A sabbatical from work is not a new concept, but has recently gained a lot of popularity. We’ll explore some of the reasons you should consider taking a sabbatical.
If you’ve never heard the word sabbatical before, it refers to an extended period of leave from your job. The word itself comes from the sabbath, which means a time of rest.
While previously only common in educational settings like universities, sabbaticals are being integrated into many employee benefit plans at a variety of companies. These breaks from work may or may not be paid, so be sure to double check the company policy. If your company does not include sabbaticals from work on their list of company benefits, don’t let that discourage you. Learn why you should take one and how to ask for one below.
Sabbatical From Work vs. Career Break
You may hear these terms tossed around interchangeably but they are not the same thing. A sabbatical from work is a fixed or set time period that you are away from your current role. You don’t quit your job when you take a sabbatical, your company keeps your position for you to come back to. This means you are still still bound to the code of conduct of your place of employment with regards to data security, harassment, etc.
A career break, on the other hand, occurs when you quit your job and take some time off before finding a new role with a different company. The time off between roles can range from a few months to a few years. Reasons for a career break typically include taking time off to raise your children, take care of sick family members, or for your own health and wellbeing.
4 Reasons To Take a Sabbatical From Work
A sabbatical from work is different from a vacation due to the length of time it lasts. Many companies have limited vacation policies, and may even dictate when you’re allowed to take your PTO, and how many days you’re allowed to take in one go. Sabbaticals from work can last anywhere from 1 month to 1 year. No matter the length of your sabbatical from work, you may want to use it for the following reasons:
- Pursuing other interests: Maybe you’re big into DIY or have always wanted to write a book, learn a new language, join a club, or volunteer virtually or in-person, but never seem to have the time to do so. A sabbatical from work gives you time to pursue your interests in a way that’s not possible during your regular routine. You may even choose to use your sabbatical from work as a way to further your education by heading back to school.
- Spending time with family: One of the main reasons people like to take a sabbatical from work is to spend more time with their loved ones. You may find that you aren’t making it to your children’s soccer games or dance recitals as often as you’d like due to the demands of your job. A sabbatical is a great way to take a step back, re-evaluate, and prioritize spending quality time with your family.
- Mental health: If you’ve been feeling particularly overwhelmed and you’re struggling to stay afloat, a sabbatical from work can help you rebalance. Taking time away from the stress of work can do wonders for your mood, can help avoid burnout, and also gives you a chance to experience slow living.
- Travel: This is one of the most common reasons people choose to take a sabbatical from work. Taking a longer break allows you to head off to places that are hard to reach, or go on a continuous journey for an extended period of time. Take this time to go wild camping across the country, or experience the best train trips in the USA.
How To Ask for a Sabbatical From Work
It can be daunting to ask for a sabbatical from work, especially if it isn’t company policy. However, when speaking to your boss and HR, you need to be prepared with a list of how beneficial this time off will be for both you and the company. Learn how to argue your case with the following tips:
- Mention your loyalty to the company with concrete examples. Talk about the number of years you’ve been with the company, explain how you’ve gone above and beyond your job description, and why you deserve this opportunity.
- Talk up the skills you’ll learn during your sabbatical from work and how they can be adapted to your position upon your return.
- Be open and honest, especially if you wish to take a sabbatical from work for mental health reasons. A good company will be grateful that you’re being proactive about this.
- Bring supporting evidence. Studies have shown that sabbaticals from work can improve mood upon return. Other studies show that people who take extended leaves are also more productive and emotionally resilient after they get back. Creativity is also boosted when your brain has a chance to recharge.
What are you waiting for? Go ahead and ask for that sabbatical from work — you won’t regret it!
- 5 Ways to Make Employment Work for You
- 11 Signs of a Toxic Workplace & Actions to Take
- Staycation Ideas: 6 Ways to Enjoy a Relaxing Vacation at Home
Do you like this post?