Going for a Sabbatical

Employers attitudes are changing as work life is becoming more flexible and ever fickle.  As more of us are working from home and doing more than one job, organisations realise that if an employee were to take time out and return with new found skills or simply be rejuvenated there is more likelihood they will have a refreshed attitude to work.

So what’s in it for you?

Benefits of Taking a lengthened break from Work

Taking time out from work for a gap year has many benefits to your future career, including:

  • Trying something new gives you new found confidence
  • Life experiences gives you insights
  • Insights enable you to help solve problems better
  • Recharging your batteries can give you energy, and enthusiasm

For the purpose of this post we call the break a year – it’s a decent length of time, you experience all seasons and for an employer it’s easier to find a temporary replacement.

Things That You Can do During a ‘Gap Year’

  • Backpack around your country (or another country)
  • Sailing
  • Spend your time living overseas
  • Home school children
  • Spend time with young children
  • Get fit and healthy in both mind and body
  • Study abroad
  • Spend time with family and friends
  • Volunteer for different programs or humanitarian efforts that interest you
  • Work doing small jobs and learn your interests
  • Visit museums and galleries
  • Repairs and decorations on your home
  • Write
  • Take it as it comes and relax.

Considerations of Cost

There are many factors to consider regarding the cost of a gap year and how to finance it so as not to suffer financially.  Key considerations include looking at spending such as:

  • Food, water, etc.
  • Paying for your home/bills (if you are maintaining these and not traveling)
  • Gas and means of transportation if you are traveling
  • Cost of lodging
  • Other common expenses

How to Make Money While Traveling

Even if you choose to spend your gap year traveling, there are several things you can do to earn money while you enjoy yourself.  Check out these ideas:

  • Teach
  • Blogging
  • Be a Nanny
  • Online Freelance
  • Sell stuff online
  • Photography
  • Start an online business
  • Renting out your property
  • Buy and renovate a property

Saving Money: To Fund Your Gap Year and During Your Gap Year

The easiest way to survive during a gap year is to have enough saved up and cut your monthly costs. Here is what you can do to cut your expenses:

  • Cook at home
  • Cut down on entertaining and going out
  • Exercise at home instead of at the gym
  • Walk or Bicycle instead of driving to save gas money
  • Work
  • Tell people you want money instead of gifts
  • Work for things in trade instead of exchanging cash
  • Give yourself an allowance
  • Open another bank account- put all extra money in so you have it
  • Start planning or looking for places to book early

Gap Year Programs

Gap years are becoming such a popular thing that there are companies that help you achieve your dream. Their services include helping you choose a program and making a wish list. They will also answer your questions and aid in the planning process.

Gap year can be an amazing experience if you have the money, but if you don’t there are plenty of ways to make money at home or on the road. Careful planning is key and a Gap Year program will help you learn what you need and could be the best thing that you do.

If you’re considering a sabbatical the first thing you must do is to find out through your contract whether your employer offers a sabbatical policy and the terms of it.  For example: what benefits would be suspended, which would be continued, what is the procedure to make it happen and what is the minimum and maximum duration.