Career breaks naturally sound attractive, but it is important that you take time to think about if it’s really suitable for you, and, if it is, exactly why you want one and what you hope to achieve
Most of us have probably dreamt of having a career break at one point or other. We’ve all been there – usually during boring, dreary days at the office, or a hectic, stressful time at work or even sitting in traffic for the umpteenth time during the long commute home.
Career breaks naturally sound attractive, but it is important that you take time to think about if it’s really suitable for you, and, if it is, exactly why you want one and what you hope to achieve.
Be honest with yourself – will six months or a year away from your career really make all the difference, or are you simply in the wrong job? That could explain your itchy feet. There are lots of different reasons why people choose to take time out from their career; for example, you might always have intended to travel or give something back to the community through volunteering, but simply never got round to it. Or perhaps you want to return to studying, devote some time to a special project, care for a family member or see more of your friends.
These are just some of the reasons behind people’s decisions to take career breaks; it is not an exhaustive list, but in each case, there is something pulling you away from your career, rather than factors such as stress, boredom and time pressures simply pushing you away. The point here is that you are more likely to genuinely want and benefit from a career break if you have a constructive plan of how you will spend your time.
Taking time out from work to do something that you really enjoy can give you a fresh perspective on life, allow you to recharge your batteries and return to your job with renewed enthusiasm. Depending on how you spend your time, you may develop new skills which enhance your ability to do your job.
You might broaden your horizons through travel, improve your health by not working quite so hard, make a contribution to society by volunteering, or explore your creative side and do something you are proud of. There are many benefits to taking a career break; however, it is an important decision which needs to be carefully weighed, so read on to find out about some of the things you’ll need to consider…
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