5 Things I Learned When I Took A Career Break

February 14, 2019

Time to take a break?

Thinking of taking some time out of the traditional workforce to raise kids, go freelance, do further study, find yourself or go traveling?

Taking a career break (or exiting permanently) can be liberating, but it can also be terrifying. Here are five things you’ll learn along the way.

1. Running errands is way easier 

Trying to squeeze all of your errands into your lunch break will be a thing of the past. Welcome to the civilised world of strolling straight up to the counter and conducting whatever important business needs conducting. No waiting in line for 20 minutes while trying to shove a sandwich down your throat, and then rushing to get back to your desk before your boss notices you’re late.

2. Friends will think you’re available 24/7

This is the flip side of being able to run errands whenever. Friends who are themselves on a career break will think you’re available to catch up at any time of the day. Which can lead to more coffee invitations than you know what to do with, and an expectation that you attend them all. Because, you know, you’re not doing anything else with your day, right? Learn to set some firm boundaries early on, or you’ll be so wired from the constant caffeine you’ll be up for a week.

3. Some people will judge you

Deliberately taking time out of the traditional workforce will likely earn you some judgement. Especially if you’re not taking the break to raise kids. I left a steady job with a good salary to go back to uni and do my PhD at 30. With a mortgage. People won’t usually say it to your face, but there’s a definite facial expression you’ll get used to people making when they ask what you do and you tell them. In time, it won’t get to you as much. Try to remember, it’s probably 85% jealousy.

4. You’ll miss your colleagues

You just will. Even the ones who chewed really loudly while eating your lunch (that they stole from the fridge). If you start a home-based business, or if you go back to study, you’ll find yourself wishing you had people to talk to and commiserate with. Of course, you’ll have family and friends. But it’s not the same as the little community you build with your colleagues. Making some new friends with similar lifestyles can help with this. Or just get a pet and talk to it constantly. My dog loves that.

5. You’ll wonder how you ever had time for a traditional 9-5

Once you find your feet with your career break, you’ll find yourself seriously wondering how you fitted in driving to the office, working eight hours, and then driving home every day. If you’re raising kids, running a business, studying, travelling, just taking time out for yourself, or doing any of the other myriad things people take a career break for, you’ll learn just how time flies when you’re not sitting in an office watching the clock all day, waiting for Friday afternoon.

Image via tumblr.com.

This article has been republished from A Girl In Progress with full permission. You can view the original article here.

If you liked this story, read more like it on A Girl In Progress:
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