Taking a career break is something we have seen a lot on the Sports field and have heard plenty of debate about on talkback radio. Think Richie McCaw, Dan Carter and, most recently, Israel Folau. For fears of burnout, ensuring longevity and passion for 'the game' sabbaticals and careers breaks have been used to ensure peak performance. This doesn't only apply to sports stars but all of us 'Average Joes' out there.
I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to take a small four-month break on what I'm calling a mini-OE and belated honeymoon to travel Europe over winter (I know, why winter right?) For me, I would never find the perfect time to go but I have made it a priority both for my mental health and a personal development perspective. Deciding not to do the traditional OE after graduation has been a decision I personally haven't regretted and it has paid off.
You don't need to specifically take a whole year off as Caroline has. A month, six-months is maybe all you need to recharge or refocus. Unfortunately, like most people, I too don't have the luxury to take off a whole year. I have had to work through what's practical for my family, the business, and myself.
It will be interesting to see how my perspective on life might change once I return to New Zealand and seeing what (if any) personal growth has occurred. I am hoping that the experience will be beneficial for me both personally and professionally.
I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences (and possibly a fresh perspective) with you all in 2018.
Have a fantastic Christmas and New Years break.
A mid-career gap year is an emerging trend that is likely here to stay and a welcomed one. We’re beginning to recognize, support, and acknowledge that careers are not linear movements up, but can pivot and make lateral moves, or to even take a break for a while, and that’s okay. If you are in a competitive, high burnout industry such as tech, permission to take a break is what many need for their emotional and mental health as well as personal growth.