The Sabbatical Is Not Dead!

Posted on: Saturday, April 11th, 2009
Posted in: HR FYI, Blog | Leave a comment

Check out this NYT article:  “The Best Time to Ask for a Sabbatical Could Be Now.”  Not only does it proclaim the Sabbatical alive and well, but suggests that the downturn may be causing many employers to open their minds to the idea.  Other hunks of wisdom include…
  • Sabbaticals are more common than you think:  According to the Families and Work Institute, 24% of companies with under 100 employees offer some sort of Sabbatical of six months or more.  33% of companies with more than 1,000 employees do also. 
  • “Innovation” takes (free) time:  Some savvy corporations give paid “innovation Sabbaticals.”  At General Mills, they can last up to one year. 
  • Saving made easy:  Always inventive Accenture provides “Future Leave” accounts, a place where employees can put money from their paycheck aside to fund a someday BreakAway. 
  • Do good work:  Garrison Keillor ends every broadcast of “The Writers Almanac” with those timeless words—and he’s allowed himself a few Big Breaks.  If YOU get the guts to propose a Sabbatical to your boss, Elizabeth Pagano, co-founder of YourSabbatical, makes it blunt:  “It’s very risky to ask if you’re not doing your job.” 
Here are a five final thoughts to ponder before you sit your boss down and say, Can we talk about this idea I’ve been having?”…

  1. Life goes on (about like before) if they say “no.”
  2. “No” often means “not yet” or “let me think about it.” 
  3. Asking, at the least, informs your boss that you’re interested. 
  4. Mention the many ways your quest may benefit the company. 
  5. Have a plan—and be ready to pack.  What if they say YES? 
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