There are two kinds of career break. In the first, an employer allows an employee to take an extended period of unpaid time-off work, possibly in order to raise a young family, on the assumption that the employee will return to work and resume their career in the future. Career break schemes of this kind have been developed particularly to retain professional women employees who might leave their employment and abandon their career once they become mothers. The period of absence from work, in these schemes, can include bouts of retraining and ongoing contact with the workplace in order to allow a smooth transition back into work (see keeping-in-touch day). The second kind of career break is akin to a student's gap-year. What happens is that the employee resigns their job and finds fresh employment for a fixed period of time. Usually this is overseas in a developing country, arranged through a career break agency, and involves socially or environmentally useful work. Career breaks of this second kind are commonly, though not exclusively, taken by young professional workers who have valuable skills. The career break provides an opportunity to do something worthwhile, see a foreign country and reflect on future career plans. When it is over, the original career is often resumed though usually not with the same employer. [See also downshifting.]
Subjects: Human Resource Management.