A sabbatical is defined as “a period during which an employee can take time away from work to study or travel”. Yes, you read that right! Time away from work to study or travel – just imagine it!
The time given can range from 2 months to an entire year, depending on the company you work for, and is generally given once you have worked for the company for a minimum of 5 years. The great thing about a sabbatical is that it is an extended amount of time off work in which to delve into and asses your personal and professional life but still come back to your job once the agreed upon time is up.
Modern sabbaticals are a great way to reignite a passion, study further, or to travel and learn more about yourself, and all whilst doing some good. Companies are catching on to the benefits of giving sabbaticals – investing in the personal and professional growth of employees means reaping benefits for the company itself. For example, Patagonia offers their employees a two-month paid sabbatical in order to volunteer for an environmental company of their choice. Timbaland offers employees between 12 and 24 weeks in which to do paid community service or some form of service sabbatical of their choice. Some companies have conditional leave, as with the two abovementioned, but most allow you to do as you please with the time.
It’s a great option to recharge and give back a little whilst exploring and learning something new. If this sounds like your kind of thing, then take a look at some of the ideas we have put together to get you started.
Volunteer on the Blackfeet Reservation:
Learn about the rich American Indian culture with spiritual leaders and naturalists all whilst working as a volunteer to improve the reservation and the lives of those who live there. Volunteer projects include building and fixing playgrounds, landscaping public areas, organizing a library, assisting at a nursing home, helping fix up the local schools, etc. Even families can volunteer, with kids no younger than 8 years old helping out.
Volunteer in Peru and Learn about Ancient Civilizations:
If you’ve ever had a passion for archaeology and ancient civilizations, then this is for you! This project explores Incan and Wari archaeology and is aimed at the investigation and mapping of unregistered structures and forms found in Pikillaqta National Park. As a volunteer you’ll work with Peruvian experts and live with host families in nearby Cusco. Three days are spent working on site in the Lucre Valley whilst the other two days are spent doing work such as classifying ceramics, assisting at the local museums, and doing community work. You’ll also have opportunity to attend the weekly archaeological presentations and a weekly social. Click here to grab this opportunity.
Volunteer at an Orphanage in Thailand:
Bang Vieng Ping is the largest orphanage in Thailand offering 3 different age groups: 0-2 years old, 2-3 year olds, and 3-5 year olds. As a volunteer you can work with each age group per week or decide to stick with one age group. Donations of books, crayons, field trips, etc are greatly appreciated as well as your volunteer time. For more information click here.
You could also:
– Work at an animal sanctuary in a rainforest in Hawaii
– Build a teen center in a Athabaskan Indian village in Alaska
– Build a nurses station in Fiji
– Collect data on a glacier recession and marine mammals in Antarctica
– Utilize your talents as a “skilled volunteer” for a start-up organization anywhere in the world
The options are almost endless and all it takes it a little self-searching and research to find what you would most benefit from.
If this sounds like the kind of break you need then why not ask your company about their sabbatical programs today!
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