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6 Things to Consider When Taking a Job Hiatus

A friend of mine recently made an announcement on her Facebook page: after several years of climbing the ladder in publishing, she’s decided to take some time off to pursue other things — travel, writing, maybe an advanced degree.

While her decision may seem like something only a recent grad would have the flexibility to do, taking a break to find a new direction is more common than you may think. It’s not the kind of decision to be taken lightly, however, so keep the following things in mind.

  1. Check your finances: Examine your financial situation to determine if you have the flexibility to take time away from work, and, if so, how long you can afford to be away. If you need to, consider a part-time or freelance job during your hiatus.
  2. Think about who your decision affects: Chances are, you’re not the only person your decision will be impacting. Talk the decision over with your spouse, family, or housemates, and be ready to adjust your plan based on their input.

To see four more crucial things to consider if a hiatus is in your future, just


  1. Be prepared to make sacrifices: Whether you decide to work part-time during your hiatus or not at all, you’re probably going to have to make some cuts to your expenditures. Before you make the decision to take time off, think about whether you’re willing to cut back, and if so, where.
  2. Set goals for your time off: What you don’t want is for your hiatus to become one long Summer vacation. Think about what you want to accomplish during your time off, and set mini goals for yourself. Do you want to take classes toward another degree? See at least three different countries?
  3. Set an end date: In the same vein, you don’t want your hiatus to stretch out ahead of you indefinitely — and you probably can’t afford for it to. Set a date when you’ll resume working full-time again, which could be in a year, or in six weeks.
  4. Prepare yourself for re-entering the workplace: Whether you plan on returning to your current field or starting a new career, you’ll need to explain the gap on your resume. Doing volunteer work or coursework during your hiatus will give you something to show for your time away and smooth your transition back to full-time work.
Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
I am doing this :) I got laid off in April and the job market here SUCKS. So I decided to re-do my budget...make it more strict, and just enjoy the summer while getting my E.I. Of course I am still looking and applying for jobs, but I am being picky - I don't another shitty job with shitty pay :)
jelibeann jelibeann 8 years
i would love to get into this more - my husband and i are planning to move out of state in about a year...we plan to quit our jobs at the end of 2009 and do some traveling for the first half of 2010 before we move (we both have the opportunity to make some money during this time, that will allow us to travel and cover our living expenses), find new jobs and settle in...we feel pretty comfortable with the fact that we both have the types of jobs that won't be too affected by the 6-month hiatus...we know it might not be the smartest idea to quit stable jobs that we've both had for a while now, but we neither of us can continue our jobs long distance, so it's really our only option if we want to get out of the area we're in now...and we know it will only get harder to leave, the longer we wait anyone have any experience with this? especially the guilt of having to tell the same boss you've had since you graduated college, who relies on you a ton and has no idea you have been planning to drop this bomb in a few months?
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