Traditionally, a career break or sabbatical involves taking a break from work for a few months to travel.
Taking time out to travel, discover new places and experience new things can give an individual a completely different perspective on what is important to them in their life.
It’s a time of self-discovery and reflection and can be hugely beneficial on lots of levels: personally, and professionally. In fact, those people who take a mid-career break often return to work feeling more inspired and not just refreshed but renewed.
If you’re thinking of taking a travel sabbatical, you have probably been thinking about it for some time – perhaps not constantly but it will be there in the background of your mind.
As people, regardless of the activity, we tend to do a lot of thinking and talking about things before actually making a leap. So, we find reasons why we can’t do it. It’s totally normal and comes from a place of fear and uncertainty.
Some of the reasons NOT to I hear in my coaching practice are:
- I run my own company.
- I might not have a job to come home to
- I might not be taken seriously
- My workplace won’t be supportive of me taking time off
- There isn’t anyone to cover my workload
- I don’t have the money
- Because of my children (This is one of the biggest excuses. It’s
a practical issue and sometimes there isn’t a solution – it’s a matter of
timing – children finishing university tends to be a time people take a leap to
look at what it is they want to do)
- The planning will be too complicated
Many of the people I coach experience burnout. It can make them feel exhausted and disillusioned but it’s not simply the result of long hours and hard work.
They might feel unsupported at work or have little to no autonomy. More often than not, burnout stems from people not living by their values.
When you reach burnout, everything can seem helpless and it can feel difficult to find the energy to do anything.
It feels as if you’re standing still whilst everything keeps moving around you and the unhappiness caused by burnout can spill out into other areas of your life like relationships and health, which only piles on the pressure.
Eventually, it feels as though you have nothing left to give.
To counteract burnout, a sense of purpose is really important – finding meaning in what you do in and out of work. This is where a career break can help.
It gives people the time and space to rest and recharge. It also gives them the opportunity to learn more about themselves after decades in the workplace.
I often talk about venturing out of your comfort zone.
It’s the place where magic happens.
Learning about new cultures, meeting new people and taking time out from our usual routines all have the potential to make us see things in a new or different light.
They say we only regret the things we don’t do, so what are you waiting for?
If a sabbatical is something that appeals to you my advice would be to write all your excuses for not going on a big piece of paper then work your way through them with a coach or trusted friend to help you work out how you can make it happen.
The journey of 1000 miles starts with the first step.
Recommended: 5 Reasons Travel Gets Better as You Get Older