Get Advice from Your Peers

Get advice from your peers who have been in a similar position. Find out how to be prepared for a sabbatical and if they think it was a wise choice.

@zachary56

Time Management

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

You need a good reason for your time off. 

It could be doing something on your bucket list, like volunteering or teaching, or doing a crash course in a new skill.

Question Yourself

Running off to treat your workplace burnout might not be the best solution. Ask yourself first if your work is fulfilling. If not, it is better to try and find something else first, then take some time off before you start a new position. 

Before you plan a sabbatical, check with your HR department to see what the policy is regarding extended breaks.

Many organizations allow workers a certain amount of unpaid leave.

It is probably a good idea to set a date in advance to ensure both your employer and yourself have enough time to plan.

Finances

Make sure your finances are in order before you take the plunge.

You could also think about raising money or cutting your expenses. Many people work part-time or take on freelance jobs while on sabbatical to supplement their financial situation.

Most bosses will be skeptical about losing a valued team member for a large period of time.

Mention that taking a sabbatical could positively affect your career. You could also suggest hiring a trainee to cover your duties.

Most contracts require a year's notice for a sabbatical.

Be sure to speak to your employer as soon as possible.

Create a Road Map

Create a plan on what you will be doing on your career break so your goals are more visible.

Plan your leave well in advance. Create a guide with instructions for your replacement (if there is one) or a detailed brief on your ongoing projects for your colleagues.

While on our sabbatical, keep in touch with your workplace. Offer to help out with anything if they need you to. Make sure you stay visible. Arrange a hand-back-to meeting before you go.

You could even keep them up to date with your experiences while you're traveling.

Document Your Journey

It will be a way of keeping in touch with your friends and family and allow you to put in context what you’ve achieved over your time off from work. 

Consider writing a personal diary, blog, or posting on your social media pages. 

Research shows than half of the hiring managers surveyed say the most important thing they look at when hiring candidates is how they kept their skills updated during a career break.

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RELATED IDEAS

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.

6

IDEAS

  1. Save as much money as possible in advance. 
  2. Find a support system. Self-doubt or criticism from others could prevent you from taking a sabbatical.
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