Taking a career break or sabbatical essentially refers to the same thing: stopping work for a period of time to do something new or different. You would generally consider a sabbatical to be a period of time away from your job, with the agreement to return at the end of it. A career break, however, might mean cutting loose altogether – quitting your job and seeing what happens; maybe with the intention of starting a whole new career when you’re back, or just a leap into the unknown.
They may still be in the minority in the gap-year market, but the number of career breakers is definitely on the rise. Taking a month, six months or a year out of your workplace is an excellent way to add new skills to your CV, re-assess your career (or maybe your life!), or just to recharge your batteries or and get away from the routine.
There may be something you’ve always wanted to do or somewhere you’ve wanted to go – and maybe now you’re in a better position to afford it? Or maybe you want to ‘give something back’ after years in the ‘rat race’?
Around 90,000 people take a short sabbatical each year in the UK – in other words a ‘gap-month’. It may be worthwhile considering something like this, or perhaps a longer trip if you’ve been made redundant or taken early retirement.
Many organisations that arrange places for people on overseas projects have told us that more than half of their activity is now focused on helping place mature travellers and/or people who are taking a career break.
Jon Arnold from Oyster Worldwide comments; "The average age of our clients is creeping up each year. For the past 12 months, the average age is 24. This has been pulled up by career breakers and short term volunteers who can be aged anything between 17-75."