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Taking a year off probably isn't "being held against you" per-se. But after that year, you're competing against all the people who didn't take a year off. And in many contexts that year of honing skills, staying abreast of industry developments, etc., is valued enough to tip the scales.

I'm surprised nobody thinks that people who come form a leave may be more "thirsty" to catch up with their time off and filled with a good energy. Am I alone to think that? People also reflect a lot while on their leave and may end up knowing what fits them better upon returning to work.

Agreed. To arbitrarily rule against someone who took time off is very short-sighted. So please don't think that I'm exactly defending that mindset or the practice. Just trying to point out how (some|many|???) prospective employers might view the situation.

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