For example, if I do a postdoc and then leave for a year and then decide I want to go back to academia, is it possible, or will researchers look at my file, say, "Oh, a year not in academia," and throw my application away? My experience in grad school is that academics are very social-status oriented and consider any non-academic job as "low-status." My own adviser once said, "I don't know why anyone would go into industry." I know grad students who wouldn't tell their advisor that they were considering non-academic jobs, because they were worried their advisor wouldn't take them seriously. Should I do whatever I can to stick to a very linear career path?
Edit: I'm in pure math but this question applies to all fields.