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Taking a year out - is it possible to return?
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abcyz · 09/07/2019 14:54

I currently work as an engineer at a consultancy firm. At 18, I did a four year university course. I graduated at 22 then started a job two weeks later, where I stayed for four years. At 26, I left and started a new job, where I retrained and stayed for another four years. I just started my current job around 6 months ago. I currently hold a senior engineer position and I've just turned 30. At no point since leaving University have I ever had more than 3 weeks of work off.

My problem is, I feel completely over it. My passion and drive for something I loved enough to make it my career is gone. I have no energy, I'm tired and I just couldn't care less anymore. I desperately want to get out and a two week holiday isn't enough.

In my spare time, I'm a PADI Divemaster and I'm really considering taking a year out, putting my life here into storage and moving abroad to work in a dive centre. It would be doing something that I don't love as much, but that I know I can do without much mental energy - almost to try and give myself the headspace to fall back in love with engineering.

My problem is - if I take this career break and leave engineering for 12 months, will I be able to come back and get a job again? I'm so worried that I'd give it up for the "gap year" I never had and end up being seem as unemployable. I also don't want to ask for a sabbatical from my current job - I already know that the move here wasn't the right move for me so when I do come back, I wouldn't be looking to come back here.

Has anyone done something similar and come back to the career that they left? Or am I asking the impossible?

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stucknoue · 09/07/2019 16:41

I would suggest looking into unusual and interesting ways to use your skills - you are an engineer, how about working overseas for a non profit? Or taking a position overseas? Ever considered the military even?

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abcyz · 09/07/2019 16:32

Hi Daphine, thanks for your reply! I never thought about it that way - that a year out isn't going to erase 8+ years of career progression.

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daphine2004 · 09/07/2019 14:59

Just read you don’t want to go back there. I haven’t ever come across anyone who is deemed unemployable after having a year out in your circumstances - you’re clearly competent and can demonstrate progression. I think you’ll be fine.

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daphine2004 · 09/07/2019 14:57

Can you apply for a sabbatical at your current place which will cover any gap.

Alternatively, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to take a year out and when you come back you’ll be refreshed and ready to hit it again. Any potential employer will ask and you can just sell it as ‘once in a life time opportunity’ which you couldn’t pass up, particularly as you’d progresses so quickly which demonstrates your ability to continue to do so.

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