If you can’t take a sab­bat­i­cal now…

CLEO (Singapore) - - ADULTING -

If your com­pany won’t grant you a sab­bat­i­cal but you’re in dire need of a break, maybe con­sider going on a ca­reer break. Sure, un­em­ploy­ment is scary, but if you know ex­actly how you’ll be making use of your time, the “adult gap year” can be very ful­fill­ing. Which is ex­actly what Sheila Mel­bye, 34, found out.

“I was 30 when I took a ca­reer break. It wasn’t a con­scious de­ci­sion and at first it was only sup­posed to be a short hol­i­day from work, but that trip just led to more trips. It was how­ever a very wel­comed break and it gave me the time to think about what a ‘ca­reer’ means to me.

My ca­reer break lasted a year and I think it’s a good idea if you have the fi­nan­cial means for it. At times, it can af­fect you when other peo­ple call you ‘job­less’, and some­times your wal­let feels the pinch. But the year away helped put into per­spec­tive what I want out of my life and my ca­reer. It’s a lib­er­at­ing ex­pe­ri­ence as now I don’t feel the need to live up to what society de­fines as suc­cess­ful.” Af­ter a year of ad­ven­tures, she re­turned to the work­force with a new role in a sim­i­lar in­dus­try.

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