10 Ways a Sabbatical Could Enhance (Not Kill) Your Career  

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Taking a break from your career can seem intimidating and counterintuitive, but sabbaticals can be incredibly beneficial for both the short- and long-term.

Often people believe your career will be set back if you take a sabbatical, but this is not always the case. The most important thing a sabbatical gives you is time, and time can be a great asset to your career.

Your time is more valuable than money. You can always make more money with more work later, but you can never get time back. It is the one truly finite resource. So a sabbatical is one of the most powerful ways to unlock your most valuable resource.

So by using that time, here are 10 ways a sabbatical could enhance, not kill, your career.

1. Gain clarity on what you really want in life and start setting goals to achieve your dreams

Gaining clarity on your life and career goals can be a daunting task, but it is also incredibly rewarding and a great use of your time.

Define Your Values & Priorities: Taking the time to reflect on what matters most in life and establishing a clear set of values and priorities you want to focus on can help lay the foundations for discovering your life’s purpose.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new – engaging with different activities, people and cultures could yield insights that would otherwise not have been available!

Ask for Guidance: Don’t hesitate reaching out to those who possess knowledge or skills that can help guide you towards furthering your understanding of topics relevant to achieving the goals you’ve outlined – seeking professional guidance from counselors, coaches or therapists is another viable option if desired.

Visualize the Road Ahead: Finally, once all the research has been done and decisions about life goals have been made – visualize yourself on this path ahead; seeing yourself achieving success will give you the motivation required in order to stay focused upon reaching those desired outcomes!

2. Develop new skills such as languages, writing, coding etc. that you can apply to your career

Developing new skills can bring a host of personal and professional benefits. Here are a few:

Enhanced Cognitive Ability: Acquiring new knowledge or mastering a particular skill can help to increase mental agility, as well as the ability to think quickly and solve problems under pressure.

Broader Career Opportunities: Being able to demonstrate proficiency in different areas or subjects gives you the edge when applying for a job; expanding your skillset opens up new possibilities within the workplace and also increases your value as potential employee.

Improved Confidence & Self-Esteem: As you progress through the learning process and begin to understand concepts better, this will contribute towards an improved sense of self, boosting confidence levels and self-esteem.

Greater Creativity: Learning something outside of your normal field can provide fresh perspectives, leading to ideas that wouldn’t have been possible previously due to lack of experience – this is beneficial for creativity in problem solving tasks or just general moments of clarity!

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3. Take part in an immersive learning experience like volunteering with a non-profit or working abroad that will expand your perspectives

This can be a great way to gain a deeper understanding of different cultures and communities, while unlocking new perspectives. Whether it’s volunteering with a non-profit, or working abroad – each of these opportunities can offer unique experiences that will impact your life in many ways:

  • Broadening Your Horizons: Immersing yourself in a culture or environment that you are unfamiliar with enables exposure to different sets of values and beliefs which may otherwise have remained hidden.
  • Increased Interpersonal Skills: Interacting with people from all walks of life provides the opportunity to learn how to deal with different personalities and understand their behaviour on an intimate level; this will then translate into improved communication skills in day-to-day life.
  • Career Growth & Opportunity: Volunteering or working abroad can open up new possibilities within career paths; the knowledge and skills acquired through such experience can be invaluable for when applying for roles back home away from the place where this was gained!

READ NEXT: 30 Life-Changing Sabbatical Ideas

4. Recharge!

Taking a break can be an effective way to recharge and regain motivation. Allowing yourself to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of work-life can do wonders for your mental and physical health.

During this time, it’s important to focus on self-care activities such as reading a book, listening to music or just spending time with family and friends. This will help in regaining energy and providing the motivation needed to return to work with even more enthusiasm!

Investing time on self care can help boost creativity and productivity while providing relief from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Taking breaks and doing activities that make you feel relaxed, such as yoga or meditation, can be a great way to recharge your mind and body.

This could lead to inspiration for new ideas when it’s time to get back to work. Additionally, self-care can help you stay focused and motivated in your current job or build the necessary foundation for future endeavors. Investing time on yourself is essential for long-term success in any career.

5. Reflect on where you’ve been and where you want to go

Reflection is an important part of personal and professional growth. Taking time to reflect on successes and failures can help you recognize patterns and plan a better course for the future. This can provide valuable insight about yourself, which will help you become a more effective leader. Here are some things to consider when reflecting:

  • What were your past successes?
  • What lessons did you learn from your failures?
  • How do these experiences shape your current views?
  • How can you use what you’ve learned to become a stronger leader?

READ NEXT: My Reflections After a 3-Month Sabbatical in Southeast Asia

6. Pursue interesting projects for yourself or others

Pursuing interesting projects can be a great way to develop new skills or build an online presence in your field of expertise.

This could mean writing a book, creating an app, or starting any other project that expands upon your knowledge and encourages creativity. It also presents an opportunity to collaborate with others, giving you the potential to learn from each other and create something amazing in the process.

Engaging in projects also helps to stay motivated and productive, as you are working on something that is meaningful and enjoyable. Working on your own project can also be incredibly rewarding, so if you have an idea or passion that you want to explore – now might be the time!

7. Network with people and companies not connected with the industry you currently work in

Networking with people and companies outside of your current industry can broaden your perspective and open up new opportunities. It’s a great way to gain knowledge from different angles and expose yourself to opportunities that you may not have otherwise been aware of.

Networking is a great way to explore new opportunities, develop relationships, and learn from individuals with different backgrounds. It can also help you gain insight into a variety of industries or fields that may be related to your career aspirations. This could ultimately lead to unexpected opportunities down the road and foster new connections for future endeavors!

8. Participate in conferences or webinars related to topics of interest

Participating in conferences or webinars can be a great way to gain insight into new trends and ideas that can help improve your professional skillset or CV. Listening and talking with peers can provide valuable insight that you may not have otherwise been exposed to.

It also increases your networking opportunities, allowing you to build relationships with like-minded professionals who can help each other in the future. Additionally, it’s a great way to keep up with industry developments and stay ahead of the curve.

9. Leave behind daily routines and immerse yourself into another culture

Leaving behind your daily routines and immersing yourself in another culture can be a great way to gain a new perspective, expand your knowledge, and open up unexpected opportunities. It’s an adventure that can be rewarding both personally and professionally.

Travel the world to gain a deeper understanding of different cultures and traditions. Learning about customs, food, and language can help you develop empathy and lead to new ideas you never would have thought of before. Additionally, it’s an opportunity to explore global business hotspots and make valuable connections that could open up unforeseen career opportunities in the future.

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10. Just do more of what you love

Doing more of what you love can help fuel creativity and provide a sense of accomplishment that will benefit your career in the long run. Focus on activities that inspire and motivate you to do better work, whether it’s painting or writing or any other creative endeavor.

This could lead to collaborations with other professionals in your field, as well as open up different career paths that you otherwise wouldn’t have explored. Additionally, by dedicating yourself to something you are passionate about, it could lead to unexpected opportunities in the future.

By taking initiative and being proactive with your career development, these activities can help propel your career forward and open up opportunities that you never would have thought of before.

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How Long Did You Take For A Sabbatical or Career Break?

If you have taken a sabbatical or career break (unpaid time off from work) how long did you take?