5 WAYS TO Prepare for a Sabbatical

Sabbaticals, which have become increasingly common due to work pressure and higher aspirations, can hinder growth if not planned well. Worse, they can make the transition back to professional life tough. Shreya Biswas finds out how to make them work for you.
1 Decide on the Reason Employees take sabbaticals to manage a special circumstance such as a family crisis or a child’s exam; when they feel the burnout coming; or to expand their knowledge and skills. “Decide what you want to address during your sabbatical, first, to make the best use of time that you will have to yourself,” says Ruchi Sinha, assistant professor, organisational behaviour, ISB.
2 Discuss it with Your Family Before you reach out to your employer and communicate your decision, talk with your family. “The family backs you up if your plan doesn’t work out, be it financial or mental. Discuss with your spouse, children and parents before you take the leap,” says Sunetra Wagh, associate vice president – head (operations and strategy – manufacturing), Zensar, who returned from her eight-month sabbatical this April after her son completed his Standard 12 board exams.
3 Plan Ahead Let your organisation know well in time so they can prepare for the time you will be away. Wagh, for instance, told her boss about her plan in January last year and formally in April, as she planned to go on the sabbatical from August. “It helped them find a back-up and I got the time to help the person transition into a new role and hand over my responsibilities.” Apart from work being taken care of, it kept her goodwill intact.
4 Start a Sabbatical Fund
Make a financial plan for your time away, saving at least 12 months worth of expenses for every three months of sabbatical. Think about sub-letting your apartment for taking care of regular household expenses. “For healthcare needs, get a private insurer or negotiate with your company,” says Prasenjit Bhattacharya, CEO, Great Place to Work Institute.
5 Keep in Touch Once you’ve left for your sabbatical, continue networking online. Inform those close to you and family through a blog or an update every two weeks. Keep in touch with your boss and colleagues. This will come in handy when you get back to your professional life, says Bhattacharya.

Source :The Economic Times.
Date : 28/06/2013

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