Taking a "sabbatical" means taking an extended time off without quitting your job. You can travel the world and return to your old life after the special vacation. Lydia from the blog "On a Journey" has dealt with this topic in detail. Finally, from June, she herself takes a sabbatical to start a trip around the world. In the interview, she points out things you should know if you're planning an extended time away as well.
How to plan a sabbatical?
Dear Lydia, are there classic fears that many people don't want to take a sabbatical because of?? Are these concerns justified?
A classic fear, for example, is the question: "What if my career suffers because of the time off??" – No one will care if you are not there for 6 months. The clocks keep turning, even without you! You can climb the career ladder even after your time off. Rather take your sabbatical now as a "regular" employee, because once you're a team leader, it will be even harder for you to find a time to take your sabbatical. Once you're promoted, it's not like you can't leave after 1. year disappear.
Another typical question is, "How am I going to afford time off, I didn't win the lottery, did I?." – For 6 months sabbatical you already need some money, but travel is not as expensive as you think and saving is not difficult!
Sabbatical: three tips for saving money
Tip 1: The biggest money guzzler in everyday life is your car: It costs insurance, taxes, fuel and the repairs are expensive. The car itself costs quite a bit to buy and depreciates in value every year.
Tip 2: Monthly you can save 200 to 400€ with a smaller apartment or you move into a shared apartment with friends.
Tip3: Don't go out to eat – cook your own food instead. Invite your friends over to your house for dinner, cook a romantic meal for your sweetheart instead of going to a restaurant, and cook ahead for work to avoid the expensive cafeteria.
"My boss says as well as so no." – This is probably the most justified fear. Yes, your boss may prohibit you from taking a sabbatical, but you have a lot of leverage in how you ask.
"Hey boss, I'm tired of working and I want a sabbatical because I've earned it!" will not work. Convince your boss with benefits he and his company will get from your time off.
Your English skills improve and you may learn a new language. This will provide you with a great service in future conversations with foreign customers.
The reputation of the company improves. Committed young professionals prefer to work for companies that allow sabbaticals and cater to the individual wishes of their employees. A good reputation brings good employees and these ensure satisfied customers and more profit.
Sabbatical: the first steps
What are the first steps once you've decided to take a sabbatical?? Where to start?
A sabbatical is a costly proposition, and you can quickly lose track of. Once you are overwhelmed, you may quickly lose interest and just let it go. To make sure this doesn't happen to you, I have a free course for you: How to plan your sabbatical – 21 steps to a sabbaticall. The first steps are easily made.
How long can such a time-out last?
1 year or half a year or even (only) 3 months. The question is: What do you want to experience during your time away and how much time do you need to do it? Everyone switches off from everyday life differently, some need only a few weeks, others recover from everyday stress only after 6 months.
When to take time off?
There is no perfect time. Something always gets in the way. I can't leave until I have 5 years of work experience, I have to get promoted beforehand, and I still have to reorganize my coolies in the closet before I can take my time off. You see, there is never the right moment, there is always a reason why we can't do it. Give yourself a jolt and just do it NOW.
What options and models are available for time off?
There are numerous models for your time off, the three most popular being: unpaid leave, part-time and the long-term account.
When you take unpaid leave, you are (as the name implies) given unpaid time off from work and do not receive a salary and are no longer covered by Social Security.
Since you continue to receive a salary with the part-time model, you remain socially insured (pension, health insurance, etc.).). You work 2 years full time but get only 2/3 of your salary and the third year you take off and still get 2/3 of your money furthermore. Afterwards you are employed again normally.
My preferred choice is the long-term account: I pay money and/or overtime into a separate account every month. From the saved value I can take time off. I still count as employed, remain socially insured and continue to receive my salary.
Sabbatical: the financing
Financing is a key issue when taking time off like this. You often read about savings tips. Aren't there other options?
If saving alone doesn't help: Take a second job. Deliver pizza, work as a bartender in a bar or wait tables in the restaurant next door.
My second tip: Set up an extra account to which you transfer your savings. Book as soon as you get your salary 500€ on this account. This way you won't have to spend it during the month and save it for your sabbatical.
Third tip: Keep a budget book. Write down ALL your expenses. You'll be surprised at what you spend the most money on. Set exactly at this "sore" points and consider saving methods.
Sabbatical: Strategies with the boss
Can anyone take a sabbatical? Are there certain conditions?
Basically everyone can take a Sababtical. The only condition: your boss must allow you, you have no right to time off.
What basic strategy should you follow when asking your employer for a sabbatical?
1. Give it enough time. Ask your boss 2 to 3 years before you want to take your sabbatical. He needs enough time to deal with the issue and find a replacement for you.
2. Convince your boss of the advantages that he and the company will have from your time out.
You improve your language skills for customer retention.
Take your sabbatical in low order times.
The company gets a good reputation.
Your loyalty grows and also that of your colleagues.
Promoting young recruits with new tasks to replace you during your downtime.
3. Ask your boss at a good time: no stress at work, you should not be negative, but positive and your boss has a good mood. The ideal place to ask questions: the boss's office, there he feels comfortable and you have your peace of mind. No outside person should be present during your conversation.
Sabbatical: the optimal duration
Do you have any advice on how to determine the optimal length of sabbatical for you?
Difficult question, everyone is different. You should take enough time to get away from everyday life and if you have a specific goal, you can estimate approximately how long it will take. To circumnavigate Australia once with a campervan, 3 months will not be enough – 12 months are better.
Your boss also has a say – how long will (and can) he spare you. 12 months is almost impossible for small businesses, on the other hand a large company can handle a longer absence. Involve with the duration necessarily your boss and comes together to a solution.
Sabbatical: common mistakes
What are the most common mistakes when it comes to a sabbatical?
The biggest mistake: Not giving the boss early notice and going into the interview with poor preparation. Many sabbaticals fail with the boss's approval.
The money needed is often underestimated. You need a certain amount to travel. This is not a huge amount, but still you need money. Take a second job and save, save and save.
Once you've accumulated the money, you need to plan: when to start, where to go, what health insurance, what about retirement and do I need vaccinations and does health insurance pay for them? You realize yourself: To a time-out belongs a little preparation, many underestimate this and quickly lose the desire for the time-out.
How does it look actually with yourself with a Sabbatical?
The official confirmation has recently flown in with me, from June 2017 it goes on a world tour. The exact course is uncertain – perhaps we will start with the Philippines. I'm really looking forward to the trip and now it's time to get vaccinations, apply for visas, book flights and start planning.
Sabbatical: Now, not someday
What did you always want to say on the subject of sabbaticals??
Our life is finite, we all die – even if we don't like to hear it. Unfortunately, we like to put things off until later. Time off from work – I'll do it later. Learn to surf – oh, I'll do that later and the road trip in Australia – I'll do that sometime later.
Later we may not experience or be too old to climb gigantic mountains, jump off high cliffs or learn to kite surf.
My request to you: Live your life TODAY. Take your time off and don't put off your sabbatical until later. Make now the 1. Step and set a date for your time out. Start planning for your time off now. I'm happy to support you: check out my free course and get closer to your sabbatical step by step.