By Sarika Tainwala
Are you tired of work pressures, deadlines, long commutes to work and unfair appraisals? Is balancing family and work becoming an impossible task for you? This is when you need to rethink your priorities and consider going on a sabbatical to rejuvenate and recharge your batteries.
A sabbatical can mean different things to different people; some go on a career break to re-organize their life, while some do it for raising children. Whatever your reason may be, every working professional must go on a break and use that time to evaluate their life, goals and decisions.
So now that your open to the idea, let’s explore some fun and interesting ways to enjoy your sabbatical and ensure you grow, stay relevant and updated.
Travel: A career break is the perfect time to travel and go on a soul searching trip. And since it’s a sabbatical, you plan your trip according to your personal tastes. For those who seek nature as a way to unwind, surfing in Hawaii, hiking trails for beautiful vistas and waterfalls in Yosemite’s or a quest for the best ramen in Tokyo are good options. While those with esoteric tastes, can resort to the local music scene in New York city.
Give back: Climbing ladders and running the rat race in the corporate world, globe-trotting and earning big bucks turns us into individuals with commercial our mindsets. Use this time to give your time to share your corporate experience and skills with people that need it, but cant afford it. For instance, conduct workshops on leadership skills, negotiation and teamwork abilities, sales and marketing strategies etc for working professionals at subsidized rates, or complementary sessions at NGO’s etc.
Rekindle passions: Ever had a burning desire to become a tennis instructor or learn to play the guitar or learn belly dancing or attend a writing retreat in the Himalayas, but could not do it due to fulfillment of your financial responsibilities towards family? A break is a good time to do it.
Relax, meditate and decompress: If you were in a leadership position and faced tremendous pressure to deliver and constantly meeting high profile clients on business deals? You can now relax and decompress with meditation and yoga.
Academia and knowledge: In our corporate careers, some of our jobs demand academic degrees and certificates, for you are unable to make time and do, now you can pursue a diploma from a top university depending on your area of interest, on a full time, part time basis, via satellite learning or on campus.
Read: Full time jobs normally deprive us of the luxury of reading, and a career break is a time to immerse yourself in publications, newspapers, novels and books of subject matter interest to develop your IQ and growth of skills.
Volunteer: Contribute to a worthy cause with NGO’s in your city.
Look at entrepreneurship: Taking a break itself is a risk taking process, and this can be demonstrated by launching your own venture, with a strong idea in mind. You will have to face late nights, multi tasking, continuous rejections and grueling working hours, all of which demonstrate your tenacity which recruiters seek in career restarters.
Learning languages: Learning Italian, French or Spanish demonstrates your ability to explore new things and learn, which is demonstrates your curiosity and hunger to learn, which a huge bonus in your interviews.
Short-term jobs abroad: One of the most offbeat things to do on a sabbatical is to take up short-term jobs abroad to supplement your travel fund. Teaching English abroad is one of the most popular options.
Write a novel: Write a novel and get it published, or take up a creative writing program to channel your creative juices.
Taking a career sabbatical is very common these days, and despite the stigma attached to it, people still take one at some point in their careers, depending on what their goals are in life. And it is highly recommended, considering the burnout of corporate executives these days with work pressures, as they climb up the ladder.
Do follow these ideas if you’re planning to take a break, to ensure you get back refreshed, rejuvenated and recharged.
About the Author:
Sarika is a corporate marketing professional with 6+ years of work experience in Client Servicing, Business Development, and content writing with Imagic Creatives Pvt Ltd, Think IMC, Aegis BPO, and Air Deccan airlines among others. Academically she’s studied – Executive General Management Program (EGMP), IIM, B, Six months of Management Development Program-(YPP) from IIM, K, PGDMM, St. Joseph College of Administration, Bangalore,B.Com- Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. She’s also a voice-over artist and loves to gym and watches movies. She’s a management professional turned into a writer and loves reading the romance genre and Indian authors. She aspires to release her own novel someday.