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.



Montgomery County Community College, the sponsor of MONTCO.Today’s Career Corner offers more than 100 associate’s degree and certificate programs at the college’s Blue Bell, Pottstown, The Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale campuses, and online.

Funded by Montgomery County, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and student tuition, Montgomery County Community college offers a high-quality, affordable, accessible education that leads to relevant, rewarding transfer and career opportunities.

Take advantage of all the College has to offer — from challenging educational and professional development opportunities to stimulating activities and cultural programs. Their doors are always open.

Learn more about the College’s degrees and programs or plan an in-person visit to get a firsthand look at the College’s state-of-the-art facilities and friendly campus life. 

Montco Momentum For All!

Stay Connected, Stay Informed

Subscribe for great stories in your community!

"*" indicates required fields

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