Career Corner: Burned Out at Work? Consider a Sabbatical

Stressful Workplace

Most people can relate to the feeling of being overworked. But the most common response is a sad shrug and continuing to muscle through it. However, you might actually perform far better at your job if you were able to take a few months to decompress.

Taking a sabbatical is not a common practice in America, but if your work offers it to you, you should not feel like a slacker for taking it. If you have been feeling like you need a break, the Wall Street Journal lately discussed the benefits of a sabbatical for your overall health.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, just prior to the pandemic only 5% of companies offered employees the ability to take a sabbatical. However, since the pandemic started, many have been working harder than ever to keep themselves afloat.

Some companies have recognized the burden this has put on employees, such as Citigroup, who in 2021 began offering employees three months leave at 25% of their pay if they had been with the company for at least five years. And people who have taken sabbaticals attest to the good it did them.

One such person was a worker named Juraj Pal who was employed with Slido as the head of product. Prior to the sabbatical, he reported his work being his entire identity to the point he became numb to how unhealthy that was.

He used to proudly state he had no hobbies because of work. But then he was offered several months off and reluctantly took it. He quickly realized how burnt out he had been.

With how work-driven our culture is, it can feel selfish to steps away from your job and focus on you. But breaks are necessary for keeping your home life strong, for feeling fulfillment with experiencing the world, and just overall mental health.

Don’t be deterred by sabbaticals just because they are not the norm in America. If offered, the evidence suggests it will be a healthy benefit to you to accept, which also allows you to return to work more productive.

For more food for thought on why you should consider a sabbatical, peruse what the Wall Street Journal wrote here.


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