What I have always realized in the gut but today it has come as a fully formed thought in my head is that all great and successful careers are based on momentum. You get a good thing going and that leads to you getting excited and then that leads to further good things and you get more excited and so on … It is true.
This is why often taking a break is so harmful. Not because you are not earning or climbing the ladder in that period but because the momentum is broken and often takes time to build up again. Voluntary breaks are still great since you can then relax and prepare yourself for the next run. What confuses most people and slips them by is the loss of momentum which comes involuntarily. It often happens when you change a job without an agenda or change teams within the same job but operating on a different frequency level. It is advised to stay cautious of these unintended breaks. They are as costly as the real ones and not as refreshing.
Moral of the story is : To rise high and gain a good career, keep an eye on your momentum. Do not let it break unintentionally and if unavoidable make plans to renew it as soon as possible.