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[Commentary] Gary Clark on how to make a career break “Confidence boosting, not confidence busting”

Gary Clark, talks about 5 Ways to “Make a career break confidence boosting, not confidence busting.” Data shows that in the last two years alone, 88% of… View Article


[Commentary] Gary Clark on how to make a career break “Confidence boosting, not confidence busting”

Gary Clark, talks about 5 Ways to “Make a career break confidence boosting, not confidence busting.”

Data shows that in the last two years alone, 88% of employees have experienced burnout from their work. So, when you notice your motivation for your job has decreased, what can you do to boost yourself back up?

Gary Clark, gap year course expert and Academy Director at SIA Austria, says: “If you’re finding that your confidence has been dwindling recently, then a career break might be exactly what you need. Drop the day-to-day mundanity for a bit of excitement that pushes you out of your comfort zone and brings out a side of you that you didn’t know you had.”

1. Break the burnout with a change of scenery

Whether you’re travelling or looking to spend more time with your family, taking a career break can be essential to stop you from burning out. Burnout symptoms can include a lack of motivation and confidence. This dwindling confidence can affect your professional and personal life, and it can often be challenging to regain your self-belief. Spending time away from your job can help reduce the risk of burnout, meaning you can boost your confidence again.

Gary Clark says: “Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your mental health and confidence is to walk away for a bit. By spending time treating your burnout, you can go back to work with fresh motivation and self-belief; choosing to take a break can mean you can continue to provide the same great work.”

Sometimes, a change of scenery is really all you need. Shaking up your environment and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can help you take a step back from the work stress and step into a new version of yourself. Exploring new environments and shaking up the scenery can help you build confidence in all conditions – making sure you feel empowered, whether you’re climbing a snow-covered hill or on a business call.

2. Developing new skills

Another way to boost your confidence during your career break is to ensure you do something you love and discover yourself through the process. Whether you’re taking a skiing job in France or starting a language course, there are plenty of activities you can try out during your time off. From exploring your hobby to finding a new career, by spending time trying new things, you’ll be able to learn skills you didn’t have before. Developing these new skills can help boost your confidence as you head back to work – whether transitioning into a new career you’re more suited for or simply showing off in your professional setting.

Gary Clark says: “There are plenty of exciting experiences to explore when taking time off work. By spending time doing something you wouldn’t normally do in your day-to-day life, you can discover new skills or even a talent you didn’t know you had. And these activities can give you transferable skills too, making your work easier as you look at it with new mindsets and abilities.”

3. Progress your career by honing your skills without the pressure

A career break can also be a great time to hone your skills without the pressure of your manager looking over your shoulder. If you love your work and fancy learning more about your role, or similar roles, you can spend this time adding to your CV. Spend your career break doing only what interests you. Don’t waste the opportunity on work you can do in the office. Disconnect from your screen and enjoy exploring your true interests. You can spend this time developing your skills so that when you head back to the office, you’re ready for the next step up!

These new skills related to your job can drastically improve your confidence as you head back into the workplace. You don’t have to worry that everyone has moved on without you; instead, you can start back better than before.

4. Improve physical health

Data shows that 46% of Brits have a negative body image. This can negatively affect your confidence as you feel uncomfortable in your clothes, spend more time looking in the mirror, and judge yourself against your peers.

Spending time during your career break to focus on your physical health can ensure you’re feeling your best when it is time to head back to work. This might involve picking up a sports activity to get your fitness level to where you want it to be or finding a style that suits you better. Whatever makes you feel happy in your skin is how you should approach your career break. After all, wouldn’t it feel great to head back into the office looking radiant?

5. Expanding your social circle

Gary Clark says: “Sometimes when your confidence is low, the last thing you want to do is socialise. But by taking a career break, you can find yourself in more social situations outside the same faces you see at work daily. This can help you expand your social circle and improve your confidence as you get to meet new people.”

By bringing yourself into social situations, you can practice small talk or make new friends. Meeting new people can help boost your confidence, improve your communication skills, and widen your network – which can even give you more opportunities in the future.

It can be hard for adults to make friends outside of the professional setting as there aren’t many opportunities to meet new people. But a career break can encourage you to open up to new people and find a friendship group that nurtures your confidence rather than squashing it.

Stepping back into employment after a career break can be intimidating, but focusing on your mental and physical health during your time off can help improve your confidence. Only 24.2% of British adults have a very high level of life satisfaction, so break the mundane with some time away. Whether it is expanding your social circle or exploring new territories, your career break can be a great time for boosting your confidence and improving your self-belief.


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