There are many reasons to take a career break, and whilst for many it might be just a dream as finances may not allow, taking time out can be healthy for both body and mind. There are some great success stories of people who have taken that leap of faith and a break from the daily grind. Many moons ago, a job was for life, no questions asked, but more and more people are switching careers or taking a career break to pursue their dreams and goals. And whilst everyone's circumstances are different, here are some real reasons to take a career break I would like to share.
1 Work out What You Want
One of the reasons to take a career break is to work out what you really want in life. If you're traveling on the treadmill of life, it can be tricky to get off and see what's out there. And as life starts to take hold and you start to accumulate more and more 'baggage' which needs the attention of your pay packet, it can be harder and harder to step back. But just think back to when you were growing up. Remember how you had all those dreams and aspirations and people were telling you that anything is possible? Taking some time out can help reignite that spark you had all those years ago when you thought you could conquer the world, because you still can!
2 Pursue Your Dreams
Taking time out to pursue your dreams is another reason to take a career break. Some employers even offer sabbaticals (time out from the job for six months to a year), which means you can be safe in the knowledge that you will have a job to come back to. Perhaps you have a dream of doing something but have just never got round to doing it. Don't wait until retirement because something else will always come up.
3 Start a Family
Perhaps you want to start a family and yes I know, it's not a break at all, it's hard work and a full time job in itself. But what it can offer you is some perspective and time to think about what you want to do and whether you do in fact want to go back to the job you had. Many people I know have left their jobs to start a family and found that they don't want to go back to their original occupation at all. When you take time out to start a family it can really help you reassess life and where it's going.
4 Start a Business
Perhaps you want to start a business. This is one of the reasons to take a career break and can give you the time you need to build up your business. Remember all those mantras: fortune favours the brave; you don't know until you try; don't live a life with regrets. They all apply here!
5 Travel the World
Perhaps you want to see the world. It's a big ol' world out there and there's a lot of ground to cover. A career break will give you that time you need to see some of the wonderful world we live in and experience different cultures, which can in turn lead to other things. You will certainly return from your travels a changed person and will either be happy with what you had career wise before you left or return with the hunger to do something different.
Perhaps you have a philanthropic itch which just needs scratching and you really want to give something back by volunteering abroad or closer to home. What better way to spend your time than helping others who won't necessarily be able to give back? Volunteering can also really help you appreciate what you have.
7 Expand Your Horizons
Taking a career break will enable you to expand your horizons, whether you want to retrain and learn new skills or just kick back and evaluate life and where it's going. We're only here once and to spend it doing something which we're not 100% happy with seems such a waste. Do something you love and try things out so that you will have no regrets when you meet your maker!
I am happy to say I am one of those people taking a break and reflecting on the future. Have you ever taken a career break? Are you glad you did? What are you doing now as a consequence of your time out from the rat race? I would love to hear!