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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Mott

How to Take a Sabbatical, Without Taking Away From Your Life or Career

Updated: May 11, 2019

Guest Post by Eva Benoit

When people think of taking a sabbatical, they typically have a mixture of two emotions: anxiety and excitement. The idea of taking time off to explore the world and get to know yourself sounds like a dream. Fitting a long break into your career and life, however, can often feel more like a nightmare. If you have the right info, you can make this brilliant move work for you and come out a better employee for it. Here’s what you need to know:

How to Take Make Solid Arrangements for Your Life

Sabbaticals are actually growing in popularity, even for people who are serving in demanding career fields like the military. But people are still struggling to ensure that their time off doesn’t do any permanent to their lives. If you plan your sabbatical out well enough, however, you should be able to avoid any regrettable financial side effects.

One way you can calm your money woes is to consider renting out your home while you are away. In addition to giving you the peace of mind that comes with having a caretaker, rental payments can provide the income you need to offset any changes to your regular paycheck. You’ll want to make sure your home is well maintained and clean before you rent it out, and have a detailed rental agreement that outlines any policies applicable to your tenants (and their guests).

Depending on the other financial steps you take, you could even use that cash to upgrade your travels. Before you do that, though, come up with a well-researched budget for the time you will be off and try to set some funds aside for emergencies. You can also take steps to protect your credit. Finally, if you have pets, you’ll also need to have a plan to ensure they are cared for if you cannot take them on your adventures. Arrange to have a family member board your pets while you are away, and set aside some funds to cover costs of care.

Why You Really Should Take a Career Break

Taking a few months — or even a year — off of work may sound insane. In reality, however, sabbaticals provide a host of benefits for employees. For you, sabbaticals offer the unprecedented opportunity to clear your mind. You’ll come back to your career with a better picture of your passions, your strengths, and your ultimate goals in life. Even for those who have yet to begin their careers, opting for a pretirement can provide a stronger foundation for the future. Traveling the world before you land your first big job is actually easier than you think; plus, you will be surprised at the positive feedback you’ll receive from potential employers.

If you’re further along in your career, you can still benefit from a sabbatical, and your employer can as well. When organizations support employee sabbaticals, staff members tend to grow more loyal. They also come back as better workers and supervisors. Of course, there may be a handful of employers who raise an eyebrow at your absence. Listing sabbaticals on resumes will provide an opportunity to clear up any questions from the start and allow you to control the narrative around your decisions. Plus, you’ll have so many experiences to talk about in your interview that you’re sure to impress the hiring managers.

Yes, a sabbatical is completely doable! You can pretty much make a meaningful break work at any point in your career and at any age. Just sit down and really give some thought to it, make enough arrangements so you have no worries about home, and get ready for all of the adventures that are ahead of you! Your body, mind, and soul will all be so much better for it!

Eva Benoit works with her clients to discover and explore avenues that will bring them balance, peace, and improved overall well-being that can last a lifetime.

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