A career break is just as it sounds. It is a break which may range from two months to two years.
One type of career break is a sabbatical, which is a paid or unpaid break granted to professors and in some cases other professionals for the purpose of research. Career breaks are not limited to those in academia. They are taken by individuals spanning many occupations. Breaks are common in the UK and Australia. Currently, there is a movement to bring the idea of career breaks to Americans. On the site, bootsnall.com, you can read more about one organization raising the awareness in the U.S. After researching this subject online, I realized that many Americans are taking career breaks, but they are not labeled as such. Also, Americans may walk into a career break backwards. In other words, circumstances are more likely to be a catalyst.
Why would one take a career break?
- Research, education, or training
- World travel
- Volunteer work on full-time basis
- Professional work abroad or in a different field to expand experience
- Maternity or paternity leave
How can one make the dream of a career break a reality?
It truly is a big step to leave a paid job or cease a job search for an unpaid career break. Carefully plan every aspect of your break, including duration, destination, activities, and lifestyle. Identify the expenses to support that plan. After you determine the funds your break requires, you can begin a fundraising and savings plan. First evaluate expenses that you can eliminate for the duration of your break, such as utilities, rent, or gym memberships. Next, identify items you can sell. The third step is to increase your income through a second job, overtime, or through special fundraising events. The gap between the funds you need and the funds you have saved or raised may lead to a modification of your career break plan or a delay in starting your break.
Career breaks are a courageous concept to most Americans. For many a career break is not possible because of family or other commitments. If this idea intrigues you, start with an online search using the key words “career break Americans.” There are dozens of sites with comprehensive advice. Wishing you all the best in your career or your career break!