How long can you step out of the workforce without sinking your career? The answer may surprise you.

Employers are rushing to interview applicants with résumé gaps as long as two years, according to a recent study of more than 36,000 applications by the résumé-writing service ResumeGo. That’s a marked change from a decade ago, when a career break as short as six months could be deadly.
This poses new opportunities for skilled workers, as well as challenges in navigating on-ramps back into a career.

Some early-job choices are simply a bad fit. Noah Kain, a 32-year-old from Baltimore, made an idealistic choice to join an environmental nonprofit after graduating from college. He was promoted twice in two years. But he soon wearied of the low pay and 10-hour workdays spent canvassing and fundraising.

You can overcome a long gap in your resume