While it was once considered a risk to take a career break, around 31.7 per cent of UK professionals have successfully taken time out during their careers. People may choose to take a career break to concentrate on family commitments, volunteering, travelling or studying, before returning to their job.
But while as an employee, you don’t actually have a statutory right to take leave and it is down to the discretion of your employer, many companies do allow career breaks as they recognise the benefits for both the business and the employee. It can also benefit staff retention, be used as a reward and also help to bring new skills to the business and motivate employees.
What to Do in Your Career Break
One of the main reasons people choose to take a career break is that they want to do something different. They want to spend some time seeing the world, experiencing new things and perhaps even learn a few things about themselves. If you are keen to find something to do during your break, then volunteering is an obvious choice. There are thousands of placements in the UK and around the world to choose from which can utilise your existing skills, or train you in a completely new area. Alternatively, you could choose to teach English as a foreign language, which is a great way to earn while you travel. If seeing the world is your focus, then backpacking or an adventure travel tour is a unique experience for the intrepid explorer. You can then document your experiences through a blog or your social media platforms.
A Career Break and Your CV
If you will be going back to your job after your career break ends, then it won’t affect your CV. However, if you have chosen to resign and then will be looking for a new job after your career break ends, then you should think about how you can sell your break as a positive move. Avoid leaving a big gap on your CV by including your break in employment, while briefly outlining what you did during this time, ensuring you include any training or work experience you undertook.
Returning to Work After Career Break
If you resigned from your employer before your career break and therefore won’t be returning to them, you need to draw up a plan for getting yourself back into work. You will need to give yourself some time to find new employment and should have factored that into your budget before your career break started. Depending on the reasons why you left your job and what you have been doing since, you may consider setting up your own business, perhaps on short term contracts or as a freelancer.
If you want to do something completely different, take some time to see the world and make new discoveries, then a career break could be a great move for you. Whether you choose to volunteer, teach or even travel, you won’t be the same person by the end of it.