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Taking a Career Break

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 11 Aug 2011 | comments*Discuss
Career Break Career Career Advice Career

There are many reasons why you might decide to take a career break, whether it is to take time out to travel, to raise your children or to pursue another interest. While you may develop and learn new skills in your time out, it can have a negative effect on your career development. You need to be aware of what you are doing, how to stay in touch with developments, and what it will take to get back into your career.

Deciding To Take A Career Break

Before taking a career break you need to think carefully about why you are doing it and if it will be worth it. If you want to travel, could you do it in smaller instalments? If you want to pursue another interest or get a qualification, could you do it Part-Time? If you are having a family, are you prepared to put your career on hold? If you are sure that the risks are worth the returns, you need think practically about how you are going to go about it.

Making The Move

If you would like to return to your current job after your career break, you need to see if your employer will hold it for you. Be ready to tell them why they should keep you on, what you will be doing and what you will learn from the experience. For any type of career break you need to consider your finances. How Are You Going To Fund It? Be realistic about how much money you will need and where you will find it.

Keeping Up With Developments

When you are taking time out from your career, the industry will develop and move quicker than you expect. If you are serious about being able to go back then you need to Keep Up With What Is Happening. Subscribe to an industry publication, make lunch dates with old colleagues and keep yourself in the loop. If new skills or software are featuring highly, try and get some training in them.

Going Back To Work

The longer your career break is, the harder it can be to get back into it. But if you have kept up with developments and updated your skills, then you will be a step closer. Seek some career advice so you know what you need to do and talk about your career development. Be able to give clear reasons about why you took the break, what it has taught you and why you are still the right person for the job.

Career breaks are becoming more common as people take time out to travel. But whether it is to see the world, raise children or study you need to think practically about the move. Is whatever you want to do worth risking your career development for? If so, then make sure that you have enough money and keep up with any industry developments while you are away. When you want to get back into your career, seek some career advice and be able to show what you have learnt.

Going Back to Work

Returning to work after a break can be challenging, even if your company has kept your job open for you. For advice on easing you back into employment after a hiatus, read our article Going Back To Work After A Break.

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