Meaning & Definition
A career break, also known as a sabbatical or career hiatus, refers to a planned and extended period of time during which an individual takes a temporary break or leave from their job or career to pursue other personal interests, objectives, or activities. Career breaks can vary in duration, ranging from a few weeks to several months or even years, and the reasons for taking a career break are diverse.
Common reasons for taking a career break
- Personal Growth and Development
Some individuals take career breaks to explore personal interests, hobbies, or passions, or to engage in self-improvement activities such as traveling, further education, or pursuing creative endeavors.
- Family and Care Responsibilities
Career breaks may be taken to focus on family-related responsibilities, such as caring for children, aging parents, or other dependents. This can include maternity or paternity leave.
- Health and Well-being
Health-related issues, whether physical or mental, can necessitate a career break for medical treatment, recovery, or to reduce stress and burnout.
- Travel and Adventure
Many people take career breaks to travel, explore the world, or embark on extended adventures or journeys.
- Education and Skill Development
Some individuals use career breaks to acquire new skills, earn additional qualifications, or pursue further education, which can enhance their career prospects upon returning to work.
- Volunteer and Social Causes
Career breaks may be taken to engage in volunteer work, community service, or social causes, where individuals contribute to society or specific communities.
Some individuals use career breaks to explore entrepreneurial opportunities, launch their own businesses, or work on startup ventures.
- Rest and Rejuvenation
A break from work can be taken simply to relax, unwind, and recharge, allowing individuals to return to their careers with renewed energy and motivation.
Career breaks are not always easy to navigate, as they may have financial, professional, and personal implications. It’s essential to consider the potential impact on one’s career, financial stability, and professional skills when planning a career break. Many employers offer options like unpaid leave or sabbaticals to accommodate employees seeking temporary career breaks, while others may have specific policies and guidelines regarding career breaks.
When considering a career break, individuals should:
- Discuss the plan with their employer, if applicable, and understand company policies regarding leaves of absence.
- Create a financial plan to cover expenses during the break and anticipate any financial challenges.
- Consider how to maintain or update professional skills and connections during the break.
- Plan for reintegration into the workforce upon returning from the career break.
Career breaks can offer valuable personal and professional growth opportunities, but careful planning and consideration of potential challenges are crucial for a successful transition and reentry into the workforce.