Career break - what is the first step?

NOV 23 2011

African Consevation Experience - road in Africa

It's hard to know where to start when planning your career break!

There's so much to do, so much to think about, and there's such a lot of choice when it comes to deciding what to do.

So we're going to help you take the first step.

 

Decide if you want a sabbatical or to quit your job

 

This is the first thing you must do. Why? Because it will have an impact on everything else to do with your career break.

A sabbatical means you are still technically employed by your company and will return to the same job.

 

Do you want a sabbatical?

 

There is advice on how to ask for a sabbatical here. If that looks like something you can and want to do, you need to check the terms. Specifically, you'll need to know:

  1. What is the minimum and maximum length of the sabbatical?
  2. What are the restrictions - eg can I do paid work while on sabbatical?
  3. What happens if I want to come back early?
  4. What happens if I want to extend it?
  5. Will I return to the exact same job and/or salary?
  6. What about if I decide not to come back?

Once you have this information, you'll be able to:

  1. Decide what to do
  2. Plan how long to go for
  3. Budget for your career break

 

Do you want to quit your job?

Or, are you unable to get a sabbatical?

 

If so, you'll have more freedom regarding how long your career break is, and what you do. But without a job to come back to, you will have less financial security. You'll need to take the following steps:

  1. Work out what you can afford for your career break - including a cushion in case you can't find another job straight away when you get back
  2. Once you know what you can spend, you can decide what to do (if you search our career breaks, you'll see icons showing 3 price bands by each one to help you choose)
  3. Now you have an idea of costs, you can decide how long to go for.

Another thing to remember when planning your career break - it needs to be something that's going to impress your next employer. Whatever you choose, you must be learning new skills - especially soft and transferable skills like how to communicate, solve problems or organise. 

Also, if you've quit your job because you're changing career, use your career break to get some experience in that field - for example, if you want to be a teacher, do some volunteer teaching, TEFL or instructor training while you're away.

 

That is the first step done

 

Well done! And let us know how you get on.

Comments

Great advice! The most difficult part of taking a break from my job was deciding how long I would be away! It ended up being easier to quit my job instead of taking a sabbatical. I did have to work out a budget which was hard since I didn't know how long I would be without a job. But, it was worthwhile since I knew what my expenses would be until I found work.