How to make the most of a career break?

career break

How to make the most of a career break?

There are many reasons you might need to leave your job. You may need to take a break from your job if you are a parent or caring for a loved one.

You may be worried about the future when you leave your job. Although it may seem overwhelming, you can still use your career break to your benefit.

Branch out

No matter the reason, a career break can be a blessing in disguise. Sometimes we remain in our jobs out of convenience or habit. We need to be able to see clearly that this job is not for us. It may be possible to take time off to explore other options or to try out new fields on a part-time basis. You might be interested in learning about new career paths.

  • Reach out to companies you are interested in to request informational interview.
  • Take stock of your skills. You might consider enrolling in a degree or taking online courses in the field you are interested in.
  • Volunteering for an organization is a way to get into the field.

Follow your passion

Perhaps you have a passion but it was not able to be pursued in your current career. Maybe you have always wanted to be a graphic designer but were unable to get the opportunity. You might consider volunteering or freelance projects in order to build your professional portfolio.

Perhaps you have realized that you want to be your boss. You can take time off work to create a small business. Although it might seem scary to make the leap into an entrepreneur venture, this is the ideal time to create a business plan and determine what you will need to do next. Ask your network for advice and guidance if they have started their own business.


Employers may be hesitant to hire you if you have been away from work for a long time. Selling yourself to a new organization will require some foresight and confidence–confidence that might be lacking if you’ve been away from the workplace for a long time. Make sure you do your research and find out what skills you have that are needed.

You may be faced with the challenge of figuring out how to manage your time away from work in your application materials. Get started by:

  • You can brainstorm ways to fill the gap in your cover email. Be sure to clearly describe how you can contribute to the company.
  • Redesign your resume in order to highlight your achievements. Include any skills that you have gained during this period, such as blogging, consulting, or volunteer work, on your resume.
  • Prepare for interviews. Employers will likely ask you to explain any gaps in your resume. Make sure to practice your answers before going.

Reach out to your network

Building on your network is important, whether you are re-entering the field or setting up a new venture. Consider reaching out to former colleagues and friends, and attending events hosted by college alumni associations in your area.

Don’t forget to value any connections that you make while away from work. Consider, for example, the other parents in your child’s playgroup, as an addition to your network. Even though it can be isolating to be out of work, you are likely to know more people than your boss!

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