You don’t have to wait until you’re crispy fried and beyond burned out to consider hitting the pause button on your career. Career sabbaticals, intentional hiatuses from work to pursue a personal agenda, offer more than a rest (but let’s face it, exhaling sure would be nice).
Career Sabbaticals Replenish
As corporations, nonprofits, and governments strive to be more efficient with fewer resources, a crunching sound emerges from those in the middle: workers. “We cannot treat employees like commodities,” one of my clients told me recently. Agreed!
At the same time, when managers are faced with balancing a spreadsheet, there’s a squeeze somewhere. “They’ll hire people who don’t know what they’re doing but who cost less, and then they’ll deal with it next quarter,” the same client complained.
When many of clients begin working with me, they’re coming off 60+ hour work weeks. They can’t remember when they took more than two weeks off from work, and the time they did take off, they were still tethered to their email.
Just taking some time off from paid work – no matter what you choose to do with it – has great value for your physical and mental health. Imagine what that would be like.
Career Sabbaticals Create a Blank Canvas
Whether you’ve want to ski the Colorado Rockies for an entire season (one of my clients did this!), lace up your hiking boots for the Camino (another client made this choice), or quilt and garden at home (I’m a homebody so this one appeals to me), you get to decide where your time, energy, and energy go. What would you choose?
Career Sabbaticals Hit the Reset Button
When you return from your time off, you can decide what’s next:
- A return to familiar work at the same place or somewhere new
- A complete overhaul and the creation of something entirely new for yourself.
A slight pivot from where you were to a new role or a new industry
There are no formulas for career sabbaticals. They vary in length, budget, activity, location, and re-entry strategy, but one thread that they share is that you set the agenda. You decide. Join this growing trend and begin to plan your break.