You can challenge yourself to do such a thing by using a program such as Celestia or Spaceengine.
During a period of depression many years ago, I would repeatedly (using Celestia) travel to a random star about ~5000 ly from earth and try to find my way back. It's not always easy, but this is how I generally did it:
First, look for Orion. The stars that make up Orion are very bright and (mostly) in the same rough area, although obviously, it will look different from different angles. I imagine that any hypothetical civilisation in a 10,000 ly radius from us will feature some form of orion as a major constellation. You can confirm Orion by identifying Betelgeuse relatively easily. The stars in orion are about 1000-2000 ly away from earth, so that provides a good starting point.
Next, look for the Pleiades. This compact star cluster is about 400 ly from earth, and should look distinct from any other star cluster in the vicinity of Orion.
Next, look for the Hyades. This is a less bright, more diffuse star cluster that you need some form of parallax to spot. The Hyades are about 140 ly from Earth, but the red star Aldebaran will be nearby. Since Aldebaran and the Hyades both form part of the constellation Taurus, drawing a line through them will point roughly in the direction of the Sun. Aldebaran is about 65 ly away from earth, which is getting us close.
The next bit is tricky. You can continue to identify nearby bright stars (Arcturus at 36 ly, Fomalhaut and Vega at 25 ly), but I found that doesn't help terribly much. What you're looking for is a set of four relatively dim stars (the Sun, Alpha Centauri, Sirius and Procyon) that form a sort of elongated tetrahedron. This can be tricky as there is at least one other set of relatively nearby stars that also sort of look like this (whose names escape me at the moment). Once you find this elongated tetrahedron, you're basically done, as the Sun is the dimmest of the four stars.
This is achieved through being able to click on the stars to identify them. Practically speaking, if you're in a ship that can travel multi-thousand light year distances in a human lifetime, you probably also have a star database on hand that lets you identify stars based on their spectral properties.
I imagine finding your way back without conclusively identifying stars would be much trickier, though still possible.
EDIT: Here is a Spaceengine forum discussion detailing others' methods of finding their way back to earth.