A sabbatical, quite simply, is an extended period of time where a person no longer works. The practice is well-known in academic circles, but generally, the idea of taking a sabbatical in the modern work environment is rarely considered. After all, if you walk away from a job, there are tons of people lining up behind you to take it, right?
Here’s the thing: If you take a sabbatical, there is a chance you will not have a job waiting for you when you’re back. However, would not going back to the exact same position you’re doing right now be the worst thing in the world? What experiences and skills could you pick up during your career break that can help steer you in the right direction? Could taking an extended period of time off actually save your career? There are benefits to taking a sabbatical.
- It refreshes your mindset and helps you appreciate your past work experiences.
- You have time to reflect on what knowledge and which skills will contribute to your professional future and overall happiness.
- It gives you the space to think creatively about how you want to pursue your career.
- You have time to process and let go of disappointments and anger related to promises made and not kept in your career.
Financing a Sabbatical
In addition to worrying about your future career, the second biggest hurdle preventing people from taking a sabbatical is the financial side of things. Generally, people who take sabbaticals have savings they can rely on and plan to live on a budget while on sabbatical. However, if you own property, you can turn it into passive income that will help fund your sabbatical travels. Thanks to the sharing economy, it’s easier than ever to rent out your home. When coming up with a rental price, look at other listings in your neighborhood to figure out a competitive rate. You want to be competitive with pricing, but be sure to charge enough to cover your expenses and then some. Look at online guides on preparing your home to rent and come up with your own house rules that protect your property for peace of mind.
Tips for Planning Your Sabbatical
Being prepared when going into your sabbatical can help cut down on anxiety and lingering fears you may have. Research your ideas regarding what it is you want to do while on sabbatical — and then use that research to hatch a plan. If your company allows sabbaticals, talk with your human resources department about options available. If you’re financing your own sabbatical, start saving as soon as possible and cut costs around the house so you can start learning to live with less. Get rid of cable TV, cancel subscriptions and memberships, start using public transportation when possible, and try to sell unused items to help build up an emergency fund you can turn to in a worst-case scenario.
Before you put in your notice for a sabbatical, truly consider why you want to take time off. Ask yourself why a sabbatical will be good for you personally as well as professionally. If you need a break to prevent burnout and inspire creativity, go for it. If you’re just trying to run away from problems rather than addressing them, it may not be the best time for a sabbatical. If you don’t know your true motivations before you start something, you’re doomed to fail from the start.
A sabbatical is an extended amount of time off that allows people to refresh and gain a new perspective on their careers. A big worry for people who want to take a sabbatical is money. If your company does not offer paid leave for sabbaticals, you have to rely on savings and creative means of funding your time off, such as renting out your home via the sharing economy. When planning your time off, learn to live with less as soon as possible to help prepare. Also, ask yourself why you want time off — you shouldn’t take a sabbatical unless your intentions are to better yourself and contribute to your future career and happiness.
If you’re planning a trip to North Wales to get away from it all, gain inspiration from our selection of self catering holiday cottages.