Five questions to ask yourself before deciding on a career break


Most people harbour the mentality of working till the age of 65 and then enjoying life. However, there are several things that you will be able to do in your 20s and 30s that you might not be able to do at the ripe age of 65. It is for this very reason that more and more millennials are engineering their career break in their mid or late 20s. However, before you plan to take that much-needed sabbatical, there are some things you need to put into perspective if you don't want to get caught unawares. Here are five questions you should ask yourself before taking a career break.

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What stage are you at in your career?

If you've just started your career, it's not very wise to take an extended break, as you're still far from achieving your overall career goals. However, if you are really in need of a break, you should consider the implications of your sabbatical carefully before leaving for an extended period of time. On the other hand, if you're looking for a complete career change, a sabbatical will do you much good as it will help you clear your mind.

Is it a holiday that you really need?

If your stress levels are running high due to your work, a career break might sound like a great idea. However, you should stop and consider if a holiday at the beaches or amongst the mountains will do the trick. You can use your holiday to think rationally if a sabbatical is really needed.

How fast does the industry you work in evolve?

Every industry evolves differently. While taking a career break in the digital industry can spell doom for your career, taking a sabbatical in the educational field won't be such a bad thing. It's always good to consider if your decision is going to have a negative impact on your career growth and goals. If you return from your break to find that everything has moved on, you'll have a difficult time getting your career back on track.

Does your company grant sabbaticals?

Most companies are wary of granting sabbaticals that last more than a few weeks as it is a pain to hire and train somebody for a temporary job. It is therefore always smart to ensure that you are going to have a job when you return from your career break. Find out if anybody has taken a sabbatical in your company before and plan your way forward from there.

Do your finances allow you to take a break?

Take a hard look at your finances and contemplate thoroughly if your money is going to last you during your break. In addition to that, you also need to consider that you might not have a job when you return, and that you must thus be in a position to fund yourself for a further couple of months after your break is complete.

Be responsible about taking a break as you don't want your decision to have an adverse effect on your career. Consider the pros and cons thoroughly and only then pursue the idea of a sabbatical.