Are you daydreaming about the healthy work-life balance in your life? Maybe it’s high time to block date on your calendar to revive your soul, explore new directions in your life and make more space in your busy office life to pursue a career shift by temporarily opting out of your 9-to-5 job and going on a career sabbatical.
Episodic jobs, an increased competition, a feeling of getting stuck in the wrong career path, and the lack of skills has made “sabbatical programs” increasingly popular nowadays. Thus, many people are opting for long-term career breaks (paid/unpaid) approved by their employers to do some brain accounting. In today’s fast-paced corporate culture, sabbaticals have become the unsung heroes of the career paths because they provide an opportunity to focus on career development and personal enrichment.
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Various myths are associated with sabbaticals like:
- Only people working for an organization for a long time (7-10 years) are eligible for a sabbatical.
- Sabbaticals must be always job-related activities or research.
- Almost all the sabbaticals are paid.
- Sabbaticals must be always planned either between high school and college or after at least 7 years of work experience.
- Taking a sabbatical can articulate complex circumstances and you need to over justify yourself when you come back.
Sabbatical is a solo effort (that could be paid or unpaid) meant to get a renewed perspective by going away from the daily hustle-bustle of workplace and attain something great in the right frame of mind. It is an ideal way to experience positive emotions and achieve a renewed sense of self-awareness because nobody wants to live and die like a worker bee. Embarking on a sabbatical may open the door to revelations in the form of different work opportunities, networking and leadership skills that may change your entire life.
Such types of structured career breaks are definitely a great step towards achieving a good work-life balance. Arranging a sabbatical from work is like opening a window of opportunity. It allows you to make some much-needed (quality) time for your passions and set off to fulfill a lifelong dream. They allow you to create a psychologically healthier work-life balance and come back rejuvenated with a stronger commitment and a clear perspective. After spending time away from the workplace, you return as an incredible ROI with lots of motivation and a renewed focus, which is surely beneficial for both – you and your organization.
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Pursuing a sabbatical for you can be a daunting task and required a lot of proper planning. Given below are some useful tips on how to make it happen for you and find a new direction in your career:
- Invest a good amount of time in “Research” by finding out what interests and passions motivate you to go on the long-term planned break. Ask yourself how the sabbatical is going to help in your personal and professional development. Also, you must spend time in brainstorming how to manage your financial burdens when you’ll be on sabbatical.
- Proper planning is indispensable and gets you on the right side of this battle. Decide carefully the length of your sabbatical and how to budget the same if you’re planning to pursue a new career or learn a new skill. Do not forget to delegate all your job responsibilities to the right person while you’re on an extended career break.
- Right execution will increase the chances of success and you may reap the benefit. It is important to document your sabbatical experience carefully and come back at the workplace with a great story about what you learned or the new skills you acquired. Make sure your break experience will provide the insightful perspectives backed by the inspiring and of course, well-founded reasons for why you were on a career break, and why have you opted to join back.
- “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Stepping onto the long-term career break is difficult, but you must always remember that it is not more difficult than getting stuck in a situation where you’re not happy. “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”