People are thinking more about quitting their jobs as they grapple with burnout, parenting and other challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. Taking a career break, though, can feel risky.
Business-oriented social network LinkedIn says it’s trying to end the stigma surrounding career breaks by encouraging users to highlight what they learned from these experiences. The Microsoft-owned company is releasing a feature on Tuesday that will allow people to add a career break to their LinkedIn profiles through the desktop site or mobile app, giving them a way to explain the gaps in their resume. Career break types include parenting, layoffs, bereavement, career transition and travel. Career breaks will be listed under a user’s experience.
“The goal here is to be able to provide space for people to share more context and color about how these experiences have helped them grow and develop skills that are valuable in life and at work,” said Camilla Han-He, a senior product manager at LinkedIn.
Han-He said LinkedIn started hearing more from its users about wanting a way to highlight their career breaks on the social network. Career breaks are more common among women. About 67% of career break-related posts on LinkedIn in January came from female members, the company said. LinkedIn, citing a January survey, said 64% of women worldwide have taken a career break with the percentage being higher in the US. About 70% of women say taking a career break helped them gain perspective and figure out what they really want from life, LinkedIn said a January survey showed.
To add a career break to your LinkedIn profile, you click on “add section” located under your profile picture followed by “add career break.” You then pick a career break type and fill out information about the length of your career break, a description and attach any relevant media.
LinkedIn is also offering free online courses through March that aims to help people transition back to work after taking a career break. Some of the courses include returning to work with a resume gap, negotiating work flexibility and inclusive female leadership.