In today’s competitive world, the idea of taking a career break might seem daunting or even counterproductive to your prospects. However, for many individuals, a well-planned and purposeful career break can offer numerous benefits, particularly when it comes to mental health.
Taking time away from the daily grind can be a rejuvenating experience, providing opportunities for personal growth, self-discovery, and enhanced well-being. Gary Clark of Basecamp, a Ski Academy operating in the travel industry, said:
“Taking a career break can have a positive effect on the individual, both in terms of new experiences and skills you can transfer into your career, but also in terms of benefitting your mental health.
By undertaking something such as a gap year ski instructor course, you will gain so much experience and new skills, but the time away from the day-to-day working life can also be very positive towards your mental wellbeing.”
Reduced stress and burnout
In the demanding work environments that many of us face on a daily basis, we can see the impact this has on our physical and mental well-being. It can be easy to become overwhelmed by stress and experience burnout.
Taking a career break allows individuals to step back from their daily routines, deadlines, and pressures, providing a chance to recharge and regain balance in their lives. Far from just allowing someone to relax and enjoy the odd peaceful slumber, a break from stress can help reduce anxiety levels and promote overall mental wellbeing. Ultimately, this will make for a refreshed, productive return to the office at the end of the sabbatical.
During a career break, individuals are able to engage in self-reflection. By taking a step back from the daily work routine, they can assess their personal and professional goals, identify areas of growth, and gain clarity on what truly brings them joy and satisfaction.
This self-awareness can lead to more fulfilling career choices and a renewed sense of purpose upon returning to work. The feeling of being stuck in a “rut” can be dealt with, and the break can be an opportunity to reassess and look in detail at where you want to be in 10 years.
Time for personal growth
A career break offers a unique opportunity for personal growth and self-improvement. Whether through acquiring new skills, pursuing education, or engaging in self-development activities, individuals can return to their careers an enhanced version of themselves.
The career break could even see the individual partake in something that would stereotypically be outside of their comfort zone, and engaging in this successfully can see the return to work run smoothly. Situations that previously would get on top of someone could potentially be dealt with differently, as the individual knows how to react differently.
Time away from work can fuel creativity and innovation. Whether pursuing new hobbies, travelling, or engaging in personal projects, a career break allows one to explore different experiences and perspectives.
As a result, individuals often return to their careers with a fresh outlook, bringing newfound creativity to their work tasks. Not only this, but the skills picked up in their time away can potentially be transferred into their careers moving forward.
Improved work-life balance
Work-life balance is essential for mental wellbeing. A career break can offer the opportunity to establish healthier routines and habits. By focusing on leisure, relaxation, and self-care during the break, individuals can develop habits that foster a better work-life balance upon returning to their careers.
This can, moving forward, lead to a better headspace and a greater awareness that a break from work at times is not just nice to have, it is essential to boost productivity and well-being.
Taking a career break can be a transformative experience with a myriad of benefits for mental health. It provides a chance to recharge, reflect, and rediscover oneself, leading to reduced stress, improved work-life balance, and increased creativity. Embracing a career break with a positive mindset and a clear purpose can set the foundation for a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling professional and personal life. Remember, it’s not just a break from work; it’s an investment in your mental well-being and future success.
Gary Clark is the academy director at Basecamp, a global travel company specialising in gap year adventures and ski instructor courses.