Got some gaps in your CV? Is it ok to take time out for a professional break?
When I'm working with clients, many get concerned about gaps in their career. I often hear ‘It looks like I haven’t done anything’. ‘Why will anyone want me? I had a break!’
More often than not, there’s many reasons (and good reasons) behind these breaks.... travel, study, family, caring, illness etc (or maybe even stood down during a pandemic). These are often not noted and regretfully admitted in a professional setting yet make up a large portion of what makes us who we are.
My own career journey was somewhat discontinuous. I moved interstate twice without having jobs lined up. I had children and spent time at home to raise them. I travelled the country for 3.5 months and took other extended family adventures. I sat on boards and committees of different timeframes.
Would I change it? Absolutely not. These experiences add significant value to the work I do.
Providing you're relevant and current, it’s ok to proudly share your life experiences in place of professional experience (within reason of course!)
Time out (like much of what we’ve experienced in lockdown) allows us to stop and view the world around us. It gives us insights and perspectives we perhaps wouldn’t normally be exposed to.
Time out allows us to connect with people and places we may not otherwise. It enables us to expand our understanding of the functioning (or dysfunction) within our community and environment.
Time out allows us simply to experience life... to be human and rediscover ourselves, who we are and what’s important to us.
When you next review your CV (or maybe even your Board CV) ask yourself... What did I learn from my time out? How did it change me? How did it change my view of the world?