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The sabbatical

The sabbatical

The concept of the sabbatical has its roots in the Hebrew Bible. Every seven years, a sabbath year (rest) was commanded to give the land rest from agricultural activity.  

Similarly, our minds need to rest to be able to continue to grow.

@ethho518

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Why you should take a sabbatical

One reason is that we take on more work than we can handle. We are too busy.

In spite of being too afraid of falling behind during a time of rest, a sabbatical can have a positive effect.

Your purpose

A sabbatical is a chance to explore ideas related to your work. 

You need a strong reason to take one, especially if you have to sell your boss on the idea.

Speak to your boss

Instead of complaining that you are burned out, talk to your boss about a sabbatical and explain what you are planning. Make sure you give an adequate amount of notice to all who will be affected.

Interestingly, 23% of companies in the U.S now offer sabbaticals from work, including Adobe, Boston Consulting Group, Autodesk, and even The Cheesecake Factory.

Sabbatical plan
  • A successful work sabbatical depends on pre-planning. Pick start and end dates and put them into your calendar. 
  • Get your financial situation in order. Saving early is the best way to ensure financial stress doesn't interfere with your time off.
  • Bring in accountability partners and have them help you stay strong as your sabbatical start date comes up.
Adapt, if necessary

Sabbaticals are all about rejuvenating and exploring topics you’re deeply passionate about. 

If you are unable to take a long sabbatical, consider taking off one day a week, be unreachable one day a month, or disconnect for one hour a day.

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Modern Sabbaticals

Traditionally, a sabbatical is a period of paid or unpaid leave that is granted to an employee so that they may study or travel.

A modern sabbatical is no longer defined as the absence of work. It can be defined as an active pursuit of purpose.

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IDEAS

If the nature of your industry is causing daily stress or you're putting in 80-hour weeks, and you still can't manage to complete your work, it might be worthwhile to change companies or careers. And that is fine.

Think about what you want your life to look like in a few years. Consider how you would feel if nothing changed.

To prevent a future burnout, when searching for a new position, consider the following:

  • Most countries have legal mechanisms that allow for at least unpaid leave.
  • Many companies have time-off policies for employees needing a mental health break.
  • Most interviewers are aware of their companies’ work-life balance and can inform you if it’s a good fit for your need for “offline” hours in which you’re unavailable for work issues.