Going on a working holiday is a great way to see the world without living off your savings. It’s an opportunity to experience another country, including its unique work culture and local experiences, broaden your horizons, and build your resume all at the same time. Many countries, like New Zealand, will gladly welcome adventurous professionals who are interested in spending a year working and exploring.
The question for most is just how to make the transition from your current job and routine to the adventure that is a working holiday in 2023. It’s a big step, we know. But the experience is worth it. So today, we’re exploring the six essential steps on how to leave your current job and go on a working holiday.
Step 1: Search for jobs at your destination
Never leave a job without another job lined up if you can help it. A working holiday actually gives you a great opportunity to search for jobs in your field, but in a brand new place where your unique skills may be especially valued.
The first step to planning a working holiday is to find work in your planned destination. Choose a city (or a few cities) and start applying for jobs. Be clear that you are planning a working holiday and would be interested in a one-year contract or employment position. You may be the perfect candidate for seasonal and project-based roles in the areas you want to visit.
Line up at least one long-term job or a full schedule of potential short-term jobs so you know there will be ready work when you arrive.
Step 2: Apply for a working holiday visa
Next, apply for your working holiday visa. Most countries with a working holiday program have visa applications and approvals online. If you’re planning to visit New Zealand for a working holiday in 2023, you can apply for the visa online and will hear back with approval or request for more information within 20 days.
Step 3: Wrap up your current work responsibilities.
Once you have a job secured and a working holiday visa ready to go, you can start making plans to safely quit your current job in the traditional manner. The polite thing in most cases is to spend some time quietly wrapping up all of your current work responsibilities. Finish any current projects and spend a little time preparing a guide for the next person who takes your role, whatever it is that you do. This step ensures you leave in good standing and that your co-workers appreciate your final contributions.
Step 4: Plan your travel, lodgings, and work
As the time to depart draws closer, book your travel plans. First, call your future employer back and make sure there is still a role waiting for you. Then buy your plane ticket and arrange for lodgings. This may be the time to start applying for apartments in the area where you’re going to work if you don’t have alternate lodging plans.
Step 5: Put in your two-week notice
When you are two to four weeks out from your working holiday departure, put in your two weeks’ notice at work. Let your boss know that your last day will be in two weeks and assure them that you have completed all the necessary work to make the transition as easy as possible for everyone involved. If your team is especially supportive, there might even be a goodbye party cake. If not, you can still enjoy a cake and goodbye party with close friends at home.
Step 6: Pack and prepare for the trip
Once you book your plane tickets and put in notice, it’s time to really get excited about your upcoming time abroad. Spend this time packing and preparing for the trip. Go through checklists of what you’ll need, prepare for your working holiday lifestyle in the new place, and make sure everything will be ready. You want to ensure for yourself a smooth travel experience and an easy settling-in once you arrive and are ready to start your working adventure.