I our previous blog “Managing Career Breaks”, we have discussed about two professionals Harini and Rajesh, who planned to break their careers for different reasons. If the break in career is a planned break, it is somewhat easy to cope with. In Harini’s case, the break was caused due to certain events in her life and she planned for the same. Of course, even Harini had her moments of frustration for not being able to make a mark in her career.
Coping with the break has been that much tougher for Rajesh as it was not a planned break. He started experiencing social pressures (neighbors being very curious about Rajesh’s stay at home!), financial pressures (eating into the savings, disturbing financial planning for future), and anxiety as the time is passing.
It definitely calls for significant emotional balance to manage oneself; retaining the self confidence and remaining positive about the future.
What should be done to manage oneself during the break?
Some of the specific suggestions that I offer to people who got into a break which they have not planned include:
1. Occupy oneself – do not remain idle hoping that something will come through
2. Join a course
3. Catch up with reading
4. Take up part time assignment; do not get caught up with designations/money; what you need at this stage is a genuine justification how spent your time during the break; idle time is extremely difficult to justify
5. Teach in a college/coaching center related to your field of expertise
6. Converse with one close friend and share the inner dialogue
7. Do not shut off from the social circuit; instead of projecting a façade that ‘ nothing is wrong with me’ it is more comfortable to be open about the challenge that one is passing through
It is however important to act fast; do not allow time to pass; longer the break, tougher it will be to rebuild!