Career Corner: It’s Okay to Take a Career Break, But Have a Plan for Your Return

Working a maze

There are many legitimate reasons to take an extended break from your job. Illness, to care for children or an elderly parent, or even just feeling burnt out. Many people are afraid to do what is best for them, though. It has been ingrained that there is a dramatic stigma against employment gaps on your resume.

Per the Wall Street Journal, there is nothing wrong with taking a career break. But the key to not letting it turn into a rut is to start setting the gears in motion for your return before you start applying again.

One method the article suggests to accomplish this is to continue to put out feelers for connections.

If one of your acquaintances has experience in a field that interests you after your break is over, now is the time to ask them if they have time to chat. At this phase, you are not asking them to try and help you get a job, but simply gaining more information about the field, and what companies related to it are in the area.

Another good method to start learning what is out there for when you are ready is to revise your LinkedIn profile accordingly.

If you state that you are looking for work in a specific new field, you will start getting noticed by recruiters in that industry. That is an opportunity to start chatting and learning what they are looking for and what types of roles they think you would be suited for when the time comes.

Just because you are putting your career on the backburner, for the time being, does not mean you should totally ignore it. Even while prioritizing your personal life, you can still start setting the stage to smooth your transition back into work when you are ready.

To help prepare even more for any career break you have planned, be sure to read the Wall Street Journal article here.


Career reentry expert Carol Fishman Cohen talks about her own experience as a 40-year-old intern, her work championing the success of “relaunchers” and how employers are changing how they engage with return-to-work talent.


Wilmington University, the sponsor of VISTA Today — Career Corner, is a private, open-access institution that serves more than 20,000 adults, including those seeking advancement through higher education and traditional-age students who aspire to become successful global citizens.

One of the most affordable private universities in the Delaware Valley, WilmU is committed to the idea that finishing an undergraduate degree or obtaining a master’s or doctoral degree can be affordable and accessible.

The University offers over 200 accredited and career-relevant degree and certificate programs in flexible online and hybrid formats designed to accommodate adults of all ages who work full- or part-time or juggle demanding career, family, and personal schedules.

Learn more about WilmU here or register to attend one of the University’s webinars. You will find information about academic programs, flexible scheduling options, tuition, admissions, student services, athletics, and more.

Connect With Your Community

Subscribe to stay informed!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.