How Taking a Sabbatical Can Improve Both Your Career and Your Personal Life
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Sometimes, you need a break. Letting work take over your life isn’t the best for your mental state – so why not take a sabbatical?
What’s a sabbatical, you may ask? It’s essentially a career break for an extended period, which can be paid or unpaid depending on the circumstances.
It is commonly used for travel, although it can also be used for research, studying or fulfilling life goals.
Many people have the idea that sabbaticals are only given to people who have worked at the company for a while, typically around seven years or so.
This isn’t necessarily the case. While it is common for long-time employees to take sabbaticals, you can take an extended leave if you work there for around two years or so.
It may be possible for you to take one earlier, but it is quite rare for a company to do so. Still, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
That all sounds great, right? Well, let’s dive right in and see how you can apply for one today.
How Do Sabbaticals Work?
Majority of workplaces have rules surrounding career breaks, so it’s best for you to consult the sabbatical policy if your company has one. Common questions that people have is whether or not sabbaticals are paid or if the expenses are tax deductible. You can usually find the answers to those questions in the company policies. If not, when you’re talking to your boss about it, ask. But first, you have to figure out whether or not your boss will discuss it with you in the first place. This means that you have to know what you want to do for your extended leave.
What you should do during this time depends on how long your career break is. For example, an idea for a three month sabbatical could be used to travel around Europe, while a six month leave could be taking a course at a university. There are so many ideas out there, that’d it take me forever to list all of them down, so do your research and see what speaks to you the most.
Make sure that you have a solid reason why you want to take a sabbatical. You have to sell it to your boss, so it’s a good idea for you to list the benefits to the company. Your justification relies heavily on the type of job you have. For example, in academia, professors take sabbaticals to research or study. Sometimes, a company are partners with other countries. Travelling to those countries could help you convince your boss. Whatever you do, don’t leave it to the last minute. Give the people who will be affected by your absence a couple of weeks notice.
If your boss says yes, get it in writing for future reference. It’s also useful to write down the date of your leave and when you’re coming back. Once that’s all done, it’s time to plan and get ready for you to take time off.
There are the obvious benefits to your sabbatical leave: you have time to take a rest, and it allows you to work on skills that may even be complimentary to your job. Many think that by taking time off, you’ll only fall behind and that getting back into work will be difficult. But taking a substantial career break every few years or so can renew your interest in your job.
Perhaps at the moment, you’re not working as well as you used to. Taking time off allows you to refresh so that when you come back, you’re not as stressed and feel more satisfied with your job. It provides a fertile ground for creativity and sustained attention, which can help you attain better results in the workplace.
Of course, it can do wonders for your personal life as well. I’m sure you’ve had the desire to do something grand, like travelling, but just didn’t have the time to do it. Well, this is the perfect opportunity! Not only can you go out and have different cultural experiences, but you can learn things that can help you with your job. It is also a good time to reconnect with family or give you time to consider a career change if you’ve been thinking about it previously.
As you can see, taking a sabbatical can be very rewarding for both parties. Its benefits are long-lasting and will leave you more satisfied with life as a whole.
So, if you’re feeling burnt out and tired at your job at the moment, you now have all the tools you need to plan out your sabbatical and become a more successful worker.
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