Is taking a sabbatical on your wish list? Here’s how to make it happen
From time to time, running away from our job to take time off for a few months has crossed most of our minds! Right? Many people don’t entertain the idea because it’s a big decision and dependent on their current job situation. But are you aware that a ‘sabbatical policy’ may exist within a company, whereby employees are able to take an agreed amount of time off. The usual job ‘perks’, such as being paid and your pension contributions, may be suspended for the duration of the sabbatical period. However, employees have the security of returning to their job. In the end, it can be a useful way to take time out from your job to reassess your professional future. Taking sabbatical can be very transformative…it might be the only time you can cross that bucket list dream to live in a different country for 3 months or really focus on growing a side hustle – life is very short, why wait to do what makes us happy? Here are six steps you can take to make it possible!
- Ask yourself why you want the break
It’s important to ask yourself why you want to take a break to begin with because you want it to come from a good place. Are you constantly burned out and need to recharge? The first step is to think about what you think you’ll get out of it.
- Plan the logistics
Take a look at your companies policy and start planning 8 – 10 months before because if your company doesn’t have a policy in place, you will want to save money for that time off. Also, according to David Bach, author of The Automatic Millionaire, 6 weeks is the magic number to take because it’s enough time for the individual and not too much time that your job can’t manage without you.
- Speak to your boss
Once you are serious about taking the time off, speak to your boss and explain why you would like to take this time off and how this will benefit your job when you return. Don’t lead the conversation by saying, “you’re not happy at work therefore think is time for a break”, instead, say that you would like to take time off and focus on how you can become a better employee. Make this easy to understand to everyone who will be directly impacted by your decision.
4. Prep your colleagues
Now that your boss is onboard with it all, it’s time to prep your colleagues who will be taking some of your work while you’re gone. Our advice is for you to be as organized as you can so that they won’t reach out to you while you’re gone. So put in as much work as you can now to get everything in order because it will pay off while you’re gone.
- Disconnect from ALL of the work
What’s the point of going on a sabbatical if you’re staying connected to your work? Make a promise to yourself to disconnect from ALL things work related, like emails and calls and remind yourself why you took this time away, to begin with.
- Plan your reentry
A week or two before you return to work, start going through your work emails and reaching out to colleagues who were helpful through the process. Alert your colleagues and boss that you will be returning soon and keep them posted on the transition. We also advise you to do something nice for your colleagues who helped out with your role while you were gone.