How to explain it on your resume

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Some days, the thought of taking a career break can make you want to turn in your notice and dash out of the door. But then, just as quickly, the prospect of explaining that decision to your future employer can stop you in your tracks.

Taking a sabbatical from your job doesn’t have to be a blemish on your resume, according to one of PayPal’s most senior staff members, Rohan Mahadevan.

In fact, it could even be a selling point, he said. It was for him.

At 30, after completing his PhD in astrophysics and briefly running a start-up, Mahadevan and his wife sold all their belongings and packed their bags for a 12-month around-the-world trip. On returning, he scored a job at the then-relatively unknown PayPal. In the 14 years since, he has progressed through eight roles to become senior vice president for international markets.

He believes that much of his success today hinges on the time he spent early in his career learning about different societies and cultures.

“One of the things we keep talking about right now — which this (travel) gives — is diversity of thought: What you bring into a room,” Mahadevan told CNBC Make It. “It’s not just female and male diversity; it’s about diversity of backgrounds, diversity of experiences, because all of that adds into when you make decisions.”

But what you do with your career break matters.

It should be used as an opportunity to strengthen your skills or develop new ones related to your industry, Amanda Augustine, career consultant for employment site TopResume, told CNBC Make It earlier this year.

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