Would a travel break jeopardise my career?

I
have been working in a City HR department for three years, first as an
administrator in a generalist role, then in the training department, before
being promoted to a training officer role. I should gain my CIPD in about nine
months. I am considering going travelling for six months or a year after
qualifying. How will this affect my career? How will my time travelling be
viewed when I try an get a new job on my return?

Vic
Daniels, director at Carr-Lyons, writes:

The
fact that you are leaving to go travelling should not affect your career. You
should be alright as long as you can justify why you took the break and
articulate what you got out of it. You should, however, bear in mind that the
employment market may not be as buoyant when you return as it has been for the
last 12 months or so. You may need to get back in via a temporary or interim
assignment.

Margaret
Malpas, joint managing director of Malpas Flexible Learning, writes:

I
don’t think potential employers will have a problem with this – after all, many
will see consider you broadened by the experience. I think you should be
realistic about what you can apply for on your return though. You won’t have
any post graduating work experience so you should only expect to pick up where
you left off, career wise. Have a great time!

Linda
Aitken, consultant at Chiumento Consulting Group, writes:

Reactions
from employers can vary, but most are enlightened, believing that a break can
be good for recharging the batteries, getting wanderlust out of the system, or
acquiring a few more "life skills".

Having
just gained your CIPD, this could also be seen as a logical time to take a
break, which could allow you to consider your next move carefully, either in
Training or in a broader/generalist role.

A
employers may be wary that you could take off again, and interviewers may
question your commitment and ability to stay in the job. If this happens, use
your experience as ammunition at interview to indicate that you are
self-driven, organised and enterprising – employers like to see people who have
done something different! A few tips would include:

*
Make sure you get the qualification first
* Get networking – let people know of your plans before you go, so you have a
list of contacts on your return
* Prepare a CV before you leave – (you can forget a lot in 6 months)
* If you would like to return to your current employer, let them know your
plans – at least they may keep you in mind for a role on your return.

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