Tips for Sabbaticals: Planning for an Extended Leave

In today’s hustle and bustle world, there are people out there who do not know what a sabbatical is or what it entails. A sabbatical is an extended leave or career pause for at least two months. The time off may be used to complete some body of work or training that helps advance the individual’s career. A sabbatical can be paid or unpaid, but it depends on the employer and the benefits they provide. If a company does not offer paid sabbatical leave, the individual must find a way to stay financially stable during their time off while maintaining necessary benefits such as health insurance and retirement savings.

There are many reasons a person may want to take a sabbatical: 

  • Improves physical health
  • Inspires creativity
  • Strengthens personal relationships
  • Promotes emotional growth
  • Enhances productivity

Funding Your Sabbatical

If you own property, it can be a huge financial asset that helps fund your sabbatical. Renting out your property for the short term can cover your fixed expenses so you don’t have to exhaust your savings during your leave. While your home is being rented, you can take advantage of the time away to travel and expand your worldview. 

To set your home up as a rental property, make sure your home is clean and there are no pressing maintenance concerns. Stage your home before you take pictures for your listing. Furthermore, be very descriptive about the property so renters know what they are getting. Finally, add a security system so you can have eyes on your home even when you’re not there. 

Fortunately, Orange County offers plenty of attractions and activities for tourists year-round, which means you’ll have a steady flow of income regardless of what time of year you choose to pursue your sabbatical. As Turnkey points out, people who visit Orange County tend to flock to areas such as Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Irvine. So, regardless of where you are, there are likely plenty of prospects looking for a place to rent.

Planning a Sabbatical with Your Company

If you are going to take an extended amount of time off but you want to be able to come back to your current company when you are done, you’ll need to do plenty of planning. First of all, you have to know what you want from this time away. If you approach your boss or human resources department without being able to explain your motivation, they are not going to take your request seriously. Do diligent research and outline exactly where you want to go and what you want to do during your time. When hatching your plan, ask yourself the questions: 

  • Do you need to find a way to supplement your income while on sabbatical?
  • Why would this sabbatical be good for you personally?
  • Could taking an extended leave help advance your professional aspirations?
  • How will you explain your sabbatical on your resume? 
  • Could your sabbatical be good for the company? 
  • How is it beneficial for business?
  • Who will cover your work responsibilities while you are away?

Once you have a good plan laid out, it’s time to give your employer notice. Schedule a meeting with your supervisors as well as a representative from your human resources department. Before your meeting, prepare by rehearsing with a friend and loved one so you aren’t thrown off by possible questions that they send your way. When it’s finally time for the meeting, bring a device on which you can tape the conversation and let everybody know you plan on recording everything discussed. Once you’ve come up with an agreement, make sure you have everything in writing so you have something to refer to if there is a future disagreement. 

A sabbatical can improve your health, inspire creativity, strengthen your relationships, promote emotional growth, and enhance productivity. If you are going to take an extended time off, it’s important to plan. Having extra income is always a good idea — consider renting out your home while you travel. Once you’ve concocted a concrete plan for your sabbatical, talk with your employer about your options and get any agreements in writing for your security.