For me, it’s day 1 of my sabbatical. Not the kind most people are used to where a company pays you to be unemployed. The kind that’s saved for and planned out so you can walk away and rest your mind and your soul. Following your bliss was recently made popular again because of one of my favorite shows on Netflix. It originated from Joseph Campbell’s, The Power of Myth and I believe it resonated with so many people because we all live these hectic, fast lives.
If following your bliss means that I’m not just doing whatever I like, but identifying a pursuit which I’m passionate about and attempting to give myself to it then a sabbatical is the idea made reality. Hard work, planning and thought made into an opportunity. It’s easy to find people who don’t like their careers and want to quit and just travel, but that’s not me. I actually like what I do, but I’m not fulfilled. Many of us feel like we are going nowhere, stuck in this endless loop, and need to re-energize and build new skill sets. Responsibilities keep growing and you wake up one day and realize you’re not doing the things you really want to do. That’s when you stop and think, I need a break, but a vacation won’t solve this problem – a sabbatical will.
The term sabbatical is from the biblical word ‘Sabbath’ which described an activity where humans built in periods of rest and rejuvenation. A sabbatical is a break from work to pursue your bliss. Traditionally you take sabbaticals to fulfill a goal, build a skill, or do research. I’m no different and my goals are to finish my game I started building, gain new skills in the process and to get away, renew and refresh my spirit. Like wants to be surrounded by like and I want to surround myself with the type of energy that will help shape a new path for myself.
How do you do it? Where do you start? I’ll share some tips I learned while planning for my sabbatical.
Sabbaticals are only for people who’ve worked at a company for a long time.
Not true. Sometimes inspiration comes from the most unlikely places and a sabbatical is the perfect opportunity to explore those ideas and make them a reality.
Your new skills you learn while on Sabbatical should be related to your job.
Only if you’re a robot. Additional skills can help your career in many ways. I’m a marketer, but I’ve often used my love of video games to help explain difficult concepts or close a deal. It’s the other things I’m good at that make me successful at my job. If I’m shut away all day in a cubicle, the best parts of my personality don’t get too shine.
Sabbaticals can only be taken if you’re being paid.
While its certainly easier to take a paid sabbatical, it’s not impossible to take one that’s unpaid. If you have goals that are fluid and you don’t want to be held to a certain deadline, then taking a break from work is the best idea – as long as you saved and prepared.
And when you’ve made up your mind, you can begin putting your plan into action. If you’re saving for a sabbatical, you can simply keep saving and have those funds set aside once you’re ready to go. Set up an automatic savings account with your bank and put away as much money as you can. $10 a week, $1000 a month or more if possible. Tell close friends and see who can help you on your journey. You might be able to barter or trade services or a friend may have a connection. You never know who can help until you ask.
As Dan Clement’s says, “Don’t let the uncertainty of a sabbatical stop you from taking one. The best sabbaticals are taken with a dose of faith. Learn to trust that things will work out. They almost always do, and there’s no return on thinking otherwise.”