How to take a career break

Back in 2016, Jamie Clark of Seattle was a software engineer who planned to take a year off of work to finish a master’s degree in computational linguistics. One year turned into three and a career change into financial planning.

Nowadays, Clark, who uses they/them pronouns, believes the experience makes them a better advisor – particularly since their career break didn’t turn out as originally planned.

“Part of our job as financial planners is to help people be prepared,” says Clark, now a certified financial planner who recently launched their own firm, Ruby Pebble Financial Planning. “And I want to help people build that flexibility.”

Career breaks are extended and usually unpaid stretches of time off work. Such breaks can be aspirational — giving you time to travel, pursue a degree, change careers or launch a business. Or, they can be prompted by life events, such as caring for a child, nursing a family member or dealing with an illness or burnout. In my latest for the Associated Press, learn some planning can help you make the most of your break.

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