How long is a Career Break?

A career break can typically range from anything between 1 month and 3 years, as anything that is shorter than 1 month may be viewed as just a glorified holiday, and longer than 3 years, you will probably have too much fun and will simply never return! There are a few things that make a career break unique from gap years and extended holidays. Firstly, as the name suggests, you should have a career that you are taking a break from.

The length of an individuals career break can be influenced by a range of factors and it is always worth considering these before taking the plunge and disappearing over the horizon on your own adventure.

Cambodia Building Project
Cambodia Building Project


It is always possible to take a career break if you do not have huge amounts of money already saved up to help fund your adventure. There are steps that can be taken to ensure that you can still embark on a fulfilling journey without breaking the bank.

It is always a good idea to make some savings towards taking your career break. This may take some time, but it is never too early to start saving and planning. Some people start their planning and saving for many years before actually setting off on their career break travels; this may involve changing a few of your inherent spending habits to accommodate your career break aims, but by making sure you have your priorities sorted reaching your target will happen.

For those who have itchy feet and just cannot wait to get away, but have not quite reached their target budget, there is always paid work options overseas which can be part of your career break adventure.


Safety is a valid concern when planning your career break travels, and is always something you should take into account. If you do your research into your chosen destinations, then you will find lots of reviews and tips on how to stay safe, and in many cases the destination only becomes dangerous when people put themselves in dangerous situations. There are useful websites out there that provide up-to-date information on safety and security in different countries, such as the FCO (Foreign Commonwealth Office).


Many people, and understandably so, do not want to leave their family for an extended period of time, especially those with young children and teenagers who are still dependant. This however should not influence your decision to take a career break, as there are always opportunities for you to take your family with you on your career break travels, and what better way to bond with your family, then sharing the experience of a lifetime with them!

Family Trip in India
Family Volunteer Experience in India

Future career prospects

Despite popular myths about career breaks, taking a long break from your working life and embarking on an extended trip overseas does not amount to career suicide. The truth of the matter is that it will even help your career and your future prospects. As you travel you will build skills and learn from your experiences that will directly benefit your CV / resume, and will give you the opportunity to refocus your future efforts as you evaluate your career so far, build bridges and develop international relationships.

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