Plan a Sabbatical to Refresh and Rejuvenate

Woman resting with feet out car window; plan a sabbatical

Have you considered taking a break from your job? Getting away from your routine can be greatly beneficial for your outlook and breathe fresh life into your career. Here is some important advice to help you plan a sabbatical that is both effective and rejuvenating.

Financing your leave

Arranging your finances may be the most important step as you begin to plan a sabbatical. Start by paying off any lingering debts so you can enjoy your break without money worries hanging over you. Some experts suggest establishing a strict budget in advance of taking a sabbatical so you can build a substantial emergency fund. This way, you can cover any issues that could pop up while you’re off.

Depending on your situation, you might even elect to take part-time, temporary work during your sabbatical. If so, choose something that is fulfilling to you in more ways than just making ends meet. For instance, freelancing, consulting, selling crafts on the web, pet sitting or being a nanny are all potential options to explore.

While you’re away

What do you plan to do with your time off? While on sabbatical, it’s particularly important to do things that feed your soul. Think about what you’re passionate about, such as volunteering, traveling, taking classes, gardening, writing, or spending time with family.

One suggestion is to plan a sabbatical that stretches you, professionally or personally. Activities that leave behind your comfort zone can help reframe your outlook and encourage you to grow.

Independent and active

Depending on your circumstances, you should think hard about purchasing a vehicle while you’re on sabbatical. Having your own car provides independence, and there may be places you wish to go that aren’t appropriate for a rental, such as outback areas.

A four-wheel-drive vehicle, such as a Jeep, is often far more practical than trying to make do with a rental car or using Uber. And in the long run, you could come out ahead financially. If you want to learn more, check Gumtree’s list of available automobiles.

Woman on a relaxing walk in West Sussex; plan a sabbatical
Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

Why bother with a sabbatical?

You might think a sabbatical isn’t practical in your situation. Your schedule might be too busy, or your finances too tight. However, some experts feel there are times a sabbatical can actually save a career, especially if your job situation creates chronic stress.

Professionals who are on the go all the time, feel misunderstood, or believe their efforts aren’t recognized are at risk for burnout. Psychology Today explains that professional burnout can lead to insomnia, loss of appetite, chronic fatigue, increased illness, anxiety, depression and anger.

Getting away from the daily grind for a while can reduce your risk of the complications that could arise from too much stress. Some experts feel a sabbatical can also improve your perspective and help you see ways to better contribute to your workplace.

Potential workplace woes

Some employers are less inclined to allow sabbatical leave than others. It’s in your best interest to give your workplace plenty of notice and be prepared to offer information as to why this is of value, not only to yourself but also to your employer and coworkers.

Think through your reasoning carefully. Are you making a major career move? Some people elect to take a break while transitioning employers or careers. If you plan to take a sabbatical after terminating your job; take extra care with your finances in case you don’t secure your next position as expected.  

When searching out that next workplace, remember to paint your sabbatical in the best possible light. Focus on productive activities and career gains. How you explain your leave to potential employers — both on your resume and in interviews — can weigh heavily in their view of you.  

Taking a sabbatical could be the best thing you ever do for your career. Plan carefully and make the most of the adventure. Leaving behind your routine for a while can mean being more refreshed and effective upon return.  

About Catherine Workman

Catherine Workman believes we should all leave our comfort zones once in awhile. She travels to boost her physical and mental health.

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