When and How To Take A Career Pause

When and How To Take A Career Pause

A Career Pause: When and How to Take It


As I write this the UK, and most of the world, is on lock down. You may be in the middle of an enforced career pause. You may be working from home, but without the commute are finding more time to think about your direction in life.

Alternatively, as a key worker, you may still be at work, but questioning whether this is something you want to continue after the crisis has passed. You could just as equally be a young person or student, unsure of what the Covid 19 crisis means for your future, or a self-employed person who has realised that they need to look at earning their living in way that can be done online.

You could just as easily be reading this once the crisis has passed, and wondering if a Career Pause is what you need. I believe that a holiday, or break, from work can be useful thinking time at the best of times. However, it can be particularly helpful to take a career pause if you are feeling any of the following:

  • A sense that something isn’t right with you life – it doesn’t necessarily have to be your job, but exploring this will at least allow you to tick that off the list
  • Obvious feelings that you hate your job, workplace or career. Remember, taking a career pause doesn’t have to mean that you have to shift to a whole new vocation. It could just be that your current workplace isn’t right for you
  • Unmotivated or bored in your work. Again, this could be workplace issues too, but a career pause will help us work out if that is so
  • A dawning that this direction is not going to offer you what you need, whether that’s money, prestige, work/life balance
  • a sense of uncertainty after being made redundant or seeing your job melt away in front of your eyes, as is now happening in the travel industry.

How do you take a career pause?

Ideally, taking a period time, even as brief as a few days. away from your current work would enable you to follow the Career Pause process I will be taking you through. If you have longer, then that’s ideal.  Having some distance will allow you to be more objective in your answers to the exercises I will be sharing.

It’s not absolutely vital however. If you’re working full time you just need to make a little more effort. Start by thinking about when would be a good time to schedule regular sessions to conduct your Career Pause. Some of my clients get up extra early in the morning and ponder over a good coffee before work; others set aside a Saturday morning to get the work done. Of course, it takes longer this way, but we work with what we have, don’t we?

What you can expect?

  • Some challenging questioning
  • Exercises to get you thinking about your whole life, not just your career
  • More self-awareness
  • A thorough dissection of your current direction and whether that that is going to fulfill your needs and desires
  • Ideas and insights on what to do next

Just search for the blogs tagged Career Pause to follow this series, or contact me if you would like to do this in person.



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