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Why You Should Consider Taking a Career Break

What is a Career Break?

A career break is when you take a break from work to pursue personal interests, travel, or relax. Consider it a gap year for professionals. Whether a career break lasts a few months or a couple of years, it may be just what you need to recharge your batteries, explore the world or reassess your career objectives.

When to Take a Career Break?

Are you feeling burnout at work? It’s time for a career break! We will cover everything you need to know about a career break, including what it is, why taking a break from working could be your best decision, and all the benefits of a career break. So, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s dive in.

The choice of when is the best time to take a break from work depends on several factors. There are pivotal points in your professional life when taking a break from work might be the best choice.

The perfect time to have a career break is when you feel burnout and unfulfilled from work. Suppose you’re at a point in your career where you’re considering making a significant transition, such as switching industries, starting your own business, or simply wanting to do some traveling. Taking a step back and re-evaluating your current situation is the first step to figuring things out because it gives you the time and space to plan and prepare for what’s next.

Close-up of an old hourglass with more clocks in the background

4 Reasons to Take a Career Break

Although you may already be daydreaming about the potential options for your career break, here are some reasons you should consider taking the leap.

1. Time for Personal Growth and Reflection

A career break isn’t just an extended vacation from work; it can be a life-changing event that leads to new opportunities and personal development! This allows you to find the time and space to reflect on your values, passions, and goals by taking a break from the daily grind. A renewed sense of purpose, greater self-awareness, and groundbreaking insights are all possible outcomes of this reflective process. After reflection, you’ll find a good amount of clarity can help you make your next life decision.

Digtally edited image that shows a man staying in the wilderness as the sun is setting.

2. Travel and experience new places

Taking a career break to travel can be an incredible opportunity to explore the world, immerse yourself in new cultures, and gain a fresh perspective on life. But the most crucial aspect of traveling is taking a break and relaxing! Imagine being able to wake up late and standing on the shore of a beautiful beach, with the sound of waves crashing against the rocks. It doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Check out our Volunteer Manager Opportunities in South Africa and Costa Rica

Volunteer Managers are crucial to the smooth and safe running of Raleigh Expeditions, working alongside country staff to lead and support young volunteers on impactful hands-on projects. 

Raleigh International volunteers sitting together and having their photo taken

3. Volunteer in a meaningful way

Volunteering abroad during your break from work can give you a sense of fulfillment and purpose that will improve all facets of your life. 

Volunteering abroad can be a once-in-a-lifetime career break opportunity, whether working on a conservation project in the rainforest or teaching English in places like Costa Rica and South Africa. Additionally, volunteering will give you new insights about the world, and your place in it, benefitting your personal and professional life back home.

Check out all our volunteer manager roles

Raleigh volunteer managers listening to local speaking and laughing together

4. Discover What Makes You Happy

Taking a break from work can also be an excellent opportunity to explore new interests and hobbies that bring you joy. When you’re working full-time, finding the time and energy to pursue activities outside of work can be challenging. However, a career break will allow you to step back from your routine and invest time into trying new things. For example, you can decide to work alongside kids in different countries.

You’ll finally have time to learn that random skill you’ve always wanted to try, like doing handstands, speaking Spanish, or knitting cat sweaters. You might even discover a hidden talent that leads to your dream career as a cat sweater designer! 

More Benefits of a Career Break

We could go on and on about the reasons to take a break from working, but there are many other benefits of a career break to consider too!

Deepen Your Relationships

Taking a career break can improve personal relationships because it allows you to prioritize spending more time with your loved ones, leading to stronger relationships and greater fulfillment. A break in your career can provide more flexibility in your schedule, allowing you to invest more time in your family and friends. Having the time to engage in new activities and experiences can create shared memories and deeper connections in the long run.

Disconnect From the Work Environment

One advantage of taking a career break when you work in an office-heavy job is the opportunity to disconnect from technology and devices, which can give your mind and body a much-needed rest. Many office jobs require employees to spend long hours in front of a computer screen, leading to eye strain, headaches, and fatigue. By taking a career break, you can remove the constant barrage of emails, instant messages, and notifications and give your brain a chance to recharge.

Develop Personal Wellness

In addition to reducing screen time, a career break can allow you to engage in other activities that promote relaxation and stress relief. For example, you can spend time in nature or enjoy quality time with friends and family. By disconnecting from technology and engaging in well-being activities, you will feel refreshed, energized, and more productive when returning to work.

Check out our recent post on the benefits of volunteering abroad

Taking a Break from Working Could Be the Best Decision Ever!

Taking a career break can provide individuals with various benefits, including time for self-reflection and personal growth, renewed energy, and the opportunity to travel and have new experiences. It also includes time for personal responsibilities like caring for family members or continuing your education, developing new skills, and improving relationships.

This blog was written by Kristian Nikolov.

Feel inspired to take a career break? If you’re older than 25, check out our Volunteer Manager roles to join a Raleigh expedition.

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