Starting a Career Break Movement
I know that Beyonce is on a career break. I know this because I have a google alert set up for the term “Career Break” and get an email every day showing me recent activity on the internet which includes the phrase “Career Break”.
[singlepic=1771,400,,,right]Other hotbeds of career break talk on the internet seem to be about mothers (expectant ones and especially those going back to the workforce), people who had a ‘big break’ in their career, and our global neighbors the Brits taking a gap year. It seems that in the UK the idea of a career break is a regular part of their vocabulary. What I’ve learned from my Google alert for ‘career break’ is actors, singers, mothers, and Brits can take them; it’s socially acceptable.
When I started researching the keyword “career break’ for our SEO plan for Briefcase to Backpack I knew we had a hard climb ahead of us. I learned Americans don’t really search for the word…ever. I tried the word ‘sabbatical’ and had a few more hits, but in general Americans don’t consider this extended time off concept really part of their vocabulary.
This made me sad and happy. Sad because as Americans we just don’t get it. There are people all over the world taking a break from their career and employers who support that idea. They find a break rewarding, invigorating, educational, and they actually enjoy going back to their job more productive; but not in America. Sad. However I’m happy because it does show the need for Briefcase to Backpack to exist. It shows there’s an opportunity to bring this concept to overworked and burnt out Americans.
One problem – there’s a need, but the people who need it don’t know about it. How do you get people to search for a phrase that they don’t really think exists? Actually, they know it exists because they follow Beyonce’s career break; but they don’t really think that it exists for them.
How do you get a word to get noticed? How do you create excitement and interest in the word so that people want to type it in Google and search for it to learn more? Sometimes I think reaching world peace would be easier than getting Americans to understand that career breaks are possible. People think taking a career break will ruin their career; little do they know that it’s actually a career maker. Not to mention that odds are you’ll bee a happier person after taking a break from your job. Isn’t that what all of us Americans are searching for – the pursuit of happiness?
Video kindly provided by Chris Christensen from Amateur Traveler Podcast
For the same reason that Beyonce takes a year off from singing and dancing…regular people need career breaks too. Sometimes what you need is to grow your experiences and develop skills outside of the workforce. That can be done thru travel, further education, or longer term volunteering. The key is to get away…whatever your away is.
I know what you’re thinking; we aren’t all rich like Beyonce. However you can make it over the money/mortgage hurdle with a little work and a lot of compromising (I never said it was easy…I just said it was possible)
The second big concern about taking career breaks is that you’ll ruin your career with a big gap in your resume. Do you think that Beyonce worries about ruining her career? Probably not. Why? Because she’s confident. She will take this time off and use it to her advantage to re-energize, get to know herself and her strengths better, try new projects, and determine the path she wants to take when she returns to her career. She doesn’t sit and worry about ever winning a Grammy again because she knows she will win another Grammy.
If you take a career break and look closely at what you have learned and how you can apply it to your career when you return , AND you can confidently sell that experience you gained; then you’ll find a job upon your return. People like people who have confidence. I suppose in Beyonce’s case, people also like a nice bootie.
[singlepic=1772,400,,,left]So when you are ready to finally un-tether your bootie from your desk, or you’ve reached a plateau, or you are jealous of the other countries that seem to get endless vacation, or you simply are burned out; then type in these two words “career break”. You might just find out that there is a whole world of websites and articles there to help you realize you aren’t alone. You’ll learn the words “career break” exist for more than movie stars, musicians, Brits, and moms.
You may even find Briefcase to Backpack. I hope you do.