- Cara Fielden
Why we're so impressed with LinkedIn
We all have the ‘career gap fear’, right? That’s not the official name for it, but we all worry that handing our CV to an employer with unexplained gaps during or between jobs will result in a series of questions around our choices to take a break from work. We prepare the most elaborately worded answer to try and justify something so we still seem like the perfect candidate for the job.
Seriously? Yep - it’s common in the world of work. What we want to know is why we still have to justify our decisions to put ourselves before our jobs? We shy away from being honest about something that is actually extremely brave. Taking time away from work for personal reasons, whatever those might be, is a very important decision. Not only does it mean we will be able to perform better when we return to work because we were able to dedicate more time to taking care of ourselves when we need it, but we’re also providing space to deal with whatever has happened without adding inevitable work stress on top! Even WRITING that sentence made me anxious.
So, what’s our point?
Well, you may or may not have noticed, but LinkedIn have recently added a new feature to their platform. You can now add a ‘Career Break’ to your LinkedIn profile. And considering LinkedIn is like an online CV, we think this is a brilliant idea.
Whether you’re smashing being a new (or not so new) parent, focusing on getting your mental health back in tip-top shape, or taking some time to reconsider your career (which, by the way, we do NOT blame you for considering the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime - ninety thousand, that’s so many hours) we should not be made to feel guilty for doing so.
Taking time away from work does not make us less valuable to a company, less skilful or less of an employee! We might rediscover our passions, get motivated or be reminded why we started this job in the first place during a much needed break. And there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s a whole lot of discovery to do in our own lives, let alone the big wide world!
Employers and organisations just need to get used to the fact that people are… well, people! There’s such an obvious stigma around this concept of taking a career break, so kudos to LinkedIn for making a start at breaking that down.