WHAT IS SABBATICAL LEAVE?
The term “sabbatical” refers to a “time off from work” during which employees might pursue individual ambitions such as travelling, blogging, studying, volunteering, or other occupations (or even rest). The employee stays employed by their company during this period. They are not required to do their typical job obligations or attend work.
Sabbaticals aren’t just a fancy way of saying “vacation.” They’re the new term for actively pursuing one’s goals.
WHO GETS A SABBATICAL?
Some organizations wish to provide their staff sabbaticals to thank them for their commitment and reliability over the years. After a set duration of employment with the organization, workers are generally eligible for a sabbatical leave. That said, there are no hard and fast rules as to whom sabbatical leaves are applicable or not applicable.
The “who” can apply for leave is subjective and varies from one organization to another. An important point to note is that not all companies provide or encourage employees to use this benefit.
HOW LONG CAN A SABBATICAL BE?
A sabbatical does not have to be for a certain amount of time. It’s crucial to understand that sabbatical doesn’t equate to vacation and, as a result, requires some prep work. These could involve actions like preparing your replacement, handing over duties, and other things you wouldn’t normally consider during shorter intervals. Sabbaticals are typically anywhere between four weeks to a year-long to get the most out of this form.
IS SABBATICAL PAID OR UNPAID?
The company budget will determine if your sabbatical will be paid or unpaid. In addition, the length of the sabbatical is also dependent on the budget. Some employers elect to pay a particular percentage of employees’ salaries while on sabbatical leave. In contrast, others provide total wages, while others take unpaid.
The employer’s decision on whether or not to pay depends on why you wish to take a sabbatical. Suppose you want to take a year off to pursue a degree. In this case, the employer may consider it an investment in your development and cover the costs.
On the other hand, regardless of how you choose to spend your sabbatical time, one may argue that it is an investment in your personal development.
5 BENEFITS OF TAKING A SABBATICAL LEAVE:
- Overall reduction of mental strain, discouragement, and anxiety.
- It diminishes the risk of burnout and helps you get rejuvenated.
- Freedom to pursue interests such as travel, education, etc.
- Help realize if what you are doing is your true passion.
- For the employers, it reduces the turnover cost and increases employee retention.
3 STEPS TO PREPARE FOR A SABBATICAL LEAVE?
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH
Take some time to reflect before you start the sabbatical leave. Pinpoint and set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound) goals you want to achieve when on vacation. An excellent place to start is considering which aspects of your personal and professional life you have neglected the most and would like to develop.
Before starting your leave, prepare a budget detailing how you would pay for your sabbatical, especially if it’s unpaid.
2. CREATE A PLAN
Creating a plan for your sabbatical varies depending on duration and goals. Taking a sabbatical is only as good as our ability to execute and plan it. If there is no plan in place on how you would like to spend your sabbatical, you will miss out on the opportunity to reap all the benefits it offers.
While documenting your budget,, examine and allocate funds for your stay, commute, and food. Additionally, also budget for the time you have on hand. Schedule appointments and timings to meet with family, friends and so on.
Finally, do not forget the importance of delegating work responsibilities while away and having a work return plan and strategy. By setting up the process, you can have a smooth transition while rejoining work.
3. SHARE YOUR STORY
Documenting is everything. After completing steps 1 & 2, it’s time to execute and record. During the documentation stage, you need to be flexible with time. It’s vital to remind yourself that even the best plans sometimes have glitches. When they occur, embrace them rather than dread them.
Tracking your sabbatical leave is suitable for collecting memories and sharing them with colleagues when you return to work. You can share what you discovered about yourself, what talents you gained during your time off, etc. Your budgets, plans, and other documents will be helpful to friends and coworkers working on their sabbatical.
5 SABBATICAL PERIOD IDEAS!
1. EXPLORE OTHER SOURCES OF INCOME
If you have had a dream of owning your own business or have had the urge to know what it feels like to be your boss, this is the time. Invest in that idea you have always wanted to start.
Businesses, like children, require a lot of your energy, effort and attention when they first begin. Sabbatical leave is an excellent opportunity to start your side hustle since you will have the option and chance to devote yourself to your new venture.
2. ADOPT A HOBBY
Have you always wanted to learn how to skateboard- do it! Have you tried to learn woodwork and build your furniture from scratch- do it!
A new hobby is a great way to unwind and relax. Look at this time to do anything you have always wanted but didn’t due to time constraints.
1. LEARN A NEW SKILL
Even if you like your current job, you may still yearn for a creative outlet outside of the office. 42% of the employees consider access to learning and development the most significant perk when searching for a job?
Sabbaticals provide people with the time and space to hone a new talent. Coursera and Udemy, for example, provide thousands of free programs meant to help you learn new skills. You could enroll in a Masterclass to learn from prominent celebrities, chefs, and business owners.
2. WORK ON YOUR BRAND
Online presence is everything. People realize that they have power and that intentionally developing this inherent influence into a personal brand could help them advance in their careers.
Let’s say you are in the beauty industry. Firstly, allocate some time of your sabbatical leave to grow your Instagram, LinkedIn or other platforms,, depending on where your audience is. Secondly, take time to plan, create, edit and post content regularly. Finally, add value and share your two cents while building and engaging with your target audience.
Reports showed that 92% of the people trust personal recommendations more than other types of marketing and promotion.
3. BECOME A MENTOR
Suppose you are an individual who is passionate about teaching others. In that case, you could use your sabbatical leave to do precisely that. CEOs, CFOs, and other professionals can leverage mentoring to pass their unique expertise to companies that lack knowledge.
You can mentor and assist people in starting a business where you are knowledgeable. It doesn’t matter what you are coaching people to accomplish. It’s a fantastic way to make the most of your sabbatical leave regardless.
Sabbatical leave is not a new concept, but it’s rare to find in the business world. However, many organizations are successfully implementing sabbatical policies today. A sabbatical could be the answer to increasing productivity, loyalty, efficiency, and connection at your company. It allows employees to reflect, learn, and recall what they enjoy about their jobs.
Often after returning from a sabbatical, people have reported feeling invigorated and having better self-awareness. Furthermore, they could fully immerse themself at work and be more confident in their career trajectory.
Getting People Right (GPR) is an educational website providing professionals from all types of businesses with practical education in human resources and leadership. To keep evolving your leadership toolkit, additional GPR resources below will be useful: