If you’re googling whether to take a career break, chances are that you already have a niggling feeling that something in your life needs to change.
After the past year I think most of us can be forgiven for wanting a break. Working from home, home-schooling children and the small matter of living through a pandemic has most likely taken a toll on both our physical and mental health.
Right now the majority of countries are still facing travel restrictions of one kind or another. So while you might choose to take a trip abroad, it won’t be without its challenges.
However, while none of us knows what the future holds, experts are predicting that when the world does open up, people are going to be more eager than ever to start making their travel dreams a reality. I know for certain that I will never take travel for granted again.
Added to this is the fact that employers are becoming more understanding about flexible working and the importance of work/life balance.
So while the thought of a career break might feel scary, 2022 may actually be the perfect time to do it.
If you’re still undecided, here’s five good reasons to take a career break in 2022:
You’re feeling burnt out
After the past 18 months it’s not surprising that so many people are feeling burnt out. While working from home has improved life for some, it has also increased the amount of time others spend at their desks.
Nowadays many jobs demand a lot from their employees. With the ever increasing ease of contacting colleagues and the relentless accessibility of social media, it’s easier than ever to be on call 24/7.
And even if you’re not officially ‘working’ it’s often hard to switch off from your day to day to-do list.
If all of this sounds familiar, taking a career break could be just what you need to get things back on track. A good chunk of time off work will allow your body to relax and your brain to recalibrate. This means that when you do return to your job you’ll be able to start it with a new-found spring in your step.
You want to reassess your options
Sometimes when you’re working in a job it’s hard to think about your future plans and what you want from life. Before I took my grown up gap year I had no idea whether I wanted to continue being a journalist. But I was so busy in the non-stop pressure of my job that I couldn’t think what else I would do.
Stepping back and taking a nine month break allowed me to reassess my life. It gave me the opportunity to think about my long-term goals. While I ultimately decided that journalism was my passion, I also realised that some things needed to change. I definitely needed to learn how to achieve more of a work/life balance.
You need time to focus on your mental health
I think we can all agree that the last year has put us through the emotional wringer. For many of us it has been a time of increased stress and being in a constant state of high alert can understandably take its toll.
So whether your mental health has taken a downturn in the last year, or its something you’ve always struggled with, it’s never too late to take a break to focus on it.
Sometimes taking a trip, enjoying more time outdoors and spending quality time with family and friends can be enough to set you on the right path. But if you feel like speaking to a professional may be beneficial, then a break from work also gives you the time and space to work through your feelings.
You want to study or learn a new skill
I’m sure many of us made ourselves promises about how much we were going to achieve during various lockdowns and then got to the end of them and realised that the only thing we were proficient in was Netflix.
Taking time on a career break to study or learn a new skill can have so many benefits.
One of the nice things about travelling slowly is that it gives you time to base yourself in one place and over the years I’ve been lucky enough to study Spanish and take a Thai massage course while travelling.
Even if you don’t decide to do any formal studying, I can absolutely guarantee you will learn a ton of new skills on any trip you take.
You have a dream trip you’ve always wanted to do
If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that life is short. If there’s a trip that you’ve always wanted to do, next year might be the time to do it. The beauty of a career break or sabbatical is that you can see the world, while still having the reassurance of something to come back to.
If this post has helped you to decide to take a career break in 2022, then now is the time to start planning! Hopefully you’ll find some helpful tips in this post about how to plan a career break or sabbatical and please feel free to message me with any questions you may have.