9 Productive Ways to Spend Your Career Break

You may be considering a career break for medical issues, family care, burnout, or another reason. This mini vacation can also be the beginning of a more productive and rewarding professional or personal journey.


While you may have temporarily hung your boots, you can also step forward to engage in activities that open your mind and help you rejuvenate at the same time. It’s an opportunity to invest in yourself in a way you probably didn’t get to do while on the job. So, make the best use of your career break. We’ve outlined nine ways to be productive during your time of leisure. Sit back, relax, and read on!

1. Pick up a hobby

Once we start working, we often miss the things we love to do because of lack of time. Well, a break from formal work gives you a chance to either take up a new hobby or dust off an old one.

For instance, you could start baking, sewing, or knitting once again. Maybe you once collected coins or stamps or found gardening therapeutic. Perhaps that chess board game that you packed away into your cupboard a long time ago wants to know your next move. You may have been one of those people who would have never missed a chance to go trekking and cycling with your friends. Rekindle those passions with this gift of time.

Or maybe you just want to learn a new hobby like photography or Photoshop. There is a wide range of learning options out there, so make the most of your time and resources.

Picking up where you left off or pursuing a new hobby can be refreshing and become an opportunity to explore your talents.

2. Learn something new

Learning and mastering new skills will give you the chance to discover a side of your personality you never knew existed. By picking up a new language or sport or learning to play a musical instrument, you could acquire a new mindset or perspective.

Stimulating your brain in new ways can help establish new neural pathways that spur creativity, ideation, and yes, that fight boredom too.

3. Take a vacation, travel!

Remember that exotic travel destination that you one day plan to visit, probably after you retire? Well, why not catch up on it now?


Travel will not only help you relax but also give you the chance to broaden your world view and experience new cultures.

One of the best things about travelling is that you get to enhance your food palate. You learn more about local recipes, appreciate unique methods of cooking, and the culture blended in each dish. This opens your mind to think from a unique vantage point that you may have not considered before.

4. Work abroad

If you feel like you want to do more than simply take a vacation, take up a job abroad. This could be seasonal work or even volunteering with an NGO. It will give you a chance to add to your repertoire of skills, experience unusual customs and interact with people from new cultures.

Jobs like teaching English abroad or becoming an au pair are just some options. You could also get a working holiday visa so you have the flexibility to hold different jobs like working in a bar or picking fruit in an orchard. There are numerous possibilities waiting to be explored. All you have to do is look.

5. Pick up a book, or two

Most successful people will tell you that they read voraciously. Exposure to new scientific theories or management philosophies can help keep your brain sharp.

So, don’t let your mind be idle while on a break. If you didn’t get the time to read while working, now you can devour as many books as you wish. Select from a wide range of genres and formats including poetry, fiction, biographies, or audio books.

You could even use books as a learning option when you want to build a new skill. You can better focus on developing a new skill than when your attention was divided at work, which takes us to our next point.

6. Upgrade your skills


Since you are on a break, you get the chance to evaluate and upgrade your skills. This gives you a competitive edge when you return to full-time work. Some of the skills to polish include better understanding the newest software in your industry, picking up marketing or advertising techniques, or even polishing your written and verbal communication skills.

Learning something that is work-related while on a break might seem a bit counterproductive. We suggest picking a learning option that best suits you – an online course or a video tutorial, a podcast or even classroom learning. There are thousands of options – an easy way to learn more is to check out our website. We have learning options that you can filter and compare. Learning is a lifelong experience that will help you stay one step ahead of the competition, so don’t miss out.

7. Start a business

You may have always dreamt of starting your own business. But, over the years, that dream may have faded away due to responsibilities or lack of financial capital. But now that you have some time on your hands, you can revisit it. In today’s world of evolving technology and social media, starting up is easier than ever.

Turning to entrepreneurship will give you a chance to get out of your routine. You get to look at the world of business from a different perspective. This experience will also add many more skills to your portfolio. And then, if your business takes off, you might just have a new career!


8. Keep in touch


It is important that during your sabbatical you do not lose touch with people in your network and the trends in your industry. Even though you are on a break, you should continue to socialize with former colleagues and friends or even make new acquaintances.

And, finally!

9. Look for new opportunities

Implement and make use of the new skills learned during this period. This will not only help you grow professionally but also give a boost to your confidence when you finally get back to your work life.

Getting back into the corporate lifestyle after a break can be difficult, but not impossible. As you approach the end of your sabbatical, you should start looking for new opportunities, perhaps different from the work you did earlier.

Going on a career break can be an amazing experience. It all depends on how you choose to spend this time. Make it profitable and exciting. You won’t regret it.