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Quitting to take short career break - reasonable or bad idea?

(9 Posts)
Sakura7 Fri 12-Oct-18 15:35:23

As the title says really, I'm in a contract role which my employer intends to make permanent by the end of the year. However, I'm not enjoying the role, I'm pretty much on my own in the office most of the time and the work itself has changed a lot since I started. I was initially covering someone's maternity leave and that role was a good fit for my skills, but the lady has come back now and I've been moved into a different role which I don't feel I excel at or enjoy. There's no possibility of transferring to another department.

I'm mid thirties, worked for 9 years in my previous company and almost 2 years in this one. My area is business analysis (business side rather than techie, I design and produce reports, dashboards, monitor KPIs and things like that).

The main reason I'd like a break is because I feel burnt out. The last few years have been really hard on a personal level with a major relationship break up, dad having a stroke and dementia and being admitted to a nursing home, house move, mum with serious mental illness causing havoc, and doing my masters while working full time. I'm mentally and physically exhausted and just want a few months to recover and think about what I want to do next.

Is it crazy to turn down the permanent role and just take some time out, then start job hunting in a few months time? I may also do some short courses to develop more technical skills while I'm off. My worry is that it seems to be easier to get a job when you're in one, and I don't want to risk taking a big step back career wise.

Anyone here done this and have it work out well (or not)? Any advice gratefully received smile

OP’s posts: |
daisychain01 Sat 13-Oct-18 08:08:34

You could try to secure your new post now in a different company, and if successful, ask them if you can start in the New Year eg February 1st. Then you can enjoy some time out, safe in the knowledge you are already set up with a role to go to.

daisychain01 Sat 13-Oct-18 08:09:53

If you're a BA and have a Masters you'll get snapped up pretty quick, believe me!

Yazoop Sat 13-Oct-18 14:15:06

If you're pretty confident that (a) you can afford to take some time out and cover yourself if your future job search goes on a bit longer than anticipated; and (b) if push comes to shove, you are confident you can get some contracting / temporary work if you need to (which with your skills / background, I'd say shouldn't be an issue), then I don't think it should be an issue.

You have more than enough experience to fall back on, and it isn't very unusual these days and more "accepted" by employers that people may want to take time out for personal reasons, as long as it can be explained in a positive way. Of course, the ideal would be to line up a job with a gap in between, but sometimes you just want a break before even thinking about your next step / job hunting, and that's ok too.

Yazoop Sat 13-Oct-18 14:17:12

BTW, I took some time out myself to take stock and take steps towards a complete career change and it worked out for me! I was lucky to be able to do this, but I think I was facing total burn out if I didn't take a step back.

Sakura7 Sun 14-Oct-18 11:54:32

daisychain01 and Yazoop thanks for your comments.

I think I probably have a bit of an issue knowing my worth when it comes to jobs. My masters is in a general business area and most of the postings for BA roles seems to look for an element of tech experience that I don't have. When I moved jobs a couple of years ago it took a while for me to find something, and that was while employed (though my experience at the time was in quite a niche field which may have had something to do with it).

I do have savings which were earmarked for a house deposit, but we're not ready to get a mortgage yet as OH is currently setting himself up in his own business. It's going pretty well at the moment but I think it needs to be more established before the banks will consider us.

Gut feeling says do it and I'll get a decent job when I'm ready, and the idea of job hunting while off rather than trying to squeeze it in now is appealing. I suppose I just worry about the worst case scenario!

OP’s posts: |
daisychain01 Sun 14-Oct-18 11:59:41

Gut feeling says do it and I'll get a decent job when I'm ready, and the idea of job hunting while off rather than trying to squeeze it in now is appealing.

The reason I suggested securing your new post now, with a mutually agreeable delayed start date is so you don't have to think about work during your break.

You could find you'll eat up a chunk of time and head-space on job searching during your break instead of enjoying the free time.

Yazoop Sun 14-Oct-18 17:45:37

My masters is in a general business area and most of the postings for BA roles seems to look for an element of tech experience that I don't have.

Please don't undersell yourself. My OH works in a techy field (which is very male dominated) and says men will generally apply for a role if they meet around 50% of the requirements stated, and feel they can bluff the rest, whereas women are hesitant to apply unless they pretty much meet all of them. It is a bit of a cliche, but it is true!

Most hiring managers don't expect people to meet all of the specs listed for a role (unless it is for a really specific job), as long as the general experience fits and it is clear you'll learn fast on the job. So if you think you're up for a role, please don't not go for it because there are a couple of things that you don't meet - you could always ring them up and discuss beforehand if you're not sure!

(This is obviously assuming you're a woman, apologies if not!)

Sakura7 Sun 14-Oct-18 18:42:11

Daisychain - it's good advice and I'll certainly consider doing it that way, it's no harm to start applying now anyway to see what kind of reaction I get.

Yazoop, thanks for the encouragement, I definitely believe men are quicker to put themselves forward and bluff over the areas they're not so strong in. I will start applying for a broader range of jobs and see what happens!

OP’s posts: |

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