real stories

Real Career Break Travel Stories: Kathryn

Written By: jeff

Posted On: November 6th, 2010

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Kathryn, “The Two-Time Breaker”, Australia

Kathryn’s story shows that sometimes a break in your current career can give you the chance to try out a potential new career you’ve been thinking about.  A lawyer from Australia, her first break in 2000 was more open-ended and less structured allowing her to work in the UK and the US where she spent several months working for a non-profit women’s rights organization in the United States. While she ultimately decided that career did not fit her as she had hoped, the experiment was not a failure in her eyes as it allowed her to stop focusing on that option and open up to others.  After returning to her previous career in Australia for a few years, she was still dissatisfied and tried a more structured approach. Kathryn entered a program for governmental employees to help them find additional opportunities in the public service.  While not a true “break” it allowed Kathryn to be exposed to many different facets of the law to see what would be a better fit for her.  One stint included 3 months in the United States.

She credits the experience with helping her to know herself better so that at the end she was able to take a position that better suited her interests and skills.  “Now I’m in a place where I practice law that really does help people more than anywhere else I looked.  It also helped me realize that sometimes the grass really isn’t greener somewhere else in the place you envision it will be when you are looking at it from the outside.”

Her advice to people thinking about a career break? “Know that you have to be running to something, not just running away. If you do it, know what you want to achieve, then ask lots of questions of yourself and others that you meet along the way.  If you’re going to try on a new career away from your current one, perhaps a more structured approach is best.”

Kathryn still works as a lawyer for the Australian government in Canberra in the portfolio she joined at the end of her second break.

Check out some of her pictures from her career break travel adventures.


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Kathryn at the US Open in New York. Copyright Kathryn Johnson.

career break, career break travel

Kathryn in New York. Copyright Kathryn Johnson.

career break, career break travel

Kathryn taking a night sail. Copyright Kathryn Johnson.

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