There may come a time in your career where you feel you need to take a break. Career breaks are quite common especially for candidates who have been working in a position for a long time. We’ve listed below some tips on when to take a career break and how it can fit around your work.
What is a Career Break?
A career break is where you take time out of work to explore other avenues. A voluntary career break (one you ask for) is usually used for travelling or charity work. Sabbaticals and career breaks are great for expanding your experiences and deciding what you want to do long-term. Breaks can also be for other reasons like maternity or redundancy.
When to Take a Career Break
Depending on your reason for having a break, you should sit down and discuss this with your line manager. Obviously your manager doesn’t want you to have time off to consider other career avenues so stating your dedication to the company (even if you are looking elsewhere) is crucial. If you want to return to work for the same organisation then you need to detail how this break will benefit your work too. Ask for plenty of notice and only consider taking a career break when you feel it’s the right time. If you have only just started working in your chosen industry and haven’t settled yet then delay your break until you have built up more contacts and have a better understanding of the industry.
How to Return to Work
Again this depends on why you have taken a break but the first thing to do is to keep your CV template up to date. Include any projects you have worked on, any charity work you have done and any travelling experience you think is relevant to the job. If you are returning to work but applying to a different organisation, use your cover letter to explain why you took a break and the impact this has had on your experience and skills. If you have taken time out to travel then explain how you have fulfilled your travelling desires and are now looking for a long and stable career. Whatever you write on your CV you need to demonstrate that the break hasn’t affected your expertise and knowledge of the industry.
Whatever your reason for taking a break try and be honest and ensure that the work you are returning to is something you want to do – as it may be a while until you get your next break!