Career Break definition

A career break is an agreed period of time off from employment, either for familial reasons or for personal or professional development. Career breaks are typically between one month and two years, although some people will initially commit to shorter breaks – for example a month – so they can try out new activities and see if they enjoy them before committing to a longer period of time.

Career breaks, sometimes called the ‘adult gap year,’ have grown in popularity in recent years as employees attempt to create a better work-life balance. There are many reasons why people opt for a career break, including voluntary work, travel or backpacking, training and development, care of relatives or children and paid work abroad.

A related term is sabbatical. Some use the terms interchangeably although a sabbatical traditionally has religious overtones; in its strictest sense a sabbatical lasts 12 months, drawn from passages in the bible where agricultural workers have to stop working in the fields for a year.


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