Take a Break

Take a Break

We often see interesting posts on social media about how someone quit their high-paying six-figure salaried job, the stability that comes with it and...

We often see interesting posts on social media about how someone quit their high-paying six-figure salaried job, the stability that comes with it and of course the benefits that tag along, just to give themselves a “much deserved break”. Well, at the outset it might seem like some rare story and of course a crazy idea. Because who’d do that right? It sounds crazy to many who would probably find it difficult to understand why anyone would leave the comfort zone just to relax.

Well, let’s explore then
As we all grapple in the everyday busy nature of life, many of us are tired. The pressure of work, the need to meet deadlines, the constant emails, requests for updates from bosses, and of course reminding oneself every night that the cycle is going to repeat on the next day can be quite the bummer.

Then again, there are some who love their jobs, while others are just plain vexed. But one thing is for sure, the number of people who are forever talking about leaving their job and taking “a much-needed break” has increased manifold over time. In fact, a casual conversation with a friend would give you an inkling that he/she may not be happy with the mundaneness of working every day, and is either on the verge of quitting or hoping to do so one fine day!

What’s more, once considered career suicide, it looks like millennials have changed the terms and conditions of a secure career and have no qualms about bidding adieu to high-paying jobs just to follow the calling of their heart. And it’s not just the stories that are being shared online, but there are thousands of other voices that are today echoing a similar sentiment.

“Almost three years after I took up my job, I realised that there’s no learning curve. I was doing more or less the same thing every day and it was at that juncture that I decided that I needed to do something sensible,” shares Rohit Jain, an entrepreneur based out of Hyderabad, who quit his job at a corporate firm in June 2017 after working for almost four years, who adds, “An experience is the most valuable asset so either you join a job that gives you the experience you need (which is the rare case), or you do something that helps you create your own experiences. I thought it was time to choose the latter.”

While Rohit was vexed with his career of just three years, mainly because it was getting monotonous, a journalist from Hyderabad, Samyuktha K, had a bigger agenda when she decided to take a break of almost six months from a career she loved and was obviously enjoying. “For me personally, I don’t regard money as important and it comes way below in my list of priorities.

Peace of mind, love for what I do and the organisation I work for, and of course a sense of purpose related to work exist for me. And so, when it came to quitting my job, I didn’t bother about finances much. I have been working since I am 17 and so by the time I quit my job for a break at 28, I was pretty exhausted and needed to focus on life,” she tells us, explaining that she had no agenda whatsoever for the period of sabbatical.

Another youngster from Hyderabad, Samhitha Gowra, who left her job, did have an agenda though: switch job profile. “It might be easy to wonder why I needed a break for that. It’s been two months since I left work, after spending almost two years there, it really feels blissful. If I didn’t do this, I would still have been stuck in the same job without considering other options. I want to change my job profile and this break is helping me figure out what I could do next. I am taking my own time,” she says, adding that she has the time to sit and figure out what she wants.

Break chronicles
What’s a break like though? And what all do people do? Samhitha and Samyuktha have had a ball travelling to some fun places. Says Samhitha, “It’s convenient to travel at my own free will. Earlier, I had to worry about permissions and leaves. Now, I plan and get going!” But there’s more she’s getting to do. “I couldn’t give time to lot of things I wanted to do. For instance, fitness was my priority but I had to adjust the time for it. But today I do it at my convenience and spend as much time as I like on it,” she reckons, as she shares pictures from her recent trip to Andaman, and seems excited about an upcoming trekking trip in May.

While the break seems like a la-la-land of happiness, pressure can come in the form of people constantly asking you what you are doing, and even expressing disapproval over the career “risk”. “Yes, that’s because to leave something that is well established and within your comfort zone is gutsy. But you always need to look at the bigger picture. If career breaks are suicide then what comes after death is rebirth. Everyone would love to change or better their younger self. This rebirth could be their chance. Going back in time is not possible, but creating your own future is,” reflects Rohit.

The break agenda
It’s interesting how each of them used their break in completely different ways and approached in a completely different fashion, while all the time, their agenda was the same – get yourself together and prioritise things that you need the most. Explains Rohit, “I wasn’t clear about what I wanted to achieve in this break but knew I had to do something meaningful. You don’t always hit the soft spot in the first go.

You stumble upon things and eventually realise what fits her the best and so you have to experiment.” And just like he says, over the last nine months, he’s running a small startup, even as he explores the need to network and build contacts. “I now have time to do anything that helps me destress now, be it reading books, indulging in a sport or going swimming.”

Samyuktha, though, did nothing work related and focused on herself. “I was clear that I wanted to achieve nothing in this break! In fact, that was the goal of the break. I had a list of things I wanted to do but never did because of the lack of time. Like going for a yoga boot camp which changed my life, learning swimming and of course just to be without any deadlines, bosses or anyone to be answerable to. I have travelled quite a bit too,” she says with an air of satisfaction, even as she juggles two jobs at the moment both of which she’s enjoying.

By: Pranita Jonnalagedda

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