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Should You Take A Sabbatical from Your Job?

The most foolproof answer to this question can only be given in the context of each person’s job and workplace. For example, if taking a short- or long-term sabbatical is quite common for people at your corporate level, then you may want to seriously consider it. After all, many people like Richard Branson are now realizing that workers may benefit as much from added time off as from higher salaries.

However, there’ still another view of taking extended time off that must be born in mind. If you’ve been in the workforce for many years, chances are you’ve known several people who’ve decided to take long vacations that they’ve earned – only to return and find out they’re no longer wanted and needed at their company. The unfortunate truth is that far too many supervisors only value employees they believe they can tightly control – and letting people take long periods of time off is rarely popular with these types of bosses.                                                           

Finally, when you’re away, someone is going to have to handle your duties. Are you really sure you want to take the chance that if you’re away for up to three to six months, that another person won’t successfully take over your position – and maybe even outperform you? 

Here are some important steps to take before deciding whether the time is right for you to both request and accept a lengthy sabbatical from your job.

Give Serious Thought to These Situations Before Leaving On a Work Sabbatical

  • Meet with your immediate supervisor or boss and see if s/he is supportive of the idea. Ask who will be assigned to handle your tasks while you’re away. If you’re comfortable with the arrangements that will be made, maybe you should take some time off;
  • Talk with your spouse to see if s/he is able to get time off when you hope to do so. It’s always best to take a sabbatical when it works best for both your employer and your family. In some cases – when you’re just wanting to write a book or complete a similar type of personal project -- be sure other family members approve of your need to take time off alone;”
  • Make sure your healthcare, retirement, and other benefits won’t be negatively affected. Also, be certain you can afford to be away (without pay) once you’ve used up all of your accrued vacation time. You should also ask your boss if you can retain your level of seniority when you return;
  • You’ll need to decide how long you should take off from your job.

One expert suggests that you consider taking twice as much time off for a sabbatical as you normally take on your longest annual vacation;

  • Consider taking a very relaxing “staycation” at home during part of the sabbatical. Depending on your living circumstances (whether you’re single or married), it can be very relaxing to just handle a number of personal projects while on a sabbatical. If you prefer, you can still use part of your sabbatical time off to travel somewhere once your projects have been completed.

To obtain help with handling all of your Georgia business planning needs, please contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia