I (late 20s) last worked around January 2022 as an automation engineer and have since been out of work. Part of it was to clarify career direction through self-reflection and trying stuff out, most of it was for mental health reasons. I'm now at a point where I'm ready to rejoin the workforce, the issue is that some of the talks with recruiters/interviews I have been able to land bring up my sabbatical (how I'm framing it). I know it looks really bad on my resume, I also don't want to lie/fluff it up as something it's not. For quick background, I graduated from a top 4yr university with a bachelor's in CS back in 2019, I also have two projects I can showcase on my GitHub repo. I very recently set up a GitHub page as a free way to get a website of sorts. I have worked two relevant jobs in total (security engineer and automation engineer, former's title isn't quite accurate since it boiled down to tech support and reading a bunch of docs), I very much want to keep programming in a back-end or scripting capacity.
Any folks here that have been in a similar situation? I'm getting desperate and have started to apply for IT support related roles, I might start looking for stuff that's not tech-related but I'm worried this will reflect poorly on my resume or background checks. Should I just apply for something to help with finances while doing coding stuff on the side, focus on coding projects to pad resume/website while still applying, focus full-time on applying, etc?
Would love for any advice y'all can offer 🙏