When it comes to looking for a new job, many people decide to hop from one job straight into the next, without any gap. And generally speaking, employers tend to disapprove of long gaps on CVs. But are there circumstances where a short break between jobs might be beneficial?
In some cases, it’s totally beneficial to take a break between jobs. If you have the finances to support yourself during the break, go for it. This will give you time to recharge your batteries before launching into your next role. And it will also give you space to reflect on your next move.
“Sometimes taking a step back is actually taking a step forward.“
How long should your break be?
Taking 1 to 4 weeks between jobs is a good amount of time to take. But, you may be in a position to take a little longer. Just ensure your break doesn’t exceed 3 months to prevent it from negatively impacting your CV. If it’s any longer, you may need to explain this when you update your CV. Employers may jump to conclusions about your work ethic if the break is longer than 3 months.
Benefits of taking a break between jobs
Time for career reflection
If your job is stressful, it can be extremely difficult to think straight. This makes it difficult to plan your next move. You may just take the first opportunity that comes your way to get away from the stresses of your current role. But you need to evaluate what you want for yourself. By taking time off, you have the opportunity to think clearly. And you no longer have the pressures of work weighing you down. Taking a break gives you more opportunity to find the right job for you.
Reboot your system
Going from one job straight into the next doesn’t give you much space to unwind. We all need a break to restore our energy and motivation levels. Once you return to work, you’ll find you have bags more energy and are able to perform much better. Sometimes taking a step back is actually taking a step forward.
Pursue your passions
Let’s be honest, sometimes the stresses of work get in the way of you pursuing your personal interests. At the end of a long day in the office, you don’t always have heaps of energy to do the things you enjoy. By taking time off, you get to spend some quality time on your hobbies, projects or interests. How about that room you’ve been meaning to decorate? Or that yoga class you’ve been meaning to start? Or that hike you’ve been meaning to go on? Your career break can be the perfect opportunity to indulge in your passions!
Disadvantages of taking a break between jobs
So one of the downsides to taking a break between jobs is that some employers may disapprove of your break. They may assume you’re not motivated because you didn’t jump straight into a job. The good news is that more and more employers now understand the need to take a break. And in some cases, they see this as an advantage.
There can be some financial risk if you take a break without having another job in place. It may take longer to find a job than you thought. So you need to have some money in the bank so you don’t run into money problems. Always ensure you know your expenses. Have some money set aside to support you in case the job search takes a little longer than planned.
Danger of becoming demotivated
You may end up enjoying your break so much that you find it hard to return to the working world. After working hard for so long in one job, it can be refreshing to enjoy some time to yourself. This isn’t a bad thing. But just be mindful that you may experience the blues when you resume your job search.
Taking a break in between jobs is totally acceptable. And in many cases, extremely beneficial. It can give you more energy and clarity about your career. But we should point out that it’s okay if you don’t feel called to take a break in between jobs. You may be ready and raring to go straight into a new job.
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