August 25, 2011
The Sabbatical Success Secret
“I’ve taken sabbaticals where I’ve returned a better employee, leader, wife and mother,” says Rita Foley. Not only does Foley know about the benefits of sabbaticals from experience, she’s also co-author of Reboot Your Life: Energize Your Career and Life by Taking a Break.
Foley has used "reboot breaks” to come back refreshed to her current job and to change careers. “Taking a sabbatical [can] reprioritize what is important to you,” says Foley.
Experts agree, citing the experiences of others who used their sabbatical to find a career they can be passionate about, a new perspective on their current career and better Life/Work balance.
Foley's top tips? Plan well in advance (at least a year), create a sabbatical savings fund by asking friends and family to contribute to it in lieu of gifts for
birthdays or holidays, and write a detailed plan for your boss, including how your work will be covered and by whom.
In her research, Foley found that more than 100 organizations offer fully paid-for sabbaticals. In fact, “21 of Fortune’s 2011 ‘Top Companies to Work For’ offer fully paid-for sabbaticals,” she says. Researchers add that a sabbatical can give women the opportunity to go back for that MBA or advance their academic career.
Those who’ve done it say travel in general expands your experiences and perspective. And Foley’s ‘reboot break’ impacts her everyday life. “I started playing tennis on my sabbatical. When I returned, I asked my secretary not to schedule appointments on Fridays before 10 a.m.,” so she can play regularly.
Bonus PINK Link: Get more tips for taking a reboot break in our online exclusive.
By Malee Moua
"Change is often rejuvenating, invigorating, fun and necessary." Lynn Povich
*Supporting images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net, scottchan, thephotoholic and Ambro.