One of the questions I often get asked by clients (job seekers) as well as recruiters is how do you explain your career break? You would have missed out on that latest trends in the industry by taking a career break. Not necessarily. By making the most of your career break, you can actually be ahead of the curve. Here’s 3 reasons why it’s good to press that refresh button on your career:
In the current VUCA world, the industry is moving faster than you are running (on your job). That’s why it is important to get off the corporate ladder, take that time to recharge the battery, learn new skills, take time to network in the right community to increase diversity and build network. These are the things you won’t get to do when you are exhausted from a long day of work. Building the network and having new perspectives are critical for your next career trajectory.
When you are working, your network is limited to those you interact on a day to day basis. When you are out of work, start reconnecting with ex-colleagues, people you have met along the way, outside of work. Be authentic in building that connection and offer any help to support each other. The goodwill will come back to you in other forms someday. Or it could be simply taking a vacation to chill and reconnect with yourself; or taking time to pay it forward; or discover a new passion.
The irony is that when you are still employed you get embroiled in the day to day fire-fighting that you lose sight of the big picture. It is when you take a step back and look at things from the outside, that you develop eagle eyes to see the challenges. Become more solutions focused and think outside the box. Keep up with trends and constantly interact with the community and you will find that you are actually ahead of the curve. This would position you well for a career trajectory.
Sometimes you just need that career break to stay ahead of the curve; as long as you keep yourself actively engaged and constantly upgrade with new skills.
I believe career success is no longer following a defined, lockstep path. It’s about being able to constantly renew yourself, taking risks and putting yourself in front of more and evolving opportunities. Uncertainty and change are the new markers of the world we live in today. To thrive in the future economy, one needs to be adaptable to the constant changes.