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    6 Tips To Take A Successful & Fulfilling Career Break

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    Taking a career break because you’re finally taking a shot at building that business you’ve always wanted to? Found out you’re pregnant and will be going on maternity leave? Or, want to take a break from your current job and look for something that’s more rewarding than your existing one? 

    A career break can be driven by choice, because the situation warrants it, or even because you’re in an exploratory mode in your career. Whatever the case may be, it needn’t be a scary thing. Nowadays, companies are more open to letting their employees take a sabbatical or even switch gears in their role, as compared to earlier. There are multiple ways in which you can take a successful career break, and ensure that by the end of it, you come back stronger and wiser than before. 

    Before you go on a career break, it is perhaps important to have answers to these three main questions- 

    1. Reason For Going On Break

    This is particularly important if you’re taking a career break on your own will. Are you taking a break because you feel burned out at work, and could really use the time for rejuvenation? Or because your current job leaves you with no time to hunt for a new one. Or because you want to pursue an activity like travel—something you’ve always wanted to do. Whatever may be the reason, make sure this decision is not an impulsive one. Many people take a break and regret it later because they second guess their decision.

    2. When Is Your Break Going To End?

    Remember it’s a break, not the end! Have a clear idea of how long you’re going to be on a break, and commit yourself to that deadline. Work towards making a comeback when your break term is nearing its end.

    3. Finances During The Break

    In some cases, career breaks could also mean that there are periods where you’re not paid. Be clear and plan beforehand how you’re going to manage your finances during this period. This is important to ensure you’re not forced to cut your break short and return to work earlier than you planned, only because your financial situation doesn’t allow you to stay on break.  

    Now that you have made the decision to take some time off, to figure things out, the next big question that arises is- How do you make the most of your career break? Here are some easy ways to ensure that by the time you reach the end of your break, you realise that the time you took off from work has been a successful time period for you. 

    How Do You Make The Most Of Your Career Break?

    1. Have A Routine 

     At work, you build a routine that over time falls into place. When you’re on break, it becomes very easy to fall out of routine. Make sure you stick to a routine and include the things that are important to you or things you had planned to do during the break.

    2. Self-Learning 

    In today’s times, there are so many different things one can do to stay updated. Online educational courses, certifications, masterclasses, workshops, even YouTube tutorials! Sign up for a course on a subject you’ve always wanted to learn more about – data science, product management or Photoshop, for instance. Or a skill you’ve always thought you could get better at – Powerpoint presentations or Excel for example. Or sometimes, even a fun class on a hobby like baking, photography or blogging. Learning can not only help you build a stronger resume but also keep the mind stimulated. 

    3. Invest In Physical And Mental Health 

    Most working professionals often complain that long workdays mean not enough time to indulge in activities that are important for mind, body and soul – like working out, meditation and self-care. A break is a great opportunity for you to take up activities that will ensure that you’re in better shape physically and mentally. Like we all know, health & fitness is important in professional life too – it helps with better concentration, alertness and focus. If you’ve always wanted to be part of the 5 am club, perhaps this is your chance! 

    4. Stay In Touch With Your Work-Life 

    Just because you’re on a break doesn’t mean you should disconnect yourself from what’s happening in your field, or your professional network. In fact, now that you probably have more time at hand, use it to keep yourself updated on developments in your industry. Make LinkedIn your best friend, and also keep having regular conversations with your professional network. Stay in touch with your former colleagues and work friends. Not only is this useful for keeping your network strong but it’ll also be very useful when you’re coming back to the workforce after a break. 

    5. Take Up Part-Time Work 

    If your career break is driven by a personal situation, or if you realise that even during your break you have some time to spare, you could consider taking up part-time opportunities – consulting, content writing, graphic designing are just a few examples. This will ensure that you’re not completely out of the workforce. It will also help you financially—you may not have to break the bank to support yourself. 

    6. Enjoy Your Break 

     Now that you’re on a break, you might as well enjoy it, without feeling guilty! Spend time with your friends and family, get some more beauty sleep, reconnect with your childhood hobby – do that one (or more!) thing that’s always been important to you, but you haven’t been able to find time for. A happier version of you when you return to work will only ensure stronger performance when you get back to work. 

    A career break could either be an impulsive decision, or a well thought out one, or a curveball that gets thrown at you. But with a little planning, commitment and discipline, you can easily turn it into time well invested, and ensure it pays off. 

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