A career break is a period of time out from employment. Traditionally, this was for mothers to raise children, but it is now used for people taking time out of their career for personal development and/or professional development.
A career break is usually between one month and two years long. Six months to 2 years is the most common period of time for a career break. It's also possible to take a mini career break of less than one month, which enables people to try out career break activities without committing to longer periods of time. Shorter career breaks are most popular with the over-45s.
It can take the form of a sabbatical, which can be paid or unpaid - unpaid sabbaticals are much more common. Sabbaticals were originally only offered to academics and clerics but are now being increasingly offered by companies.