Fear not! Career breaks are awesome

I was scared out of my mind when it dawned on me that I was actually doing it – I was taking a real life ‘career break’! The realisation hit me literally the day before I was about to leave.

When my business coach (sometimes I call her my therapist) initially introduced the concept of taking a career break I laughed.

For so many years I had scoffed at CV’s that had come my way that had 3,6,9, etc month ‘career breaks’ on them. Now I was going to have one of those CV’s.

It wasn’t that I had second thoughts on the decision I had made to leave my most recent job… the opposite actually, I knew deep inside it was the right call.  I also knew that I had gone through a rigorous process to get to that decision (more on that another time) so was totally comfortable.

No, the fear was more geared around the little voice in my head;

  • ‘Why is a 37 year old travelling the world with a backpack?’
  • ‘Will potential employer’s question my motives when I get back?’
  • ‘Am I really going to learn anything about myself or am I just wasting a heap of cash/time?’

Well, I am happy to say that taking some time out was easily the greatest thing I could have done in my career and probably at the best time!

In fact all of you reading this… go out and do it now! Ok, wait, maybe just reflect on that for a bit first.

You can’t be away for that long and not have an amazing time.

I climbed mountains, swam in under-water caves, went to music festivals and meet amazing people from all walks of life (plus a whole bunch of other cool stuff too!).

I also spent a lot of time thinking and reflecting on what I had achieved to this point in my career and the type of person I wanted to be moving forward.

I realised, I had lost a little bit of who I was in the last 5 years and I wanted that person to come back.

Also, I had a clear idea of the purpose I wanted to have when I re-started my career. To help people be better at what they do and how they do it. Whether that is personally or professionally (the line here is getting blurrier by the day, but I digress).

What surprised me upon returning and starting the job search, no one really blinked when it came to my career break. In fact most just looked at me with those eyes… you know, those eyes that say ‘Why the hell haven’t I done that yet!’