Five reasons to take a career break in 2024

Five reasons to take a career break in 2024

Are you thinking about taking a career break in 2024? Then welcome, you’ve come to the right place! Making the decision to hand in your notice or request a sabbatical may feel daunting right now, but don’t worry, I’m here to help you every step of the way. I know from taking my own grown up gap year how many questions you probably have, which is why I’ve tried to compile as much information as I can on this blog. So whether you’re looking for advice on if you should quit your job or ask for a sabbatical or tips on how to plan a grown up gap year, hopefully you’ll find the answers here.

However, if you’re still undecided, here’s five good reasons to take a career break in 2024:

Taking a career break because you feel burnt out 

If you’re considering taking a career break in 2024 because you feel burnt out, then you’re not alone. With on-going stresses around health, finances and world events, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed with life. According to the NHS, burnout can cause a whole host of problems, ranging from difficulty concentrating and sleeping to feeling constantly worried, anxious or scared.

For many of us, the covid pandemic changed the way we work. Working from home is now much more of a norm for lots of people. While this has improved life for some, it has also increased the amount of time others spend at their desks. Plus, it has also blurred the lines between our work/life balance and many friends have reported to me that they are actually working more hours at home than they did in the office.

I think part of this is also down to the fact that many companies now 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 because you feel burnt out 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. Stepping away from the every day bombardment of pinging emails and ever growing to-do lists will allow you to switch off for a while. 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.

Taking a career break to reassess your options

If you feel like you’re at a turning point in your life, taking a career break to reassess your options can be a good idea.

Sometimes when you’re working in a job it’s hard to think about your future plans. It’s also difficult to set long term goals and explore those big thoughts about what you want from life. Before I took my own grown up gap year I had no idea whether I wanted to continue being a journalist. I felt stuck in a hamster wheel in terms of my career. However, I was so busy trying to keep up with the non-stop pressure of my job, that I couldn’t even stop to think about 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.

When I returned home I made the decision not to return to working on daily newspapers. Instead I enjoyed a few years exploring a number of different roles within the industry, before finally deciding to go freelance.

Taking a career break to focus on your mental health

I think we can all agree that the last few years have put us through the emotional wringer. From global pandemics, to heart-breaking wars, for many it has been a time of increased stress.

Being in a constant state of high alert can understandably take its toll. So whether your mental health has taken a downturn recently, or its something you’ve always struggled with, it’s never too late to take a break to focus on it.

Sometimes taking a career break to focus on your mental health, 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.

Prepping for a workcation or taking a career break in 2024

Taking a career break to study or learn a new skill 

I’m sure many of us make promises to ourselves at the start of each new year about how much we are going to achieve. Only to get to the end of it and realise that the only thing we’re more proficient in is Netflix boxsets.

Taking 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 for a period of time. Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to study Spanish in Costa Rica 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.

Read more about the skills I learnt on my travels.

Taking a career break to fulfil a dream trip

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that life is short. If there’s a trip that you’ve always wanted to do, 2024 might be the time to do it. Taking a career break to fulfil a dream trip is a beautiful way to spend your time. Plus, you have the added reassurance of a job to come back to.

Ksamil island viewpoint
A little slice of heaven

If this post has helped you to decide to take a career break in 2024, 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.