Utilising your sabbatical break to the fullest can enrich you with experience and knowledge that you cannot during your normal work schedule.

With the increasing work pressure and no work life balance, I see a number of people going for year-long sabbatical break from their career. Most of them, however, are women on a maternity break but I see a possibility of it becoming a gender neutral phenomenon.

Few days back I got a chance to talk to my ex-colleagues and friends, on varied occasions, who are currently on a sabbatical break. During the conversation with each of them I asked them about how are they finding life out of the usual routine and schedule? I also asked them about their experience so far and how are they planning the rest of the break. And most importantly are they planning to come back. I found few similar answers from them and I have compiled it here for you.

How do they spend their initial days of sabbatical break?

The main reason people go on a sabbatical break (except the ones on maternity) is because they want to break from the routine life and enjoy life at a slower pace and breathe in every moment. The initial days is like the honeymoon period where they indulge in sleeping till late hours in the morning; being in sweatpants and loose tee for days at a stretch; skipping having a bath for a day or two (yes they do that, for real) or having a lazy Monday afternoon with coffee and book and some cookies (I envy this part the most)

Planning the rest of the break?

Almost everyone wanted to travel to bizarre and exotic place, to gain perspective and experience of a lifetime. But moreover they wanted to see the country they live in and not just the city.

One of my friend recently spend 15 days each with the tribals of Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.

Another took to volunteering at the Old Age home in Mumbai.

In other words, they were all trying to find meaning to their life. In turn trying to figure out the next course of their career.

Plans for returning?

The minute I asked the question I got a long look of ridicule from them. And then calmly and patiently one of them explained to me that the whole point of going on the break was to put a comma to the pace they were moving up. At times, moving towards a goal can become directionless if you do not pause to see around and absorb the path you are moving on.

In summary, taking in one day at a time and getting the most of the break is what they are doing. But one thing I realise from the interaction I had with them is that because of the break they all seem satisfied by how their career had shaped up. And maybe the break would actually be yet another stepping stone to the next level of their career. I wish all the good luck to them. And a very eventful sabbatical break.

Were you on a sabbatical break in the course of your career so far? Do you have any experience to share with us? Do let us know in the comments below

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