The dictionary definition of the word sabbatical is a “period of leave from work for research, study or travel often with pay and usually granted to university lecturers every seven years”. These days, anyone can enjoy a sabbatical as it is synonymous with taking a holiday, vacation or time off. Rather than seeing your time away from your work as holiday, vacation or time off, why not see it as a sabbatical that you have planned to serve your specific and significant needs. Here are some suggestions on how to strategize a short simply stimulating seasonal sabbatical whether it is an extra long weekend, several weeks or a few months.
If you are an employee of an organization and are being paid for your sabbatical, you may want to use the time to do research on how you are doing in your personal life and professional career and set three goals to achieve more personal happiness and another three goals to accomplish more professional success. Then you may want to study by reading a book or taking a course that can give you the applicable tools or information or you may want to speak with one or more people who you admire and respect and ask them for their advice on how you can move forward toward attaining your goals. Finally, you may want to travel to a different block, street, neighbourhood, area, village, town, city, country or continent and pursue a new or favourite activity or interest. This will not only provide you with a change of scenery and a shift in perspective, but will also inspire and motivate you to do the hard work and make the required changes in your personal and professional lives.
If you are a business owner and are not being paid for your sabbatical, you can see your sabbatical as an important investment in your business. You may want to use the time to research what’s working well and what needs improvement in your personal life and your business as well as the trends in your industry and the latest developments among your competitors. This may also involve research into how you are spending your time, money and energy and how they are benefiting your life and your business. Once you have established the areas that are working and those that need improvement, you may want to then put together a plan on how you are going to improve these areas in your life and in your business and what resources will be required to make this happen. You may feel that this is the time to study by reading those books that have been gathering dust, contacting that adviser you have wanted to call or e-mail or spending quality time with clients/customers in a more informal setting. If your clients/customers or even your competitors are located at a distance, this is a great opportunity to travel and visit them where they are in order to expand your knowledge and strengthen your relationships.
You will find yourself sounding confident, committed and comfortable when you tell others that you are taking a short seasonal sabbatical rather than taking a short holiday, vacation or time off. If you are a business owner or an employee working in an organization, try telling your clients/customers or colleagues that you are taking a short seasonal sabbatical and watch for their reaction. They will immediately ask you what types of positive, progressive and productive activities you are planning to accomplish during your seasonal sabbatical.
If you are currently experiencing a transition in your life, career or business, you can tell those who ask how things are going that you are taking a short sabbatical rather than saying that you are having a hard time, looking for work or business or that you are between opportunities. It makes you sound like you know where you are going, what you are doing and how are moving your life, career or business forward in the right direction even if it is still a work in progress.