A sabbatical is a break from work, usually lasting anywhere from a few months to a year. Traditionally, sabbaticals were granted to tenured professors to allow them time to pursue research or travel for professional development. These days, many employers are offering them to all employees, regardless of tenure. And there are plenty of good reasons why!
Sabbaticals offer a unique opportunity to recharge and refocus both professionally and personally. If you’re feeling burnt out at work or like you need some time to pursue other interests, a time off could be exactly what you need. So let’s discuss the benefits of taking a sabbatical and provide tips on planning one.
Decide Why You Need a Sabbatical
Are you looking for a chance to recharge and refocus? Pursue another interest? Travel? Spend more time with family? It’s important to know why you want to take a break from work before you start planning your sabbatical. This will help you decide how long you want to take off, as well as what kind of activities you want to do during your break.
Talk to Your Employer About Your Plans
If you’re employed, you’ll need to talk to your boss about taking a leave of absence. If your company offers sabbaticals, they may have specific requirements or guidelines that you’ll need to follow. Even if your company doesn’t offer sabbaticals, they may still be open to the idea if you explain your reasons for wanting one and propose a plan that meets both their needs and yours.
Don’t Forget About Your Pets!
If you’re planning a Sabbatical, don’t forget to take your pets into account, as well! Will they be joining you, or will you be leaving them behind – meaning you’ll need to enlist a pet sitter? Either way, it’s a good idea to invest in some treats and products to help reduce their stress; click here for some advice from the experts!
You can also consider lodging at a place that’s pet friendly -but do take into account leaving your pets for extended periods alone inside any rental.
Create a Budget and Save Up
Unless your employer is footing the bill for your sabbatical (lucky!), you’ll need to create a budget and start saving up ahead of time. If you’re planning on traveling, look for ways to save on costs like accommodation and transportation.
Also, see if you can make your current lifestyle more affordable during your break from work if you’re staying home. Take opportunities to walk when you can to avoid using gas and adding wear and tear to your vehicle. Even if you don’t live in a neighborhood with a high walk score, you can choose to shop in areas that rate high so that you can do multiple things in one trip.
Consider Renting Out Your Home
If you own your home, you may want to consider renting it out while you’re on sabbatical. Doing so can help offset the costs of your trip and provide some extra spending money. Just be sure to do your research and find a reputable rental company to work with.
Plan Activities that Will Help You Recharge and Refocus
One of the best things about sabbaticals is that they give you time to pursue other interests or try new things. If you’re unsure what kinds of activities would be right for you, consider talking to a counselor or career coach who can help you assess your goals and develop a plan for achieving them.
This can also be a good opportunity to explore and venture outdoors more while trying something different.
Keep in Touch with Your Professional Network
Just because you’re taking a break from work doesn’t mean you have to lose all contact with your professional network. Plan on checking in now and then (but not too often!) and let people know what you’re up to during your sabbatical. You never know when someone might have an opportunity that would be perfect for when you’re ready to jump back into the workforce.
Recharge with a Sabbatical
Sabbaticals offer a unique opportunity for professional and personal growth. If you’re feeling burnt out or like you need a break from work, consider taking some time off. Just be sure to get buy-in from your employer, create a budget, and make a plan for how you’ll spend your break!
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