peeps to visit! I can't wait to make it happen. ๐Ÿ™Œ

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iamschulz profile image
Daniel Schulz

Volunteering at public kitchens, refugee centers, homeless shelters. Something to help people in need. Something that gives me a feeling of fulfilment that the tech industry lacks.

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guithomas profile image
Guilherme Thomas

Thats fucking solid. Last week we made a small project with kids from a orphanage. We just rented inflatable toys and made some food. It's hard to remember the last time I had so much fun and the kids loved every second.

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theaccordance profile image
Joe Mainwaring • Edited on

Before I talk about my Dream Year Off, I want to reply to the anonymous post content itself:

Should you take time off? That really depends on your situation.

If you're feeling burned out or in an unhappy state and have savings to fall back on, then it would definitely be good for the soul to take some time off. But if you're the type of person who prefers to stay busy (I'm this guy), or you have bills due at the end of the month - well then it's probably better to find the next role.

Now, onto the fun part:

If I had a year off from full-time employment, you'll find me nomad'ing across the world, soaking up new experiences. I'd go spend 3-6 months in East Asia, floating between Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, and other tourist hot-spots in the region. Depending on the timing of the year, I'd either go to Europe or South Africa next, and look at spending some time in South America.

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kayis profile image
K (he/him)

I had a year off in 2014.

I did many things.

Open source work for Firefox, game development, pursued a master degree, sleeping til noon, biking through the country side, and so on.

I think, having at least some kind of a plan is a good idea. But I wouldn't grip it too tight. Life is full of opportunities, and ignoring them, because "you said you will do something different" can hurt you in the long run.

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figspville profile image
Salli Figler

I agree with @iamschulz , I would do something totally different that doesn't cost anything - volunteer. It gives you a new perspective on your life and at the same time helps others. Volunteer steadily at the same organization (something you believe it and want to make a difference with) at least once a week. With your other time, go to the library, find books and audio books that you never heard of and enjoy them. Go for walks not too far from where you live and take in the sites. Get yourself grounded and then going back to work may be easier.

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nyambol profile image
Michael Powe

Sit down and make a kind of "bucket list" of things you'd like to do with an open time block. Then, think seriously about how much you really want to do them. We all have "dream" items that, in fact, we would not pursue given the chance. It'll take a hard think to thresh out the chaff. Find that one kernel -- "I've always wanted to write a novel" or "I've always wanted to dive the Great Barrier Reef" -- and plan for it. Then, block the time and do it. And if you find that there really isn't that one "have to" bit, then you're free to treat yourself to some "loll about the house" time and then return to the workforce.

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ด

Maybe it's just me, but I would much rather have my fridays off every week than one year off every 15 years.

But actually I do have my fridays off every week at tignum.com/

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lucaboriani profile image
Luca

I also have all my fridays off, but I'm planning to gift me with a one year stop when I get 50. The spooky thing is I just have to wait 3 years, meaning I'm already "seasoned" ๐Ÿคฃ

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tqbit profile image
tq-bit

A friend of mine went to europe and travelled the Camino de Santiago. He got to know some fellow pilgrims on the way and read a lot about meditation / long term stress reduction. He read quite a lot in general.

I imagine that'd be something I'd do if I had the time as well.

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atulcodex profile image
๐Ÿšฉ Atul Prajapati ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

I will try to learn any new skills like drawing, painting, farming, etc. Which is physical and not possible in computer screen ๐Ÿ˜…

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prathmeshb profile image
เคชเฅเคฐเคฅเคฎเฅ‡เคถ | Prathmesh ๐ŸŒŸ

Enjoy nature traveller or learn something new

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yuridevat profile image
Julia ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป

Depending on personal interest, knowledge and financial situation I would travel through Asia (if possible due Covid). I would join tech meetups all around the world in person.

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sheikh_ishaan profile image
Ishaan Sheikh

If I have some extra money, I would travel and also learn some new skills in the free time while traveling. That skill can be related to job or something outside of it.

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lukewestby profile image
Luke Westby

I think Iโ€™d probably take some classes at the local college

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