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Planning your career break

Mini career break

This usually lasts about a month or less. Most people used to take these in place of an extended holiday, to go on a training course or as a way to sample a new role without having to fully commit. These types of breaks are much cheaper and far easier to negotiate with your employer. You can use your annual leave or take unpaid leave.


Traditionally, this would be a break lasting anywhere between one year and seven, but today it can be tailored to meet your needs. Because engineering is a demanding job, some companies even offer it as part of their benefits package. However, you may choose to take a sabbatical that is unpaid or with organisations like The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust who offer funding if you’re working on a project that benefits the community.

Voluntary work

You can use your time out to make a difference in the community. Volunteering Matters offer placements that are not only rewarding but also help to boost your employment opportunities.

How to bankroll a career break

Money, money, money. Finances are always the biggest hurdle to overcome but there are still ways around it. Planning in advance allows you to calculate how much you need and gives you time to save. And if you’re taking time off to do a course, you might be entitled to a student grant or career development loan.

Remember to cut down to the basics and cancel anything that you don’t need while you’re away, like cable and subscriptions. Pay off your credit card before you leave to have the maximum limit available for any emergencies while you are away.