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Feeling Burnt Out at Work? A Sabbatical may be the Answer

In today’s busy world, stress and burn out are on the rise. More and more hard-working Americans are taking planned sabbaticals to recharge their batteries, try something new or explore other interests. Sabbaticals can be paid, partially paid, or unpaid and are encouraged by some organizations to avoid burn-out or to work on other skills. If a sabbatical is in your future, here are some tips to make sure that it is successful and not a bust.

First, in order to make the most of a planned sabbatical, understand the “why:

  • Is the time off primarily for you to relax and recharge?
  • Do you want to explore hobbies or interests or work on a new skill?
  • Is your sabbatical for personal reasons such as caring for a family member?
  • Are you looking to gain clarity about your career or to change your career direction?
  • Do you have some other goal?

If a sabbatical is unpaid, the effectiveness is often undercut. It’s difficult for most to recharge, explore interests, or gain skills if they are worried about money. If your employer is not paying for the sabbatical, then make certain that you have savings or other financial means to take the time off without adding additional stress. You need to budget wisely so that the planned time off will accomplish your goals without putting you in the poor house.

While it may sound fantastic to take time off for an extended period of time with nothing to do, you need to have structure if you want the sabbatical to be effective. Planning for your day-to-day is necessary to thrive during a sabbatical. You need to be intentional about planning your sabbatical.

There is never a perfect time to embark on a sabbatical from your job. When considering if now is the right time, consider the job market, your industry, family considerations and your health. Taking a sabbatical can be life-changing. To make the most out of the experience, know the reason why you are taking the sabbatical in the first place, plan for the financial repercussions, and then structure your time out of the office accordingly.