The taboo word in the 90s: Career Break. Women, especially felt at a disadvantage, if they had to take a break due to family commitment. Men…well they couldn’t even think it and if they did, the fear of not being able to get back to the career or lose out on it, was so immense that it was ‘unthinkable’.
Career break was a stigma, that no professional wanted to their CV…
World, however, has changed since then… Welcome to the brave 2000s… where ‘sabbatical’ is not that a ‘dirty word’. In fact, it is often seen as being mindful, having a work-life balance, being sorted, having clarity etc.
Nonetheless, the corporate world remains a harsh territory and it depend on who is sitting opposite you when you decide to get back, that will make all the difference in the comeback inning. The reason for the break, can be caregiving to someone in the family or dealing with some personal loss or some life confusion or mental health challenge or any other personal need; it is still looked down upon in few industries and most importantly, by people who navigate these companies.
A career ‘sabbatical’, (I choose to call it a sabbatical because a break sound so detrimental, negative almost) can be a very empowering space, if it’s been planned mindfully and understating what made it necessary, how it impacted you, if it made you stronger, wiser taking you from good to great.
A career break does not mean a break from growth, if anything, a thought-through sabbatical adds to the personality, as you get the opportunity to explore your unexplored potential. You may not be working, however, did you stop learning? Be prepared, think of things that you have done during the period and document them, are these transferable skills? Be prepared to talk about them once you are headed back into the corporate world.
If the sabbatical was not thought through and if the comeback is also not thought through then navigating back into the career can be challenging.
Find your tribe, people who are your cheerleader, who understand and support you and encourage your ambitions. Stay connected with them friends, family, colleagues, and if you don’t have someone then seek a mentor or transition coach, who can support you in your comeback period. Own your personal story, as it takes courage to do it. What did it do for you, how did it make you stronger and what have you learnt that you can contribute to add value in your new role.
Revisit your career, research it in detail, learn, if new skills are needed, Make Udemy and Coursera your friend and upskills to meet the new expectations from the role. Learn, learn, learn to ensure that you are the 2.0 version of yourself.
Lastly, when you plan the comeback, be prepared to take some cuts and compromise, You were not afraid to walk away, now be courageous to walk back in. Keep the ego and social expectations aside and focus on what can recharge your career in the second inning. Be flexible and adaptable, focus in creating your future.
In a nutshell;
- Know why you took the break and how it added to you as a professional
- Convert the skills you learnt during the sabbatical, into professional skills
- Own your story, be honest about it
- Be flexible and adaptable
About the author:
Ms. Nidhi Sharma: Your Growth Accelerator, who turns your Spark into a Fire”She believes we are all meant for greatness if only we can understand our infinite potential and know that our efforts make our life from ‘Good to Great’. She has…
▪︎Counducted over 450+ Trainings
▪︎Trained over 1000 people
▪︎Has worked with over 50 organisations
▪︎Has counselled and coached 200+ People
▪︎Her forte is behavioural transformation, personal development & Growth mindset