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Why Wearing Your Career Break as a Badge of Honour Will Help You Find the Right Company

Taking a career break can be one of the most transformative experiences of your life. Whether you took time off to travel, care for a family member (or yourself), pursue further education, or simply recharge, that period away from the traditional work environment is valuable.


However, that very same career break can make it difficult for you to Return to Work, and we are often advised to down play it.


Yet from our experience, it is crucial that you wear your career break as a badge of honour. Here’s why doing so will help you find the right company for your next chapter.


The Power of Owning Your Story

lady in a white kayak on a steel blue ocean, with paddle resting across the front of the kayak, enjoying a view of summer mountains.

When you own your career break and present it confidently, you send a strong message to potential employers: you value your personal growth and the diverse experiences that come with it. This confidence not only boosts your own morale but also sets you apart as a candidate who knows their worth and isn’t afraid to take risks for the sake of personal and professional development.


A Filter for the Right Culture

By embracing your career break, you create a natural filter for identifying companies that align with your values. The right company will see your break as a testament to your resilience, adaptability, and commitment to self-improvement (forced or optional!). They will welcome you with open arms, appreciating the unique perspectives and skills you bring to the table.


Conversely, companies that view your career break as a negative mark on your resume will not be the best fit for you. These organisations might have a rigid view of career paths, a lack of flexibility, and undervalue personal growth.


If they reject your application based on your break, consider it a blessing in disguise. It saves you from potentially joining a company that doesn’t respect your journey or align with your values.


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Leveraging Your Break in Interviews

When discussing your career break during interviews, focus on what you learned and how it has prepared you for this new role. Perhaps you developed new skills, gained fresh perspectives, or discovered passions you’re eager to bring into your next job.


Highlighting these aspects shows prospective employers that, regardless of the reason, your time away was an investment in your future career, making you a more well-rounded and insightful candidate.


For example, if you took time for family, discuss the emotional intelligence and time-management skills you honed. If you travelled, talk about how navigating different cultures enhanced your communication skills and adaptability, or if you pursued further education, emphasise your commitment to continuous learning.


Attracting Employers Who Value Growth

Companies that appreciate career breaks often have a progressive mindset. They value employees who take initiative, embrace change, and prioritise personal development. These organisations are more likely to offer a supportive environment, opportunities for growth, and a healthy work-life balance.


When you encounter such companies, you’ll notice the difference in how they respond to your story. They’ll ask insightful questions about your experiences and express genuine interest in how your break has shaped you. These are the companies where you can thrive, knowing that your journey is respected and your potential is recognised.


daughter combing elderly mother's hair

Turning Rejections into Redirections

It’s important to remember that not every rejection is a loss. When a company rejects your application because of your career break, it’s a clear indicator that they might not be the right fit for you. Instead of viewing it as a setback, see it as a redirection towards a better opportunity.


The right job at the right company will value your career break and what it signifies. They’ll see it as an asset, not a liability. And when you find that company, you’ll know that you’re stepping into a role where you can truly excel and be appreciated for who you are and the journey you’ve taken.


Conclusion

Your career break is a significant part of your story. By wearing it as a badge of honour, you attract the right kind of employers—those who value personal growth, adaptability, and the unique perspectives you bring.


Remember, the companies that don’t appreciate your career break are simply not the right fit for you. Embrace your journey, stand tall, and let your career break guide you to a workplace where you are truly valued and can flourish.


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