Hit Your Treadmill's Big Red Button
Is It Time for You to Take a Sabbatical?
Posted May 31, 2011
Foley shares in her book, which she wrote with her "sabbatical sisters" Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearg, and Jaye Smith - executives with diverse career paths - that more and more organizations are enabling their employees to take sabbaticals. In 2009, 19 of the Fortune "100 Best Companies to Work For" offered sabbaticals to eligible employees.
In the case of Silicon Valley giant Intel, the sabbatical sisters say: "More than 69,000 employees have taken time off to date. Everyone in the firm is eligible after seven years, regardless of level. It is a two-month program to which employees may add four weeks' vacation time, so many end up with three months off. While people are on sabbatical, their colleagues take up or redistribute their work." The book lists dozens of other organizations that offer some sort of sabbatical program including Accenture, American Express, Apple, Charles Schwab, eBay, FedEx, Genentech, Patagonia, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Procter & Gamble, Shearman & Sterling, and the US Navy.
"A reboot break affords you the time to reacquaint yourself with who you really are and what you value,' says Foley. "It provides a fresh perspective, allowing you to return to your life and your career a more innovative and creative person. It's giving yourself the gift of time."
Reboot Your Life covers how to plan for and fund your sabbatical, manage your time during your break, determine your next steps, and deflect naysayers once you break the news of your forthcoming time out. It even tells you how to manage "sabbatical robbers" - don't be surprised by friends and family who try bid for your newfound "free time."
The book has a section titled "The Unexpected Sabbatical: Learning to Love Your Layoff" which addresses the emotional and financial aspects of a forced career break. "The best solution might be to take a short time out," advise the sabbatical sisters. "You probably have been working since you were 21 or younger. If you build in a few months to reassess and figure out what to do before you start looking, you may be more likely to end up in a job you find rewarding."
To clear up some misconceptions about reboot breaks, the sabbatical sisters say that they're not just for middle- and upper-income people, they don't have to bankrupt your savings, and they can revitalize your career - even during uncertain economic times. Foley extolls the virtues of stepping off the treadmill of our "do, do, do society" to discover, she says, "the pure benefit of doing nothing."
Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearg, Rita Foley, and Jaye Smith, Reboot Your Life: Energize Your Career and Life by Taking a Break, Beaufort Books, Kindle Edition, 2011, pp. 11, 18, 54, 67, 144.
Copyright © 2011 Nancy Ancowitz