Sabbatical is not easy to take whether you are working for the government or a private firm. It raises all kinds of questions from your competency to your motives, whether you will come back or not. What more do you have to figure out about life? After you reach a certain age, more such questions arise saying what about your responsibility and your duty to take care of your loved ones?
All of it can be overwhelming for anyone and make people believe that they cannot take a sabbatical from work at all. Chasing money cannot be the sole objective of anyone’s life, but it’s impossible to remove the paranoia from heads who have convinced themselves that once active pursuit of money ends they won’t be able to continue again. We help you by giving you tips on how to take a sabbatical from work.
#1. Zero In On A Date
It is impossible to take a sabbatical without having a concrete plan in mind. What will you do when you are on leave? Will you travel to a particular place you were always fond of or just sit back and rest at home? You can even think of working on a pending project and have it up and running as a side thing to your job. All these plans are too appealing we understand, but they need to be in your calendar for you to realize them. Set a date depending on the season you enjoy the most so that you can take a break to enjoy your unfettered days.
# 2. Get Approval
If you seek approval of everything you do from people around you, the chances are you will end up doing nothing. People can object to the most rational things without rhyme or reason and not everyone reasons with himself over what is guilt and what isn’t. If they don’t do this then how can you expect them to be good advisors all the time? What you can do is mention it to few of your close friends and family members and gauge their response. Once they know you will resume work after a while and need this sabbatical to condition yourself, they won’t be serious in their condemnation.
#3. Discuss It With Your Employer
Don’t think of taking a sabbatical just when you have started a job or are 2 - 3 months into it, chances are your employer will think of you as a lazy and incompetent worker who is unable to deal with the work pressure and will outrightly refuse to give you a sabbatical. Every new employer has to be eased into trusting a new employee, and this process is slow. Once you have done a good job of staying in the organization and convinced everyone that you are dependable and hard-working, it won’t be difficult to get perks from time to time.
Has it ever felt that your job is limiting you? The rush of nostalgia suddenly travels up your spine accompanied by loud banging asking you to act upon past beginnings that did not reach the level you wanted to reach? All of us feel like this sometime or the other. It is very important to compartmentalize your thoughts at this stage so that they don’t boil over into other things you do. You have to distinguish some from all the activities you would like to participate in so that you can undertake the one which gives you the highest value adding to your personality and character.
# 5. Finances
The money will indeed remain the biggest factor in taking a sabbatical as you will have to put aside the same figure for a good year saving enough to last your sabbatical. When we assert ourselves as adults, we take a big responsibility of being independent at all times. It is a very big responsibility given that the world is irrational and precarious so to keep that uncertainty at bay and make a living out of your daily life is surely an act of triumph for any man. First of all, there should be no debts, if there are debts, then your sabbatical will turn into a nightmare instead of a good experience that you want to have. The result of putting pressure on an already burdened man is the man breaking apart. Either he will scream in agony blowing his gasket or attain a level of numbness that separates him from the material things in the world. You need to separate yourself now and then from money and the pursuit of it so that you can feel light again. The stress this capital gain can put you under can be enormous and risk your health. Pay your debts, limit spending by exercising tight control over what to buy and sell some old not needed stuff so that you can have an emergency fund just in case.
# 6. Find Out Company Policies
A lot of companies give leaves per month which can be aggregated over a period of time and then claimed within a year. These rules however fixed can be relaxed if you work in a small organization and if they cannot be, you can always work them out to your advantage by planning a sabbatical when you get to claim a lot of the aggregated leaves in a row.
#7. Find A Replacement
If the nature of your work is such that you can work with just a laptop and wifi connection, then you can even give it some time when you are on your sabbatical. Otherwise, you can speak to a few of your friends with a similar set of skills to take your position, and if they are not interested, they can ask in their extended social circle. Finding a replacement helps you gain an edge as this settlement will prevent your organization from hiring someone else and when you get back, your replacement will go back to doing what he/she was doing before this opportunity came along. The best alternative would be people who run their own business or are self-employed and are eager to get a taste of corporate environment. A lot of companies hire only from referrals when there are only one or two vacancies instead of mega interviews so you will have higher chances of succeeding.
# 8. Rent Out Your Possessions
Ask yourself how does your empty house serve you well? The answer is it doesn’t. You can speak to a lot of travel agencies which are always looking to accommodate foreign nationals who are visiting your country and find hotels too damn expensive. As long as they are doing the upkeep of the house, you won’t be too greedy for the charges, right? You can rent out your car and your house to reliable people and feel the joy of giving a little bit along the way.
# 9. Visa And Other Formalities
If you are going abroad, you need to check the eligibility of your visa and passport whether or not they permit you to live abroad and if they do then for how long. Getting a date to renew your visa can sabotage your sabbatical if it not already in your plans so make sure you obtain it as there are delays in getting it.
# 10. Banking And Insurance
To save you another additional trip, you need to inquire with your bank and insurance agents whether your insurance is applicable in the country you are going to and doesn’t invalidate it. Another thing you need to learn about is your bank having any sister banks abroad so that you can visit them in case something happens and you need more money than you have. You will need to know about the ATM kiosks so that you can make regular withdrawals.
# 11. Consider Social Responsibility
If you don’t want to travel and don’t have any upcoming side projects that you can work on, you can consider doing humanitarian work which will help you fulfill your desire to good for the world. Every one of us feels bad when we see man perpetrating evil against another man and often feel guilty about the same as well for enjoying while others around us are suffering. This guilt and self-criticizing can be easily done away with when you spread smiles and happiness on the face of people or research on a subject which when uncovers a new truth will help mankind a great deal.
Let us know what all you will do if you get a sabbatical. Share with us in the comments section below.