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Sabbatical: A look at what it is and whether or not it is effective

Life at the beach might not be the best option for your budget

Ever hear of paid leave (in most cases) that lasts somewhere between a couple of months and up to a year? That’s exactly what a sabbatical is, and it’s never occurred to you, here are some surprising reasons why it can really benefit you


The benefits of taking a sabbatical

It can help shake things up

A lot of professionals need to break free after being stuck in a rut for some time. Instead of using their annual leave, they use a sabbatical to help rejuvenate their career and create an opportunity for their purpose to return.



Sabbaticals can help you make a difference in the world

In most cases, a sabbatical includes some charity work or volunteer projects that can have a lasting impact on the world. If your job doesn’t sponsor such opportunities, a sabbatical might be just what the doctor ordered.


It’ll help you gain more experience

Taking a sabbatical can help you gain the skills you need in order to perform even better in your job, allowing you the time to retrain whilst participating in projects outside of your usual experience.


At the very least, it’s a better option than quitting

People that desperately need some time off work might feel like a sabbatical allows them to do just that. Most employers are willing to pay high-ranking professionals to take some much needed time off so that they can recharge their batteries since this helps retain valuable skills and also allows employees to gain a fresh new outlook in cases where they feel bored with their careers.


Can anyone take a sabbatical?

While it’s true that entry-level employees probably won’t get paid to take a sabbatical, you can arrange this special kind of leave with your employer if you’ve been with your company for an extended period and have a high-ranking position.


Of course, a sabbatical is subject to your employment contract, so it’s vital not to just assume your boss will allow it. Perhaps it might be useful to check on your company policy. A lot of employees don’t automatically have the right to take time off from work outside of holiday entitlement, but you might still be able to negotiate it with your employer even if your contract doesn’t stipulate sabbatical privileges.


Tips for negotiating a sabbatical

  • Ask, don’t tell – Don’t present your finalised plans to your boss. You need to enquire about the idea of taking a sabbatical and leave enough room for negotiation
  • Be flexible – Sabbaticals don’t need to be extensive commitments. So if your employer will only budge for a few months, the compromise is better than nothing at all
  • Highlight the benefits – Make a big deal about the skills you’ll learn. Be sure to let your boss know about all the benefits (skills) and how you’ll be returning as an improved, more valuable asset to the organisation.