Once you’ve decided to take a break from your career you no longer have to worry about what to tell your supervisor or your loved ones. The decision has been made. The wait is over.
So what Now?
Some have a detailed plan or a specific goal when they leave their jobs. That’s okay. But some might not know where to go from here. That’s okay too.
If you’re struggling to find purpose or stay motivated while you’re on a career break, you’re not alone. Here are a few steps you can take to increase your motivation, sense of fulfillment and overall happiness.
- Pen down your goals.
Take a moment to write down the goals you might have for your career break.
- Why are you taking a break?
- What do you hope to gain or accomplish?
These goals do not have to be highly specific, but they do have to give you a sense of purpose. This step is highly important, even if you do not plan to return to work. Without goals, you risk playing a passive role in your own life. Don’t be afraid to create multiple goals for yourself. Your ideas for what you want to accomplish don’t have to be extremely clear. On a personal level you may want to decrease your level of stress. You may need to take care of your family. If you are looking to switch career paths, your goal might be to find an alternate career.
- Create an Objective.
Let’s begin with one of the examples mentioned above: decreasing your level of stress. At first glance, the method seems pretty obvious. You avoid the things that cause you worry or anxiety, one of which might have even been your job. But how can you actively decrease your level of stress? You might try learning a new skill that has always interested you, such as yoga. If you’re on a tight budget or want to start with something smaller, consider going for a walk every day.
If you plan to change your career path, your objectives will look somewhat different. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What does it take to become successful in your chosen career?
- What skills of your own can you improve?
- What skills does the career require?
- Where and how do you start?
- Go easy on yourself.
If you are a mother or you have a busy home life, downtime may feel like an unaffordable luxury. However, taking some time for yourself may increase your productivity and help you maintain your motivation. Try a five-minute stretch break that can be repeated multiple times throughout the day. Or, try waking up a little early two or three times a week to stretch, walk, read or meditate. If you have a little more time to spare, consider volunteering or taking up a fun, part-time job. A small change in your everyday life can have a dramatic effect on your overall health and happiness.