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The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for Sabbatical Leave

Sometimes you just need to take a break.

In today’s world, we are under pressure to be continuously achieving. People are increasingly pushing themselves to the limit. It’s time to talk about sabbatical leave.

You are confronted by the need to achieve every day.

Be it in your career, your social media following, and online presence, travelling the world, or getting your dream body, it’s no secret we are always comparing ourselves to others.

But what if it all gets too much for you?

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What if you’re starting to burn out and you don’t know what you can do about it.

Maybe it’s time to consider taking a sabbatical leave.

A sabbatical can come in many different forms, be that a social media break, a career break or a holiday break.

What is sabbatical leave?

The dictionary definition of a sabbatical is a period of paid leave granted to a university teacher or other worker for study or travel, traditionally one year for every seven years worked.

In this article, I’m going to talk specifically about preparing for a sabbatical.

Often when people think about career breaks, they associate that with having children. But that’s not always the case.

you got this don't worry

I am currently on a break from my corporate career. I do not have children (and I’m not pregnant- as far as I know).

Still, I decided to take a break to reset. I want some time to think through where I am, what I really want to get from the next few years and how I get there.

Also I just really want some more time to nap!

Here’s what led me to choose to take a career break.

You may relate to one or more of these reasons.

1.Boredom and loss of passion

The job you once loved no longer appeals in the way it once did. You feel like you are stuck in a rut. Maybe it’s time to consider taking a sabbatical.

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2. Lack of results:

You feel as though you are working really hard, but you’re just not getting anywhere. Now your struggling and are feeling stressed about what to do to get the results you deserve.

3.Constant exhaustion

No matter how much you sleep you are always tired. You just cannot get the energy up in the way you used to. You’re feeling burned out. You should really consider taking a sabbatical.

4. Different options:

Perhaps you’re feeling at a crossroads. There are a few different options you could take but how do you choose? A sabbatical could help you get the perspective you need to make the right decision.

Want to read more about the benefits of lifelong learning? Try this article

taking a career break to spend time with family and friends

5. Family and friends:

Sometimes you just want to be able to spend more time with the people you care about. This could be for any number of reasons, perhaps someone you love needs care, or maybe you just feel out of touch with your bestie. Time off from work can allow you the freedom to focus on them.

Here are some tips to help prepare you for a career break

I’m sure that if you are reading this article, then you may relate to some of the topics I described. You are thinking about taking a break but how do you get started?

The very first step is to understand your company policy when it comes to taking a sabbatical.

Reach out to your HR partner and ask what the policy is.

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You need to understand if your sabbatical leave will be supported by your company or not.

Let me be clear, just because your company may not support extended leave within its policies, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it. However, it is essential you understand the process.

Many companies, especially larger companies, will have a policy on extended leave. You need to understand this as well as the impact on your benefits and pension.

Sounds boring, but it’s super important. You must do this. Do not go into a sabbatical leave blind.

5 Things to do to prepare for sabbatical leave – that people won’t tell you!

Some other things you need to be aware of are listed below. These are tips that won’t be in the policy overview. When preparing for time away from work, you need to get organised!

1. Sort Your Finances

I cannot stress how important it is when preparing for a sabbatical to make sure you are comfortable with your finances. The last thing you want to be worried about when on sabbatical is paying your bills.

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Review your commitments each month and ensure you have enough to cover these in your savings as well as a suitable buffer. The amount that you need depends on your lifestyle.

I chose to ensure I had enough to cover all my bills, food and expenses plus 25% buffer. You don’t know what will happen so you should protect yourself.

This article can help you plan what you need.

2. Don’t fuck yourself over – get everything in order

If you go on extended leave from a company and will be coming back, don’t be tempted to continue business as usual or slack off until you leave.

Put in the extra effort to tie off all loose ends.

Make sure you have a solid handover so that your projects can keep running. Don’t leave it in a mess.

Trust me you will thank yourself for this in the long run.

3. Plan your first week of sabbatical leave

The first week off during extended leave can be a little daunting. It is going to take you a little while to wind down into your sabbatical. Also, there will be a list of things that you always want to do but never get round to. Don’t lie, we all have that list!

My recommendation is to use that list and get through it in your first week. You will feel a great sense of accomplishment. More importantly, you won’t be having these tasks in the back of your mind as things to do before you go back.

Once they’re done, your free to enjoy the rest of your time completely relaxed!

planning for sabbatical leave and taking a career break

4. Know the plan to get back into work

It is vital that you agree with your manager what will happen when you get back to work.

You may not be wanting to think about it but trust me, when preparing for a sabbatical this is a crucial step.

The way I think about this is just as a way to remove a potential area of stress and anxiety. The last thing you want while enjoying your time off (aside from running out of money), is to be stressing about what’s going to happen when you come back to work.

Have the conversation with your manager. Know the plan and then leave for your time off feeling happy with the plan.

5. Schedule Mentor meetings before your career break

Mentors are so important.

If you have a mentor in the business, I recommend you catch up with them before heading off on sabbatical. They will be able to offer honest advice about what the sabbatical will mean for you.

A mentor can help you get prepared. I met both my mentors before my sabbatical and each was able to offer me great advice. This included things to do while I’m off and how to come back.

Much of their advice is what I have shared with you in this article.

Take the tiume off on sabbatical to live your dream.

The benefit of sabbatical leave on your career

A career break can be an excellent opportunity to refresh your perspectives and get your priorities straight. The sabbatical opportunity can help you to understand what may be missing in your current career and how to change it.

It may seem trivial, but we spend much of our lives working. Knowing how much we work, it is crucial we are satisfied with our careers.

Also if it’s all getting a bit much for you – remember that it’s ok to take a career break!

You deserve time off!

Trust me, the world won’t stop because you’ve decided to take time out from your 9 to 5. And you’ll probably be much for effective once you’ve had some time to put your mind right.

One final piece of advice before I leave you, when you are on sabbatical, do one thing every day to treat yourself. You can do anything like taking the time to sit and read, through to getting your nails done mid-morning without the crowd. The dream!

Remember, your happiness is essential so if you need a career break for that, do it!

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The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for Sabbatical Leave - everything you need to know about why and how to take a sabbatical.

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