It isn’t uncommon for people to want to take a break from their careers. The work pressure, needing to delve into a business partnership or entrepreneurship to explore other options, as well as a spiritual journey and even medical or parental leave, could be reasons for a career sabbatical.

Taking a break from one’s career can play and integral role in self-growth. Previously, listing a career sabbatical on your resume might not have been applauded, but given the tough few years we have experienced due to Covid-19, a career sabbatical is understandable.

Whether the career break was embraced spontaneously or with due the research, getting back into the groove of things after some time might come with its challenges. Getting back to work with the new working order as well as other potentially new technologies might be the reason for us to feel out of place.

In South Africa employees can potentially take time of their careers to embark on a spiritual journey this means going to a place of seclusion to embrace the calling of their ancestors. As a result, the employee might return to work or might take the break indefinitely, either way a conversation around the employees career break will be helpful for them.

However, as much as there is an encouraging call for career breaks to be accepted int he working world there are also a few obstacles that must be overcome before a staff member can re-join the workplace journey. It is crucial that the correct steps are taken to head back into the corporate world.

Here are a few ways to plan your return: 

  • Give yourself a chance to come up with a vision. It is important to set clear and concise goals for your return. Know exactly what you want and how you will go about achieving it. If you are returning to an existing job, you might find the team might have learnt to work without you and this might make you feel out of place. But re-join the force with a clear vision of self-awareness. Use your strengths and capabilities to transform the workplace. Reconnect with the elements that made what you do rewarding and fruitful. Try not to let the new team or group of people intermediate you.


  • If you are starting fresh then don’t hesitate to explain the gap in your resume. Be vocal about what happened in your life in an interview. Employers admire honesty and truthfulness. Whether you spent the time recovering from a messy divorce to accepting the call to spirituality, explaining the gap can be significant in helping you join a new work space.


  • Reflect on the past. Take some time out and look at your past work and analyse what you hated about work life then and avoid making the same mistakes. Besides looking at what you disliked also look at what you liked. This way you are able to allow for flexibility and open mindedness.


  • Preparation is key. Don’t prepare today to re-join the work world tomorrow. Give yourself time to conduct research and evaluate what needs to be done to get back into the work world. Whether it’s updating the resume or even just updating LinkedIn, it requires preparation. Research the companies you are applying to and prepare for the job you want to have there. Research the requirements and work at improving your skill sets to land that job.

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