Gift yourself a sabbatical

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The minute we graduate from university, the job hunt begins. As the years pass, we settle into a monotony – working 45 hours a week, if not more, getting barely any rest and being constantly weighed down by stress. A few years into our careers and we are already fantasising about weekend trips, long vacations, and even retirement; anything to get away from the toil. If you are yearning for a breather, here’s an idea – take a sabbatical!

While taking short vacations give you a chance to relax and unwind, sometimes a longer break is required. A sabbatical will give you time to realise untapped potential, and give clarity on muddled career choices; sometimes it even steers one into exploring unfamiliar territory that can be both fun and an eye opener. Simply put, all that was once pushed to the back seat because of an all consuming job can be pursued and enjoyed during a sabbatical.

Several qualms surround the idea of taking a long break from one’s career, but The Woman encourages you to humour your desire for that much needed time off

Many of us have several reservations regarding sabbaticals. Are we jeopardising our careers? Can we afford to take a long period of time off? What will we do with our free time? These questions are bound to prop up at some point, yet, they can be tackled, simply with some planning.

First up, it is important to decide the date and duration of the sabbatical you wish to take, well in advance. If you keep a date in mind, you can work your way towards it – you can approach your employer for permission, work out an arrangement and put away enough in savings in time for your sabbatical. It is important to tell near and dear ones about your decision to take a break; this will make the possibility of a sabbatical more of a reality than a fantasy. The second step is to decide what you wish to do while you are away at sabbatical. It is not enough to take time off and sit at home; living in a different place and doing something productive with your time is an absolute must. You could travel to places you have always wanted to visit, try your hand at an alternate career choice, take up a unique hobby, study to enhance your educational qualification, write a book or pursue projects and dreams you left behind when you first started working.

Lessons learnt from new experiences, de-stressing and rejuvenation, discovering hidden talents, healing from work burnout, enhancing knowledge and recognising a vast array of career opportunities are the perks of taking a sabbatical, which in turn help one evolve as a person.

Yes, taking a sabbatical requires being decisive, stubborn and a whole lot of planning. Yet, it is not impossible, and surely you can