Sabbatical is a term usually reserved for teachers. It's a year's paid leave while they travel and/ or take on further study. Seven years of work usually equates to year away. The purpose of sabbaticals is for teachers to come back to their vocation enriched with experiences to share.
It's quite the opposite of sipping daiquiris by a pool in Bali or mindlessly dedicating a year to binge watch television. It's considered time away for proper life experiences that can assist in shaping the next phase of life and work.
Put simply, it's an investment in the teacher.
Sabbaticals shouldn't just be reserved for those in the teaching field. There should be large chapters of our lives where we can have significant time away from the daily grind no matter what profession we're in.
I like to call them Life Sabbaticals. It's a decision made by you, for you. A decision that doesn't rest on the job you have.
In a Life Sabbatical you turn your life's timeline on its ear. You, running your life on your watch and nobody else's. A year designed of your own choices.
You may be thinking, well this isn't an ideal world, my job won't ever pay me to take a year off to travel. Having a year of nothing on my CV doesn't look good for my next employer. I have bills to pay, responsibilities to think about like my bullsh** mortgage.
Or you may be thinking, that's not normal.
True. It's not normal. And quite easily all your friends have never made these kinds of choices so you're weird for even thinking about it. You may even be feeling guilty. Or there was that one friend that had the balls to pack up and split. You see all their remarkable world travels or philosophical insights on Instagram and it makes you envious and nervous at the same time.
But if the idea also excites you, even just by an ounce, wouldn't you at the very least entertain the idea of making it happen? To draw out a plan to make it feasible?
What if you chose to factor in this time away for yourself so that you're not at mercy to the requirements that you think your life, society or your job demands of you?
Or took smaller steps. Initially taking three or six months away?
There's wonderful examples of people that have staked their claim on their own time line. There's a family member, at age 50, that took time away to dedicate her full attention to the romantic novel she always wanted to write. A grand departure of her former life, and she thanked herself for it. Now she's looking into literary agents and publishers.
Then there's an old colleague in my world of TV who took a year away to the United States to explore other careers. He got a broad scope of what was out there, returned to his old job and eventually transitioned into another role that still included his knowledge and experience of the entertainment industry.
There's friends that have become dissatisfied with their former jobs and are now looking for something more fulfilling. They've had the courage to step away from their old life, to investigate inward and taken a lateral approach to explore what's out there. Most importantly, the simple thought is to get back to what makes them happy. And to see those joys turned into a life and business of their choosing.
These are exactly the kinds of results that come from dedicating huge periods of time to yourself.
At the very least, after a life sabbatical you've expanded in some way.
And your evolvement is grander than anything else you could have ever imagined.