The job struggle is real. Today, we work longer hours than before, and therefore, taking a career break sounds enticing. It’s true that a sabbatical can reduce your work stress and let you do things closest to your heart, but you need to think this through before making the decision.
Below are a few things you need to consider before pressing a pause on your career.
- Have a Purpose in Mind
A career break has to have a strong reason. If your intention of taking a break is to just while away time, then that’s not constructive.
You should know beforehand how exactly you are going to do to fill the time. Are you going to try different skills? Are you going to do some volunteering work? Would you be toying with the idea of a different career option? Are you thinking of traveling internationally?
Reasons People Take a Sabbatical
- To break free from the rut, shake things up a bit and return to work with a stronger purpose.
- To make a difference to society by doing charity work.
- To upskill and gain experience.
- To discover other cultures through travel.
- To continue their learning or to fill in gaps in their education.
- To improve health and rejuvenate.
- To just take time off from work.
- To handle a personal emergency.
Please note: If your sabbatical is on the grounds of an emergency situation, this article is not for you.
With a solid purpose in mind and a positive attitude, your break will not only give you the much-needed space but also motivate and inspire you to come back to work stronger than before.
- Think Before You Plan
Carefully go through the consequences of taking a break. The appeal of a sabbatical might be too strong, but this world is real, and you need a plan. You need to understand that the employer is under no legal obligations to take you back; it’s up to you to convince and negotiate.
Few things you need to think before you plan:
- Are you at a stage in your career that you can afford to take a break?
- Are you a part of an important project that once completed will add credit to your CV?
- Are you going to miss out on any opportunities while you are on a break?
- Question Your Work Frustration
Avoid taking drastic actions without questioning your motives. You should be clear as to why you need the break. The best way to know is by being honest with yourself.
Few things to consider:
- If you are feeling disconnected from your job, leave it altogether.
- If you want to leave, but cannot afford to leave, stay put. Start applying elsewhere. You may find a small break when you are in between jobs.
- Take Advice
Taking a sabbatical cannot be an easy decision. From finance to career, there are quite a lot of things at stake here. Talk it through with a trusted friend or your partner, who’ll help you understand the risks involved and examine the options.
- Raise Money
If you intend to take a sabbatical, you need to make sure that your finances are in order. Draft a living budget considering everything from food, accommodation to transport. Then just multiply the figure by two because everything costs more than you expect. Work out how much you can save depending on how long you’ll be on a break.
Few things to consider:
- If traveling, consider a travel loan to cover your travel expenses.
- Clear your debts before you go on a break. If need be, apply for a personal loan for debt consolidation.
- Get a personal line of credit like you get with MoneyTap so you borrow quick personal loans and have a back-up in case of an emergency.
Last, but not the least – once you decide and carefully plan your sabbatical, make sure you enjoy the break and do what you weren’t able to do while being professional engaged in your regular job. If time permitted, make sure you stay updated with the changes in your industry to enable yourself with a smooth transition when you go back to work!
Shiv Nanda is a financial analyst who currently lives in Bangalore (refusing to acknowledge the name change) and works with MoneyTap, India’s first app-based credit-line. Shiv is a true finance geek, and his friends love that. They always rely on him for advice on their investment choices, budgeting skills, personal financial matters and when they want to get a loan. He has made it his life’s mission to help and educate people on various financial topics, so email him your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.