Career Tests Guide

Taking a Year Off from Work

Are you considering taking a year off from work? Learn about many good things about the ideas and how to actually get a sabbatical leave. Also, things to consider when you are taking a year off from work.

More and more individuals are deciding to take a year, or even more, off from the work force. A recent college graduate may want a year between her studies and her first job, or a parent may be expecting the birth of a child. Before making this decision, however, there are some factors to consider, even beyond the obvious question of planning how to pay living expenses.

Things To Do Before Taking a Year Off

A key question is what do you plan to do with that time? In some cases, it might be a fairly easy answer, like caring for children or an ailing relative. In others, though, you may have only decided that you need a break. Traveling and volunteering are options, but, whatever you might be interested in, you need to have some sort of plan beyond sitting on the couch and watching TV, if only to make a later transition back into the work force easier.

Another issue to consider is how you plan to keep your skills sharp. Even if you are contemplating a career change along with your time off, you will still want to be able to show future employers that you are still able to work well. You might consider volunteering your services on an occasional basis, or freelancing in your field.

Consider how your time off will affect your career path. You may lose touch with contacts that you need for promotion, or may be ‘mommy-tracked’ (a label given to women who have children distracting them from their careers). However, with effort, you can keep yourself in the loop throughout a sabbatical. You can find networking opportunities and be ready to dive back into advancing your career after your time off.

Consequences Of Taking a Year Off from Work

In most cases, employers welcome applicants with a break in their work history, as long as they can demonstrate that time was beneficial. For instance, taking a year to travel around the world can be hugely useful to an employer — you can point out your awareness of global issues, self-sufficiency and even expanded language skills. While not all employers will appreciate these abilities, many will consider it a boost to your value as an employee.

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