NYT.com sez: “Need to Take a Breather? Have a Game Plan”

Posted on: Monday, November 10th, 2008
Posted in: HR FYI, Blog | Leave a comment

Have a game plan. For any game worth playing. This “Shifting Careers” column offers a spot-on Sabbatical story well worth studying.

Barbara Raab brings a perspective that this Breakaway boy may lack: What it’s like to tell The Boss (and your workplace team) you want time off and make sure their needs are met—all without getting canned or kicked in the can. Ms. Raab has it “easy” in a way we self-employeds envy, though: She’ll return to a job and benefits.

That sounds pretty good about now. Last time 2 Heads shut shop to run away, we left when business was booming (the dot-com melt-up). But we came back to see billings cut in half for two years (the dot-com blow-up). If that happens again, Boy Genius here may lose money AND faith.

Let’s have a make-believe, virtual conversation with Ms. Raab…

“A short walk that nonetheless feels far away.”

That proves that, even if you stay in the ‘hood, everything changes. My personal preference, as written up in the Sabbatical Suggestions, is to seek new sights—as in, leave the country, if possible. That guarantees new perspectives. But her approach is appropriate for her Mission.

“Updating my own skills.”

Amen to that. It’s nearly impossible to keep up with trades and technology any more. She’ll make quantum leaps and return a more savvy employee. In my world, this Hiatus includes confronting my technophobic ways with 2 new cameras, many new puter programs, an i-Touch, and this here website.

“Figure out if you can afford it.”

She can—mostly because she proudly stays out of debt and chooses a simple-enough lifestyle. Agreed, as illustrated in the “11 Commandments of Fiscal Fitness.”  That said, I also believe there are many times throughout life when it’s best to break out this five-word mantra: “It’s not a financial decision.”

“Offer solutions.”

Brilliant. Vital in the workplace. But if you’re flying off, you may also need to anticipate issues and provide solutions for residence, schools, yard, pets, relatives, organizations, and of course, your bowling team.

“And, oh yeah, somehow get my own radio show.”

Really? Get out!?! I thought I was the only cat around here with that dream! Tell ya what, Barbara, whoever gets there first has the other on as a guest asap. Okay? Cool!

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