Lots of career breakers use their career break to change career. It's a chance to do something different between jobs, and if you're not sure what you want to do, a career break can give you some much-needed thinking time. Some career breakers even come back and start their own business (and that's how this site came about!)
What sort of career break should I choose if changing career?
This depends on whether you've already decided what new career to go into or if you're at a loss for what to do.
If you've already decided on your new career, it should be easy to find a career break option that can help you into it. Your career break doesn't have to exactly match your new career - for example, if you're going to be an IT consultant, you could teach IT skills in a community development project, or you could participate in a building project to improve your own teamwork skills. Language courses are always good for developing communication skills, as well as being relevant to many jobs.
I want a career change but I don't know what to do
This is where a career break can really help you out, by giving you a chance to do something totally different. You also get some time away from your current life to work out what it is you really want to do. If you're not sure what you want to do on your career break, you could try doing a combination of things and seeing what you like.
What will potential employers think about my career change?
These days, it's fairly common to have a number of different careers throughout your professional life, so career changes are not unusual. The important thing is to link your skills from your old career into your new one. Common 'soft skills' that are useful in a huge range of jobs include:
- Working as a team
- Time management/organisation
CV and application forms
On your CV or application form, be specific with examples of where you've used these skills successfully. For example, completing a project on schedule shows evidence of good teamwork or leadership as well as organisational skills.
Put your career break on your CV, show what you have been doing and demonstrate what you have learnt from the experience. The vast majority of employers look favourably on career breaks these days - in fact, some people have found that the interviewer is more interested in their career break than anything else!
Where can I go for more advice?
There are a number of career coaches who specialise in giving career change advice. They can help you work out what you want to do. Life coaches can also be helpful if you're stuck.You may also consider the HR department of your existing company if you want to move to a different career in the same organisation.
What are you waiting for? Look at career break opportunities now and this time next year, you could be a whole new person!