Career Break: Reasons to Consider Before Taking Time Off

7 minute read
Career Break: Reasons to Consider Before Taking Time Off

A career break, also known as a sabbatical or extended leave, is a planned interruption in one’s professional journey, where a person temporarily steps away from their job or career. This break can last anywhere from a few months to several years and is taken for various reasons, such as personal growth, attending to family responsibilities, or simply taking time to rest and rejuvenate. Read this blog to discover more about the reasons for taking a leave of absence from work and find effective tips for explaining it to your manager.

Also Read: How To Build A Career | Career Objective & Guidance

15 Best Possible Reasons to Take a Career Break

In today’s fast-paced world, the idea of taking a sabbatical might seem counter-intuitive. After all, we are constantly encouraged to climb the corporate ladder, achieve our goals, and chase success without pause. However, there are many compelling reasons to consider for taking time off. Whether it’s to recharge, pursue personal passions, or gain new perspectives, here are some reasons for taking an interval that might be the best decision you ever make.

1. Burnout Prevention

One of the most common reasons to take a gap is to prevent burnout. The demands of modern work can be relentless, leading to emotional, physical and mental exhaustion. A career break allows you to step back and recharge your batteries, reducing the risk of burnout. This in turn helps you improve your mental health and overall well-being.

Also Read: How Does Physical Health Affect Mental Health?

2. Personal Development

During the gap period, you have the opportunity to focus on personal development. This could involve taking courses to enhance your skills, pursuing a hobby that you are passionate about, or even travelling to gain new experiences. Investing in yourself can ultimately make you a more valuable asset when you return to the workforce.

3. Re-evaluation of Goals

Life often moves at a breakneck pace, leaving little time for introspection. In several instances, we come across some situations that make us realise that maybe our current career is not the right fit for us. A career break provides the space needed to re-evaluate your goals and priorities. You can assess whether your current professional path aligns with your long-term career aspirations and make necessary adjustments during this interval.

Also Read: Money or Mental Health? Which is the Right Choice for You

4. Exploring New Opportunities

A sabbatical can be a chance to explore new opportunities that you may not have considered before. You can also explore new roles based on the skills that you have learned all through this journey. This might involve starting a side business, volunteering, or even trying your hand at a different profession. Such experiences can broaden your horizons and lead to unexpected career paths.

Also Read: 10 Trending Careers & Why You Should Choose Them!

 5. Family and Personal Matters

Life events such as the birth of a child, caring for ageing parents, or dealing with personal health issues may call for a requirement of a career break. Family and personal matters often take precedence, and a break can provide the flexibility to attend to these important aspects of life. Once these matters are dealt with, one can resume work with better confidence and a relaxed state of mind.

Also Read: How to Apply for Maternity Leave?

 6. Reducing Stress

Today’s work requirements take more than just your skills and feeding in all that it takes – be it over timing, going through stressful planning and strategising processes and even losing comfortable sleep at night often takes a toll on our mental health. Hence, chronic stress has become a major concern in today’s workplace. Therefore, opting for a career gap can help you reduce stress levels and improve your mental health. It allows you to step away from the daily pressures of work and regain a sense of balance.

 7. Enhancing Work-Life Balance

Achieving a healthy work-life balance is essential for overall well-being. A career break can help you realign your priorities and establish healthier boundaries between work and personal life. This balance can lead to increased happiness and job satisfaction when you return to work. You may also explore new ways that will keep you aligned with your work-life balance.

 8. Gaining New Perspectives

Travelling or immersing yourself in different cultures during a time off can provide valuable insights and fresh perspectives for life and work. Experiencing new ways of life can enhance your creativity, problem-solving skills, and adaptability – all of which are assets in the professional world. Take your time out for recreational activities such as yoga, and meditation and gain knowledge on different life lessons all through this time.

 9. Building Resilience

Adversity and challenges are inevitable in both personal and professional life. Taking a career break to navigate difficult situations, such as recovering from a setback or loss, can help you build resilience and develop the strength to overcome future challenges. 

 10. Networking Opportunities

While on a sabbatical, you may also engage in networking opportunities that can be beneficial when you decide to re-enter the workplace. Attend conferences, join online communities, or volunteer in your field of interest to stay connected and updated. Networking may open doors to new opportunities. 

Also Read: Key to Success is Understanding Why Networking is Important

11. Career Transition

If you’re looking for a career change, an interval can serve as a bridge between your current profession and your desired field. It allows you to gain relevant skills and experience in your new area of interest, making the transition smoother. A career transition may help you get better opportunities and advance your career. You may also feel the betterment of your mental health as you start doing the job that serves your interest the most.

Also Read: Planning a Career Shift at 30? 10 Pro Tips

 12. Time for Reflection

In the hustle and bustle of daily work life, it is easy to lose sight of what truly matters to you. A career break provides the time and space for deep reflection of your inner self, helping you rediscover your passions, values, and purpose.

 13. Improved Mental Health

Mental health is a critical component of overall well-being. Taking a furlough to focus on your mental health, seek therapy, or practice mindfulness can be a life-changing decision. It can lead to improved emotional resilience and a more fulfilling life. A relaxed mental state can enhance your productivity at work and you can think of a clear big picture to figure out what is it that you need to do to achieve your desired goals. 

 14. Personal Advancement

Ultimately, a recess from work can be about personal fulfilment. It is a chance to pursue your dreams, whether they involve novel/story writing, hiking, swimming, learning to play the guitar or mastering as a professional makeup artist. Prioritising your happiness can lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life and enhanced productivity at work.

15. Opportunity for Long-Term Career Growth

A career break is often seen as a hindrance to the overall professional growth of an individual. It is seen as a hurdle that can interfere with your ability to get new opportunities. Well, contrary to common belief, taking time off does not hinder long-term career growth. In fact, the skills, experiences, and personal growth you gain during your break can enhance your career prospects when you return to work.

Also Read: How to Choose a Career Path in 6 Simple Steps

How to Discuss Career Break with Your Employer?

Opting for a furlough is a personal decision. However, explaining the reasons for going on a recess from work to your employer can become extremely challenging. Here are some effective tips that may come in handy while discussing your sabbatical with your employer:

  • Plan Ahead: Before approaching your employer, carefully plan your time off. Determine the duration, reasons, and how it aligns with your long-term career goals.
  • Choose the Right Timing: Choose a time to discuss the reasons for going on a sabbatical with your manager when your employer is not under undue stress. Avoid dropping this news during critical project phases or deadlines.
  • Be Transparent: Honesty is the key to a long-term benefit. Be honest in communicating the reasons behind your decision, whether it’s personal development, family needs, or a job transition. 
  • Highlight the Benefits: Emphasise how your career break will benefit you and, indirectly, your employer. Mention how the skills and experiences you gain during the break can bring better productivity when you return to work.
  • Have a Return Plan: Do not forget to discuss a return plan with your employer. Be clear about when you intend to come back and how you will process a seamless re-entry into the workplace.

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How do you explain a career break?

It should be explained with utmost honesty and clarity to your manager. You must define clear reasons for taking time off and what objectives are you trying to achieve during this pause in your professional journey. 

How can a career gap be good for you?

During this period, you can get breakthrough opportunities, gain newer skills and perspectives and even take time to deal with family and personal matters. All these activities help you build resilience and be content in your day-to-day duties. 

How can a sabbatical be good for your mental health?

This time off may give you enough time to engage in recreational and personal development activities. These activities help fill in confidence and help you deep dive into the new horizons of work opportunities. 

For more informative blogs like these, visit the career counselling page of Leverage Edu

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