Career Advice

Taking a Career Break at 30: 7 Things to Consider to Avoid Mistakes

An increasing number of working adults are taking some time off from work. Taking a break for maternity leave is normal, but now there are several reasons people take a career break at 30.

In reaction to this current trend, I ask you this question: Is it good to have a career break? For most of you, the answer is yes. Nevertheless, you’ll need to carefully consider if and when a career break is perfect for you.

It is important to have a solid plan before, during, or after your career break. Then, it has the potential to be a rewarding experience for you.

Let me provide a clear direction to put you on the way to a successful career break. Read on for my tips on things you need to consider to prevent expensive mistakes.

First, What’s a Career Break?

A career break is a period out of the workforce or away from a regular business area, either on family grounds or for individual or professional training or development. It is popularly called the “adult gap year.”

At times, you might take a career break, either due to a lay-off or other duties, such as taking care of your young children or senior relations. Don’t worry if it is forced on you. Just follow a plan and turn it into a positive experience.

Career breaks are usually between one month and one year. However, some individuals will take brief breaks at first- for instance, three weeks. During this period, they can try new activities and see if they like them before devoting a longer period. A career break is an opportunity to expand your view, see new places, and search for new and better avenues.

Another term for a career break is a sabbatical. These terms are used interchangeably, although a sabbatical has religious overtones. Individuals sometimes take a year off to refresh their knowledge, skills, and experience.

How Many People Take Career Breaks?

Career breaks are beginning to become the norm. According to a survey carried out by LinkedIn, 60% of all workers worldwide have taken a career break, and over 64% of female employees have done so.

I know you are likely to associate career breaks with either female employees who leave work for childbirth and to care for children or those who travel the world for a year.

However, there are countless reasons workers take time off, such as mental health reasons (14%), medical reasons (17%), and parental leave (22%). In addition, taking care of aged parents with health issues is one of the cited reasons by workers.

What Are the Signs You Need a Career Break?

In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.– Warren Buffet

You may already sense that you need a break. Still, you aren’t sure if it’s the right thing to do.

I suggest taking a career break if the following statements apply to you:

  • You feel sick at the idea of going to work.
  • You don’t like your job.
  • You don’t see any future in your present career.
  • You make mistakes and don’t care about the repercussions.
  • You lose concentration at work.
  • There’s no balance between work and family life.
  • You work in a hostile workplace.
  • There is no enthusiasm for your work.
  • You have no sense of personal fulfillment related to the job.

What Are 7 Things to Consider Before Taking a Career break at 30?

A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm! – Charles Schwab

The following are some of the factors that you should consider before and after your career break:


Plan and save money for your monthly expenses during your time off from work. 

The amount of money you need to reserve depends on your monthly expenses, the duration of your career break, the monthly home expenses or unforeseen needs, and other variables influence the amount you need to reserve in your savings account.

Set aside more than you planned because the future has its surprises and uncertainties, so you might need money for anything.

Your Goal and Purpose

Before taking a career break, ask yourself these questions: Why are you taking a career break at 30? How long will you spend on your career break? What do you want to accomplish and how much money do you need to achieve your objective?

You should come up with solid answers to these questions to make the most of your time off. Have a goal and have all the plans prepared to carry them out.

For example, you may want to travel to new places around the world. Then, develop a list of destinations, your financial strategies, and all the ways through which you can execute this goal.

Your dependents

Inform your dependents about your decision to take a career break. If you have dependents who are currently financially reliant on you, your decision will affect them in a big way.

Your challenges

Most people who have decided to take time off work face several financial challenges. You can encounter challenges at work apart from financial constraints. Point out challenges that you are going to encounter in the future.

Let me be clear, there are some challenges that cannot be averted and some that can be managed or solved entirely. Have a careful look into your personal life and note the challenges if you are going to have a career break.

Your network

In the present world of employment, your network will assist you to continue in your profession. Your company’s network will assist you in keeping in touch with the news concerning your work and company.

Make sure you keep updated with news from the management and ponder the idea of learning about work during your break. According to Porter Gale, a renowned publisher, your network is your net worth.

Career gaps

When you apply for job openings after your career break, the first critical question will concern your career gap. What will you tell prospective employers?

You can turn your career break into a positive by frankly outlining what you have gained from your time off and what you have accomplished.

It’s important to angle that into how the break has prepared you for what you do or want to do. For instance, employers like to know why you left a job and why you are looking for a new one.

Your skills

It is good to develop your skillset during a career break because failure to do so will make it hard for you to get a job again.

I recommend these methods for improving yourself: online education, workshops, and seminars. These opportunities will allow you to pinpoint your career goals and how do you come up with a plan for achieving them.

What Are Some Valid Reasons for a Career Break at 30?

There are several benefits to taking some time off work to improve yourself. Let’s dig a bit deeper into the valid reasons for career breaks.

Have a new outlook on life

A career break can help you see life from a different perspective and provide you with the necessary break from your work life. It is often easy to become so engrossed in work that you miss out on unbelievable opportunities.

For example, you can continue for years without changing lines of work or organizations when, actually, change can be a great thing.

After a few months of thinking, you may find that you want to change your direction, apply for senior positions, take time out of your usual work schedule, or even go back to your previous company.

You’ve taken time to consider your personal life and better alternatives and know what you really need to do with your life.

Increase your skillset

If you want to increase your skillset, that’s another great reason for taking a career break at 30.

With free time at your disposal, you can devote your efforts to learning, training, or acquiring new qualifications.

You can utilize your break to improve yourself and open avenues to new job opportunities, either through higher education courses, online learning or volunteer programs.

Have quality time with your family and friends

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial to leading a successful life. Family harmony is essential to attaining this. So, use some of the time off to connect with those you love.

Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you- Tony Heisch

Rethink your career goals

You may find yourself in a never-ending work routine, experiencing stagnant growth and losing interest in your daily activities. This is an obvious sign that you should re-examine and re-channel your career plans.

During a career break, I recommend that you focus on where you want to be and how to get there from a personal and career perspective.

Taking a Career Break for Mental Health

Taking a career break for mental health reasons is very popular. Your work life can hurt your mental health, resulting in fatigue, tiredness, sleeping disorders, and more serious problems.

It is important to note that well-being should be your utmost priority over hefty wages or a fancy job position. Sometimes, a weekend off or a weeklong vacation aren’t enough.

Career breaks provide a recess from the stress of work and provide you with time to rejuvenate, recover your motivation, and get back to work with a better mindset.

Consider taking a long trip to reconnect with nature or old friends.

Will a Career Break Damage my Career?

You’re thinking of taking a career break and going around the world to explore the world. Adventure is a lovely thing to experience. New encounters are waiting for you. However, there is this little voice in you telling you it’s a mistake with negative thoughts such as:

  • You’ll be destroying your career and everything you’ve worked hard for.
  • It’s irresponsible not to earn a paycheck.
  • It is going to cost you a lot of money.
  • It is already too late for this. You should have done it immediately after college.

Whether you want to backpack across Europe or go on a month-long yoga retreat, taking an extended break can help you recharge for a new career or job search.

Will You Regret Taking a Career Break?

Are you afraid a break will ruin your career? Or do you regret taking a career break in the past? I want to tell you it could do the total opposite?

A well-planned career break will not damage your career. Actually, it can be a wonderful opportunity and the biggest leap for your professional future.

Read More:

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.