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The Value of a Sabbatical and Why You Should Take It

April 11, 2022

6 min read

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Author : United We Care
The Value of a Sabbatical and Why You Should Take It

Introduction

Is work getting too hectic? Is there a specific educational degree you want to pursue? Is work bogging you down? If your answer to any of the above questions is “yes,” then it’s time for you to take a sabbatical. This article will delve into the true meaning of a sabbatical, ways of planning your sabbatical, and the benefits of taking a sabbatical. 

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What is a sabbatical?

A sabbatical is a break from work mutually agreed upon by your employer and yourself. It is a mutually agreed upon time off, for various reasons, before returning to your organisation. Reasons for taking a sabbatical can be to pursue education, pregnancy, family matters, pursuing a hobby, travelling, or even resting. This sabbatical is an excellent way for women to rejoin the workforce after a mutually agreed upon leave to ensure that both the organisation and employee benefit. During this sabbatical, the organisation will retain the employee, but they will not need to report to work or perform their everyday job responsibilities. Sabbatical leaves differ from regular leaves in that they are of a longer duration. Although the workplace might not grant a sabbatical to everyone, it gives sabbaticals to employees who have been working for them over a considerable period.

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How can you make the most of your sabbatical?

Go through the following pointers to make the most of your sabbatical.

  1. Acknowledge your abilities and limitations. Avoid going too far out of your comfort zone to de-stress, which can have unintended repercussions.
  2. Try to detach from the workplace. When away, separating from your organisation will help you rejuvenate better.
  3. Focus on a single goal at a time. Quality over quantity dictates that picking one plan and following it through will help you make the most of your sabbatical.
  4. Have a specific plan for your sabbatical. If you wish to achieve a goal during your sabbatical, plan for it accordingly. That will help you achieve your goal and make the most of your sabbatical.

Various ideas for making the most of your sabbatical are as follows.

  1. Travel sabbatical ideas. Taking a road trip, going around the world, learning something you can only learn from abroad.
  2. Educational sabbatical ideas. Learn a new skill, do some volunteer work, take up a fitness challenge, or write a book,
  3. Work sabbatical ideas. Work on a new project, start a blog or develop a personal brand.
  4. Family sabbatical ideas. Spend more time with family, plan a family reunion, and take an extended family holiday.

What if you can’t take a complete sabbatical?

For many employees, depending on the terms of your sabbatical discussed with your organisation, instances may pop up where you may be unable to take your full sabbatical due to unforeseen circumstances. In such cases, you are at liberty to choose what action you wish to accept. You may want to continue your sabbatical and let your job go. In some cases, you may have to cut short your sabbatical and return to the organisation. This decision depends on why you have selected to go on a sabbatical, the current phase of your sabbatical, and whether you are financially sound to decide enough on your sabbatical. If you can get a substitute to step in for you, you can continue your sabbatical, provided this is acceptable to the organisation.

How to plan for your sabbatical?

To plan your sabbatical, you need to finalise your plan, approach your boss, and follow it in writing. Check out these steps to know more:

  1. Finalise your plan. When finalising your project for a sabbatical, you need to identify its intricacies like what you want to do, how you want to do it, why you want to do it, and when you want to do it. 
  2. Approach your boss. Book an appointment with your boss and plan for it accordingly. In the meeting, be clear about your plan and how it will benefit both the organisation and yourself. Pitch your idea to your boss and give it some time to sink in.
  3. Follow up in writing. It is advisable to follow up on the meeting details in writing to allow your boss to go through your plan once again. It will also stimulate a response from your boss.

What are the benefits of taking a sabbatical?

Sabbaticals can be beneficial to both employers and employees for the following reasons.
For employees

  1. A sabbatical prevents burnout in employees.
  2. Employees return to work feeling less stressed and more productive after their sabbatical.
  3. With increased independence, a sense of control, energy, and more professional knowledge, the employee’s psychological health increases and improves.

For employers

  1. Sabbaticals can help rejuvenate an employee, leading to improved quality of work.
  2. The organisation can increase employee retention.
  3. It helps organisations plan for unexpected absences by making team members work and plan accordingly.
  4. Sabbaticals serve as a powerful recruiting tool.
  5. Employees may discover new ways of contributing to the organisation.
  6. Sabbaticals help increase the productivity of both employees and teams.
  7. Organisations that offer sabbaticals portray a caring attitude towards their employees.
  8. It promotes inclusivity and diversity within the organisation.

Conclusion

Sabbaticals are leaves taken by an employee for an extended period. Both employee and organisation mutually agree upon sabbaticals. Reasons for sabbaticals may vary. Sabbaticals, if planned well, can lead to great employer-employee benefits. Sabbaticals are an excellent way to improve both personal and professional growth. Before you take a sabbatical, it is essential to have a plan. This plan needs to have both the employee’s and the organisation’s interests. Sabbaticals taken to upgrade yourself for an educational degree or upskill yourself with a course can benefit you and your institution. 

 

Organisations that offer sabbaticals send a strong message of inclusivity, diversity, and employee care. Therefore, such organisations quickly grab the attention of talented individuals.
Your organisation might not always grant you a sabbatical, but if you approach them with proper planning and dedication, your chances of getting approval from the authorities will increase. A leave is invaluable, and you should attempt to take one!

 

For more information on finding the proper professional guidance or any other psychological issues and life decisions, do visit unitedwecare.com/areas-of-expertise/

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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