How to Thrive While Taking a Career Break

Career breaks are important to your health

The Importance of Career Breaks

You know that feeling when you’ve had a really stressful day and lunch just can’t come quick enough? Imagine that, but on a grander scale — when going to lunch and never coming back is all you can think about. That’s when you need a career break.

According to the American Institute of Stress, 46% of stress comes from a heavy workload, while another 20% stems from a poor work-life balance. A career break doesn’t mean walking away from this stress forever, but it can give you insight into why you’re so stressed and what can be done to fix it.

But this is only scratching the surface of career breaks and why they’re important. There are a number of reasons to take one.

Why Take a Career Break?

There are a number of reasons to take a career break, each one with different motivations and goals. While the reasons are nearly limitless, here are a few of the more common ones:

  • Wellness: Stress is no joke. It’s often too easy to let your general wellness slip, allowing yourself to work too hard for too long.A career break can offer clear perspective on just how stressed work makes you and give the insight needed to make a positive change. Other times, the break itself is enough for you to come back ready to rock. (Again, like lunchtime but way longer!)
  • Pregnancy: Life happens. In this case, life is pretty literal. If you or your partner is pregnant, a career break can be just what the doctor ordered. No, really. They may order it.Taking time off for pregnancy is fairly common, but an extended career break can be especially great for both the parent(s) and the child.
  • Passion Projects: Is your desire to finally get an idea off the ground just too strong to ignore? A career break could be just what you need to finally make something big happen. Maybe you need a few solid months to get your business off the ground. Or maybe you’re just itching to finally give painting a proper go. Either way, a career break with proper financial planning could be in order.
  • You’ve Just Gotta Travel: Much like the urge to pursue a passion project, the desire to travel can’t be taken lightly. That aforementioned stress? Travel can be an excellent remedy for this stress and other ailments!A vacation might align more with what you need, but a career break to travel for extended periods of time could be feasible in many cases. In fact, you could consider becoming a digital nomad.

Career breaks come in all shapes and sizes, but each one shares some common threads: freedom and flexibility. Figuring out if one is right for you and how realistic it is will require careful planning and vetting on your part.

There are numerous types of career breaks

Sources: 

Business Insider | Smart Asset | Recruitment International | Harvard Business Review | Daily Mail | Bankrate | Wiley Online Library | Harvard Health | US Travel | CNBC

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