A career break allows you to develop both personally and professionally.
Taking a career break can be a way of enhancing your personal and professional development. Employees who have had a career break often return with a more positive outlook and enhanced skill set.
“The main reason for a planned career break is refreshment” highlights career specialist and author, John Lees.
“Recharge your batteries so you return to work re-energised but also focused on the kind of work you want to do. Refreshment should mean that you step far enough outside your normal life that you come back at it from a completely new angle,” he notes.
Lees offers his advice on how best to negotiate a career break with your employer.
A career break may be a deliberate choice or the result of something unforeseen. You may have spent months thinking about going abroad and choose a career break as a way of having the time to dedicate to this. It can often lead to you having skills that others may not have, such as having experience of dealing with a wider variety of people and having to make unusual decisions.
Lees adds that the main advantage in career terms is that such a break provides very clear evidence of the fact that you take control of your direction of travel.
“Organising a career break takes imagination and commitment, but it also shows that you are decisive,” he explains.
Perhaps your career break is focused on demands at home or from family, but wherever your break takes you, you’ll return with new and improved skills such as multi-tasking and time management. If you need to suddenly take time off to care for an elderly relative, the experience of responding well to a crisis will add to the skills which you can bring back to the workplace. Whatever the experience, you are likely to return to work with a fresh outlook.
People tend to say only bland things about career breaks on their CVs, but it’s a great opportunity to show that you can make active choices, manage your own learning and set your own agenda, so be sure to sell these aspects on your CV to make the most of the break.
Despite efforts to keep professional connections warm, things can be very quiet when you get back. It’s worth spending time several weeks before you return to start refreshing work links, so you can hit the ground running when you return to work refreshed and reinvigorated.