Have you hit a wall in your career development, or do you think you might be in danger of burnout? You might want to consider taking a sabbatical. Getting away from your work for a while could reframe your perspective and give a fresh spark to your growth.
Burnout is real.
Climbing the ladder of success is challenging under any circumstances, but if you face ongoing stress and tend to be someone who never rests, you could be in danger of burnout. People who dedicate themselves fully to their careers, and sacrifice tending to their personal needs for time away, can become mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. According to some experts, taking a sabbatical offers a number of important benefits. Your body and mind can gain a much needed respite. The time away can recharge your weary battery, helping you appreciate how your experiences are shaping your path and consider the direction you want to take. And as Forbes notes, you are likely to find you are more productive upon your return to work.
Financing your time away.
Taking time off and being able to glean the most reward from the experience requires financial planning. Start by knowing precisely how much you need to live on, and create a substantial sinking fund to cover any emergencies which could pop up while you’re on break. To stretch your funds, consider renting out your home while you’re away. According to Angie’s List, spending a little time and money cleaning and making small updates to your property will help you land a tenant. You’ll also want to make a deal with a property manager, who will maintain the property and deal with the tenants in your absence for a percentage of the rental income the property brings in each month.
While you’re away.
There are a number of helpful activities to consider undertaking during your sabbatical. Think about things that involve purpose and feed your soul. Will you travel? Pursue creativity, such as writing or painting? Go on a yoga retreat? Or does nature beckon? Perhaps it’s time to do some volunteering or side work. Remember you want to refresh your outlook, and choose carefully.
Returning to work.
Will you have a position waiting for you when you get back? Some people take sabbatical between jobs, and others plan a break from an understanding employer. If you’re taking time off with the intention of transitioning to another job at the end, you should pad your funds in the event things don’t go as planned. Leaving yourself financially high and dry can mean damaged credit along with potential hardship. You should also be prepared to explain your career gap to potential employers. Plan out how you will represent the time off on your resume as well as in job interviews. Be ready to cite the many ways you grew while you were out of the working world, and how much more valuable you are because of it. Huffington Post points out your cover letter could be a prime spot to explain all you gained from your sabbatical.
A sabbatical could be the best thing you ever do for your career. Taking a time-out is also good for your mind and body. Plan your course so you can ensure success.
About 6 years ago, Eva Benoit left her job as an office manager to pursue being a life, career, and overall wellness coach. She specializes in helping professionals with stress and anxiety, but welcomes working with people from all walks of life. She works with her clients to discover and explore avenues that will bring them balance, peace, and improved overall well-being that can last a lifetime. Her website is evabenoit.com and she is author of the upcoming book, The 30-Day Plan for Ending Bad Habits and Improving Overall Health.