Whether it’s due to burnout or simply to try something new many people decide to take a year off from their job. The following are 4 steps for taking a gap year while still maintaining your career options.

1. Leave On Good Terms
Don’t just abruptly leave your position without discussing it with your boss. Assuming you’re happy with your current job, make sure to let your boss know that and that you’d want to come back at some point. It’s important to talk with your boss about your decision for other reasons as well. He or she may be able to give you advice regarding other employees that have successfully done the same thing.

2. Make Adequate Preparations
You should start planning your year off several months in advance. To avoid making mistakes a great option would be to have someone plan your trip for you. My Language Break is a course agency headquartered in Madrid that specializes in language schools. They offer not only quality linguistic programs but cultural immersion activities as well. Having an experienced agency make your plans can make sure your entire trip runs smoothly. After making the preparations, put together a general schedule of what you’ll be doing. Make a budget estimating how much you’ll spend. Read books, surf the web, and adequately do research regarding what you’re planning on doing.

3. Make Sure You’re Doing Something Productive
If you’re taking a year off to be a beach bum and simply lounge in the sun it may be difficult to explain that on a resume. Engaging in a productive activity, such as learning a foreign language abroad, is something that can add to your skill set and make you even more marketable upon your return. It’s important to find an agency such as My Language Break that will not only provide you with a personalized language learning program but will help you find accommodations to fit your individual preferences.

4. Keep In Touch While You’re Gone
Occasionally checking in with your former bosses and colleagues is a good way to keep professional relationships intact while you’re gone. Even if it’s just through social media, it’s important to keep up with what’s happening in your former job and what’s going on in your professional field in general. A lot can happen in a year and it’s important not to be totally out of the loop when you return.

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