If you want a challenging and rewarding break from your job
Around 90,000 people take a 'career break' or ‘sabbatical’ each year in the UK, in other words a 'gap year/month'. Career breaks could be several months long, either with the support of the employer and with a job to return to, or resigning and expecting to find a new job after the gap. The intention is often to renew batteries or look for a new direction in life. They have become an accepted part of career development – beneficial for the company and the individual.
Many companies now have an enlightened view of career breaks, an extension of the sabbaticals which many people teaching overseas receive. They realise that breaks allow staff to acquire new skills and that it is better to retain quality, motivated staff than to keep unhappy staff whose heart is not in the job.
A career break need not necessarily involve travel abroad - there's plenty to do in your own country.
Jake Brumby was 28 and took a 7 months career break from a web development business. He volunteered with the Orangutan Foundation at the Tanjung Puting National Park in Borneo. He says ‘It was the most rewarding and fascinating trip of my life’. He now works for himself.
Who is offering sabbaticals?
Some companies/organisations which support career breaks are:
- Barclays Bank
- Ernst and Young
- The Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- London Borough of Camden
- McDonald's Restaurants
This section of the website guides you through the 5 steps on the road to a career break, if it is right for you: