Often, the word sabbatical is associated with emergencies, but that shouldn’t be the case. We don’t have to wait until we feel we’re at the breaking point before we recuperate. In fact, a sabbatical can be exactly what your career needs to be elevated to the next stage.
Why Choose a Sabbatical?
There are numerous reasons to go on a sabbatical, from health benefits to boosting your current career. You know it’s time for a break when you’re not sleeping due to anxiety or constantly battling illnesses. Your body is telling you it needs relief, and a sabbatical is one way to get it. Taking a step back from work can give you a new perspective as well, one that affords options you may not have seen. It can help you find ways to overcome past challenges or even realize a passion you may have overlooked. The fact is, a sabbatical can change your life for the better.
How to Afford It
Unfortunately, a sabbatical is more than an extended vacation. Many last longer than a year, and you must be financially prepared before committing to one. This requires plenty of research and planning to come up with a reasonable budget. To begin, you'll need enough money to cover expenses and an emergency fund, so start saving by cutting unnecessary outgoings and minimizing debt. There is a possibility that you will also have to purchase health insurance, and it’s best to meet with a financial advisor to plan out a journey that works for you.
How to Spend Your Time
When it comes to what you can do, you have choices, from volunteering for a charity to starting a business or even relaxing at home. Another option is to take a road trip across the country. Of course, you’ll need a reliable car, so it’s wise to get one or make sure your current vehicle is in excellent condition before you leave. If you want to do things yourself, use guides and reviews online to make sure you’re getting the best parts and accessories for your vehicle. Changing your own brake pads, battery, or spark plugs is one way to save a little extra for the trip itself. Likewise, you need to plan your route and arrange accommodations so you don’t get stranded or end up sleeping in your car from sheer exhaustion.
Best Places to Go
If you choose to go abroad for your journey, be sure to extensively research your options. There are places for every activity and mindset, beyond the typical hiking through the mountains. You can take a train across Russia to see a diverse ecosystem or go on a yoga retreat in Mexico to seek peace and balance. If you prefer Europe, take advantage of the freedom of movement by biking from France to the Czech Republic. You can consider giving back by teaching abroad, giving you a small income and letting you experience a new culture simultaneously.
How to Pitch It to Work
If you are unsure how to discuss the subject at work, have a list of benefits for you and the company ready before you meet with your boss. However, don’t spring it suddenly on your employer; instead, allow them plenty of time to prepare for your departure. This may also help make them more receptive to losing you for a few months. Once you get the okay from your boss, don’t jump for joy just yet. Get the terms of your sabbatical in writing to ensure you have a job to return to when you’ve finished your expedition.
Take care of yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. We can all benefit from having time off to do some soul-searching. Stand up for yourself, plan accordingly, and you may see yourself flourishing in ways you didn’t think possible.