I wrestled long and hard with my decision to take a sabbatical in 2021.
Was it a good idea?
How would it be perceived?
And would it make things tricky when I got back to the office?
So with the benefit of what I know now, here’s a couple of thoughts for anyone thinking about taking a sabbatical.
First up: whatever you lose out on career-wise (if anything), you’re more than likely to make up for in other
It’s that classic trade-off of risk vs reward.
And it reminds me of a story Bill Perkins tells in his book Die With
When I was in my early twenties, my roommate decided to take three months off from work to go backpacking around Europe.
Going to Europe meant that Jason would miss out on opportunities for advancement in his job. No way was I going to go with him.
When he came home a few months later, there was no discernible difference between his
income and mine – but the pictures and stories of his experiences showed that he was infinitely richer for having gone. His stories of the interesting cultures he’d seen and the connections he’d made were so amazing, I felt pretty envious – and regretful that I hadn’t gone too.
Now, maybe your idea of a sabbatical isn’t to go travelling.
But it doesn’t matter. In my view, it’s a similar story whatever you plan to do.
The opportunities available from taking time out are worth much more than anything you might lose out on.
Secondly: there will never be a perfect time to take a sabbatical.
When I let colleagues and friends know I was heading off for 6 months, the UK was entering its third lockdown.
And a few people questioned whether it was the right time to take a sabbatical. They suggested it might be worth postponing.
But I knew postponing wasn’t an option.
If I postponed the sabbatical once, I could see myself postponing it again. And again. And I might find myself never taking the sabbatical at all.
Because even if there wasn’t another lockdown, there’d be some sort of obstacle.
It’s how life
There will always be something getting in the way if you let it. Or some sort of excuse ready to use if you want to.
So to my mind, the critical factor isn't timing.
Instead, it's desire. And whether you actually want to take a sabbatical.
Because there will never be a perfect time.
As it turned out, heading on sabbatical at the start of a lockdown might’ve been a real blessing in disguise for
But more on this tomorrow.
all for today.
there something you’re itching to do, but you’re waiting for the “perfect time” to do it?
If so, let’s have a complimentary call to discuss how I could support you with this and explore whether coaching might be a good option for you.
Here’s the link to book a call:
Even if this is our only conversation, I know you’ll come away with a renewed sense of clarity.