Using a Sabbatical for Career Growth
|When was the last time you took a few vacation days and left work behind? In a 2016 Indeed poll of approximately 2,000 adults, 20 percent didn’t take a summer vacation and 59 percent of those who did worked while on the break. A busy work life with little to no time to unwind puts you at high risk for burnout. A well-planned sabbatical could be just what you need to recharge.
Taking an Extended Break
Employees may have a couple of options when it comes to getting away for a while. A sabbatical is a period of employer-approved leave that may or may not be paid; it can be as short as a month or as long as a year. When it’s over, you usually return to your job and pick up where you left off.
If you want more time away or don’t want to continue with the same employer, a career break may better suit you. Many who choose this type of hiatus quit their job and use the extensive period away from employment to travel, volunteer or work abroad. When the career break is over, they search for another job, often with a renewed sense of commitment.
Does Your Employer Have a Sabbatical Policy?
Many companies see value in offering a sanctioned gap year to top talent, especially when it comes to high-value employees with a thirst for adventure. If you’re interested, check with your company’s human resources department or scan your employee benefits package to see if a sabbatical policy exists.
When You Return
Once you have your sabbatical behind you, know how to leverage your time away during interviews and other career-related conversations. What lessons did you learn? How did the break make you better? What skills did you improve or acquire during your time away? Let your answers reflect the unique benefits only you can provide.
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