CIO.com's Esther Schindler suggests the perfect way to boost a career: Get involved in an open-source project:
Sometimes, there isn't much you can do to kick-start your career. Not everyone can be lucky enough to get involved in a high-profile project at work, or to develop a talent in a technology that's suddenly in-demand. But it surprises me when IT professionals who aim to move up the career ladders don't take advantage of one resource that's a win-win solution all around: get involved in an open source project.
As Esther writes, open source is a great way to circumvent office politics, which tend to rely on "who you know" rather than "what you know." Open-source communities, while not perfect on this score, generally offer a meritocracy: You're as good as your code (or other contributions). It's a great way to prove what you can do.
As a bonus, open source savvy developers tend to. So, untold fame, more money, etc. What's not to love about open source?
Ah, yes. That work/life balance thing. Well, you always have retirement during which you can relax. :-)