The Sabbatical: A Secret

Multiple Sabbaths that help you improve the world you leave behind
Rahman Mohamed

Everyone wants to take one but few know what it is.  There you are, working but bored.  You want to travel, see the world.  You want to tell your boss what you want to do but you don’t want to quit (and you don’t want to be fired).  The answer: a sabbatical

According Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Originating from Latin “sabbaticus“, relating to Sabbath meaning “a time of rest“, a Sabbatical refers to “a period of time during which someone does not work at his or her regular job and is able to rest, travel, do research, etc.

Unless someone has a dream job that they wake up early for everyday (driving a truck across the country because he loves to travel or preparing for the first flight to Mars) everyone wants to take a sabbatical.

So how?

The secret to a successful sabbatical says Forbes (2010): start preparing early.  One of the most essential steps: the money; make sure you have enough.  Get advice from others, go to a sabbatical site, save more.  But make sure you’re able to convince your boss that it’s essential for you to take this sabbatical boss.  You’ll be guaranteed a job when you come back and they’ll be able to start preparing.

According to Fortune Magazine (2011) companies should offer sabbaticals.  Paid academic sabbaticals have been shown to reduce stress and increase well-being among faculty members, in turn increasing productivity.  The most effective sabbaticals were found to be the ones where the staff distanced themselves from “the home office, [didn’t] attend meetings, or serve on academic committees“.

Whether or not your company offers one you have to negotiate the “S” with your boss.  Canadian Living (2008) gives tips.

Before you do make sure you know what you want.  And pick the right time to tell your boss.  Make yourself look good.  Tell your boss your plan and why you deserve it.  And make sure you tell them why they should hire you when you come back.  Give suggestions about how your work can be handled.  And find out if you qualify for one.  According to Hewitt Associates’ HR Consulting Services in Canada

But because it can be hard for some to take a sabbatical Canadian Living gives tips about how to take a sabbatical at home.

  1. Tell yourself you’re going to go
  2. Decide on a time frame and tell others.  You’re contacting them less
  3. List what you want to do less and find out how you can do less (ex. spend less time in birthday parties and Facebook but do more community service try spending more time volunteering at a community centre)
  4. Shuffle time and money.  Use it differently.  Technically you are on a holiday.
  5. Change your routine.  Instead of waking up and drinking coffee imagine what you’d be doing if you were on a cruise or travelling the world.  Use your imagination.
  6. Try new things.  If you were travelling Europe you would’ve had an authentic French breakfast.  So instead of buying that bagel go and get a croissant from the French district and get a bottle of wine.

Whether it’s at home or away, the sabbatical is the dream for getting up from sleep.


The staff of Nova’s Rays has been preparing for a sabbatical.  We hope to resume posting October 2014

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