There are many reticences about the sabbatical year topic, some may think its loss of time some other might see it as a lazy idea. Truth is that we have for many years underestimated all the benefits that a sabatical year can have on our personal and professional life. First, let me explain you something about success and happiness. Sabbatical year, success and happiness are straightly related and you will understand how.
When talking to people, one of the question that is always asked is what do you do for living ? Even if no one admits it ; this question is often to check with the other rather or not we are doing better at work. This is not about finding out if the person has failed but more to ensure that I have succeeded or on my way to succeed.
Everyone has its own way to define success but most of us would define it as being confortable with money and having a confortable job managing something and being responsible for someplace.
On the other hand ; our modern society is developing an incredible need of seeking happiness, the industry of happiness is every day becoming bigger. People across the globe are continuously searching for what will make them happier.
In Psychology Today, a study of more than 10,000 participants from 48 countries, psychologists Ed Diener of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Shigehiro Oishi of the University of Virginia discovered that people from every corner of the globe rated happiness as being more important than other highly desirable personal outcomes, such as having meaning in life, becoming rich etc.
Tracking Happiness revealed that people feel happy when they are taking risk, going out of their comfort zone and going in a place they never went before. However, most people today says they feel their day to day life being safe, efficient and productive.
Why people would search for happiness if it is sinonym of risk, going outside of comfort zone and unknown as opposed to what they feel in their day to day?
We may understand a little bit more throughout the definition of happiness. The positive psychology research says happiness is :Subjective Well-Being, or SWB. Happiness is the state of feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.
The reason why we want to feel happy and we search for happiness is because the feeling given related to a well-being and contentment but happiness is only temporary, so when we do not feel it anymore, we are trying to do everything possible to feel it again.
If we could divide our life in 3 pieces 1/3 will be given to sleeping, another 1/3 would be given to free time (evening, week-end, holiday, and retirement) and the last 1/3 is given to school or work.
Many studies have revealed over the last decades that being unhappy at work would frequently lead to bad sleep and frustration to personal life. Being happy at work is what should be the priority for all of us.
In order to feel happy at work, there are basics recommendations:
1: Find a career you enjoy
2: Find a job that gives you time outside of work
3: Take care of your own professional or personal development
4: Take responsibility for knowing what is happening at work
5: Ask for feedback frequently
6: Only make commitment you can keep
7: Avoid negativity
8: Practice professional courage
9: Make friends
10 : However: if all fails there is one method who will both help you find the courage and the motivation to do all of the 9 points mentioned above and at the same time develop your happiness.
Have a sabbatical year !
A sabbatical year, also called gap year or break year is a time away from your university, your work in other terms it means changing what you are use to do during most of the time to focus on yourself.
There are 2 changes that most people taking a sabbatical year would do :
1: Traveling: in their local country, around the continent or sometimes around the world.
2: Active Learning: sign up for classes, follow an online course, practice a skill or become better at something you already know.
According to the leap stats, 90% of people taking on a sabatical year do not have any regret and according to the same publication ; 80% of people taking on a gap year added on their employability.
What most sabbatical year do to people is giving, free time to think what they really want to do for a living. Sometimes the sabbatical year would confirm that the career chosen was the right one. Some other time it would actually help the person making a switch. The gap year gives time to people to develop themselves, getting better at what they truly want to do or become.
During this time people traveling would meet strangers, discover new cultures, develop their capability to speak english, going outside of the comfort zone.
During this traveling time, people would need to create short term relationships, solve problems (no traveling always come with easy and smooth itinerary), listen to others while engaging to understand a new culture, traveling would also help you shaping your vision on the different ways of living.
Naturally people taking a sabbatical year to develop a new skill and travel would develop attributes that company are looking for. Such as networking, speaking english, engaging with others, value and understand other culture, listening to other, solve problem on your own, being pro-active and independant.
Those are all skills which will make you a very valuable and wanted candidate for companies and other hiring places.
The skills you will develop troughout your sabbatical year and while traveling would be ranged in the category of soft skills, soft skills are all the skills that help you getting the job done such as critical thinking ; listening, patience, problem solving etc. Discover more about soft skills by watching this YouTube video : What are soft skills.
Now what you need to know is that soft skills are the primary factor to build a long and successful career. Strong soft skills are more and more needed as you climb up the ladders. Those are the reasons if missing ; why people good at their job would not be promoted to the next step. On the contrary soft skills are the reasons why you would see very young people endorsing role like people manager. We all know one person who got a lot of responsibilities and everyone down would still wonder why ? … Because of their soft skills.
All the benefits of a sabbatical lay in the fact that it would contribute to your happyness by giving you the time to think about your future. More importantly it will also give you the time to travel and by consequences grow naturally your soft skills regardless of the country you decide to visit.
All the soft skills you will develop increase your chances of being hired in the job you desire as this job will be a part of a long term process decision ; but later on, it will also contributes to help you growing in your career and be successful with soft skills.
Once you are back from your sabbatical year and ready to get on to the job interview process, we can coach you on how to put forward your soft skills and the benefits of your sabbatical year throughout our job interview coaching preparation.
Contact us or book your session online by clicking here.
We wish you all the very best in enjoying this time off and let us hear about your avdenture at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to read more on job interview, check out our blogs:
10 things to fail your job interview