Does it become a “black hole” in your resume that you fall through if you take a sabbatical year or two?
I think many people stop themselves from taking life breaks or sabbaticals because they have a feeling that they can’t leave the rat race.
Maybe it also just seems unmanageable.
My opinion is that everyone should do it at least once in their life.
In this blog post, I’ll give you some reasons why it can benefit not only you, your health, and your well-being, but actually your career as well.
1. You Gain New Energy
The first reason is obvious.
When you get a break from your daily life, you’ll release built-up stress and gain new energy.
When you’re stressed, you’re not a very good employee.
First of all, it’s not very appealing with a colleague sighing deeply at their desk.
Secondly, you don’t get good, creative ideas if you’re run-down and tired.
The input you provide in the workplace will be far better after a life break. You become a better colleague and employee because of it.
Many people return from a sabbatical year and make a huge career leap afterwards.
2. You Can Rebrand Yourself
Sometimes we get stuck at work because we have become the person “who can do that”.
We have been branded into our position – perhaps without wanting to.
I have heard of actors who take a few years off because they’re tired of being offered the same role.
Then they disappear from the screen for a period of time, and when they return, they deliberately seek to rebrand themselves.
Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey is an example of this.
He was tired of the romantic roles he was offered and took a two-year-long break in 2000s.
New offers began rolling in after a while.
That’s how he landed the role in Dallas Buyers Club, which won him an Oscar. You can read about this in his autobiography, Greenlights.
3. You Can Take Courses and Educate Yourself
You can spend your sabbatical on creating a new version of yourself.
Of course, there are many ways to do that.
You can travel, you can try out a new career, you can take courses, and you can even get a whole new education.
You can even do a combination of these things.
You can travel to another country and take courses there.
Many people in my courses are taking my program as a part of a sabbatical.
Some take a break voluntarily, others are in the middle of a career change, some are on maternity leave, others have been fired. What they have in common is a rare opportunity to try something different and focus on learning something new.
What To Do in Job Interviews
When you are in a job interview, the question may arise.
The HR person may point to your resume and ask why you have a gap.
It happened to me just a year after I was fired on maternity leave.
I have to admit that my answer was bad. I reacted defensively because I got a bit offended by the question.
Of course, there was no gap in my resume. But that’s how these HR people talk.
You need to prepare a good answer and explain how you spent that time sharpening your skills.
You can even write it into your resume.
You can conclude your explanation by saying something like: “I’ve never been sharper than I am right now, and that’s partly because I took the time to…” (here you explain what you spent your time on).
Warren Buffett says it very clearly:
“The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself,” he says.
Sometimes time is an investment in ourselves.
If you want to learn about investing like Warren Buffett, you can download my investment book Free Yourself right here.