Taking a career break means intentionally taking some time away from work. A career break is a necessity for some people and for some people it is impossible to happen. If you have the right plan and good financial back up then you can take the step of having a career break. Career breaks can be taken for a short or long period of time.
Some people have a personal goal they want to achieve by taking a career break. They come back once they achieve their personal goals. If you are having a plan to take a career break then there are ways in which you can plan to take a break. You can return to work after your career and move on with your life. In this article, we discuss the factors that you should consider when planning for taking a career break.
Why do you want to take a career break?
There are many reasons why you may take a break from your career. There could be some professional reasons and personal reasons as well. If you are stressed in your daily work life then you may plan to take a career break. This is important as it is a need for you to refocus your life and know where your career is going ahead. You may need some time for yourself or spend time with your family or community service.
You may need time for your children or grandchildren or go on travel or start a new business or take care of your health problems or go for higher education or work abroad. You can even spend time taking some time to yourself. A career break can be for a few months or maybe for a couple of years or until you can afford to stay away from your job. There is no general principle for this as it depends on your individual personal capacity.
Things to consider when taking a career break
Here are some of the steps that you can take while taking a career break and returning to work from your career break.
- Save money
- Have a goal
- Identify your challenges
- Inform your dependents
- Have your network
- Plan for rejoining work
- Plan for career gaps
- Develop your skills
1. Save Money
Plan and save money for the monthly expenses for the period when you are not working. The target amount that you want to save depends on your salary spendings. The time period that you want to take a career break, the monthly financial domestic expenses or emergency needs, and various other factors determine the amount that you want to put into your savings account. It is a good idea to save more than you planned because the future is uncertain and you may need money for any purpose.
You should save money to meet your monthly expenses such as rental expenses, utility payments, house maintenance expenses, and others. Without working you should be able to manage these expenses. Preparing yourself mentally for these expenses is very important as you will not have money when you take a career break.
2. Have a Goal
When you are taking a career break it is important that you have a goal and a purpose to achieve that goal. Why are you taking a career break? How long are you willing to take a career break? What do you want to achieve? and how much money do you need to achieve your goal? you should be prepared with these answers and arrange money accordingly. Have a goal and keep your plans ready to execute them.
You might have a goal to travel abroad, create a list of places, your financial plans, and all the ways and means through which you can achieve this goal. You may use this time to spend time with yourself or your family. Alternatively, you can develop your professional skills by learning new courses, languages, or any skills that you might be interested in.
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3. Identify your challenges
Many people who want to take a career break, encounter many financial challenges. Apart from the financial challenges, they also incur challenges at the work front and also support from the family members. If you are planning for a career break then identify the challenges which you are going to incur in the near future. There are some challenges that cannot be avoided but some challenges can be managed or solved completely. Take a look into your personal life and identify the problems if you are not going to work for a period of time.
If you are looking to spend time with your kids until they grow up, then you may have challenges in retaining a professional network and incur challenges in returning back to your work.
4. Inform your dependents
If you have decided to take a career break then inform your dependents about this decision. Speak to your managers at work and also to your family members regarding this matter. It will give you an idea about the chances of returning back to work in the same organization after your break. Depending upon various factors some organizations will provide you with the facility of rejoining the organization. Some organizations will not allow you to rejoin. When you inform you about your decision to break your career you will get to know your status.
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5. Have your network
In today’s generation of workforce, having a network will help you to stay within your job. If you are not in contact with your organization or the professionals at your work then it will be difficult to get any updates regarding your work and organization. Put some effort to stay in touch with the updates of the management and also the organization. Consider the ideas of learning about the work process during your career break.
6. Plan for rejoining the work
Plan for how you are going to return to work after the career break. If you cannot plan for each and every aspect of your next step then it will be difficult for you to face the challenges. Analyze every situation and have a plan to rejoin the work. Sometimes it may not be possible for you to rejoin the same organization but if you have developed good working relationships and skills then you can join any other organization. If your employer agrees to your rejoin after your break, then reach out to your employer and discuss the same.
7. Plan for your career gaps
After your career break when you go in search of job opportunities the first big question is about the career gap. You have to provide answers which will satisfy the employer so that they get confidence in you and decide to give you a job opportunity. Employers want to know your intention for leaving the job and the reason for rejoining the job. It all depends on how well you manage in answering the questions about the career gaps.
8. Develop your skills
When you are planning your career break keep in mind that you have to join back to work someday. It is important to develop your work skills during the career break period because if you are not upgrading your skills with the market then it becomes difficult for you to get a job again. Find different methods for developing your skills during the career break like online courses, networking, attending seminars, workshops, etc., it will help you to achieve a job quickly.
The more time you spend in your career, the more responsibilities you attach yourself to work. It becomes more difficult for you to take a career break. As long as you have good financial backup and funds available with you, at any stage of your life, it is not impossible to take a career break. During your career break, spend some time developing your professional skills while you are managing the other aspects of your life. Finding a job is difficult, if you want a break then take a long leave and go on vacation. Do not be hasty and quit your job with the intention of achieving something. Life is unpredictable, plan well and decide to quit your job only if it is absolutely necessary for you in achieving your life goals.