The Real Reason Millennials are Taking Sabbaticals

by Tanya August 12, 2019

Are you fulfilled at your job?

Do you feel stuck and miserable?

If so, you’ve been probably daydreaming about hitting a pause button to recharge yourself somewhere away from it all.

I’ve been there and I understand you.

The idea of a ‘job for life’ and working 9-5 for 30+ years nonstop is an insane concept to Millennial workers.

According to a Gatwick Airport study, 60% of 25-39-year-olds British Millennials said they either have taken or will take an extended break from work before they turn 40.

Instead of waiting another 40-50 years to retire, isn’t it better to take some of the retirement at the end of your life and distribute it to the middle of your life?

Waiting until you’re 70 to retire is simply too long to wait.

Millennials are prioritising work-life balance over bigger salary and hence are more willing to move between companies and take time off between jobs to reset and reflect before starting new.

I’ve resigned several times because I felt tired and an idea of going on a long holiday was more attractive than to keep grinding without any purpose.

But the good news is, you don’t have to resign if you feel like you need a break.

You can take a sabbatical.

A sabbatical is a break from work. It can be paid or unpaid leave.

Traditionally paid sabbaticals are granted for every 7 years worked, but this is now changing.

More companies offer short (1-3 months) and longer-term paid sabbaticals to their employees without having to be continuously employed for 7 years.

But the truth is you don’t have to work somewhere a certain amount of time to be paid for your leave, you can just request unpaid leave.

An unpaid sabbatical gives you an opportunity to go on a long break knowing that you will have a job when you come back.

 What are the benefits of sabbatical?

The problem with a one-week vacation is that it’s not always enough time to unwind, refresh and come back to work in the best space.

A sabbatical allows employees to take the time for themselves and come back to work motivated and with a fresh mind.

Everyone has different reasons for taking a sabbatical.

Some quit working altogether to reflect and recharge to figure out their next career move.

Other’s take on a different type of work to learn a new skill or volunteer.

Then some pursue their passion for writing a book, screenplay – anything.

And, of course, many of us just want to see the world while doing nothing so that we can return to our original roles full of energy and new ideas.

Once considered career suicide, sabbaticals are now not only accepted – but they are also used as employee retention techniques by many employers.

So if you feel it is time to take a break, how do you prepare?

Want to know how you can practically prepare for a sabbatical?

Read on!

How to make a career sabbatical work?

First of all, I salute you for putting your wellbeing before the fear of unknown. It’s a good decision and you’re going to have the time of your life!

Here’s my advice on how to make your career break financially possible: 

• Save enough money to cover your expensesSpeak to your employer at least 3 months in advance

• If you rent your apartment, try to sub rent it to someone you trust (ask your landlord for permission first) so that you don’t have to pay rent when you are away

• If you own your home, try finding a tenant who can cover rent/bills so you don’t have

• Work and volunteer abroad via sites like https://www.workaway.info/  https://www.helpx.net/ and https://www.peacecorps.gov/

How to choose a destination for your sabbatical

 When it comes to how to choose your destination, it is important to think of what is the purpose of your sabbatical.

It is important to choose your destination according to what you are really looking for.

• If you want to choose a new temporary home that will introduce you to a new culture and offer you beautiful challenges, then you’ll have to find your dream a destination and suitable accommodation abroad.

• If you want to learn a new language, then pick a destination where people speak that language natively.

• Do you have family that lives abroad? Taking time off work to spend time with family and perhaps see where you could imagine yourself retiring could be just what you need for the life part of the work-life balance.

• Are in a creative line of work and there is a specific destination that is known for arts and culture that would inspire you in both your personal and professional life.

Ideas of where to go on sabbatical

Below are 3 of the most popular sabbatical destinations …

1. Italy, Sicily

It’s not surprising Italy is the most popular destinations for sabbaticals in Europe. They call it a museum under the sky for a reason – it’s without a doubt one of the most beautiful countries on earth.

If you are looking for a secluded place surrounded by nature, Sicily is a perfect option.

The climate is gorgeous, the food is delicious, the locals are friendly, with the help of useful websites like Wishsicily for example, you can rent a beautiful apartment in Sicily at an affordable price, and there are plenty of activities to do on the island such as visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites, water sports and attending community events.

2. Australia

Australia and New Zealand are also two very popular destinations for sabbaticals.

If you live somewhere where winters get cold, going to Australia for a sabbatical from December to February during the local summer months is worth looking into.

Australia is in its part of the world with New Zealand and there is so much to see and do in both of these countries, so a sabbatical gives you a long time to explore them both.

3. USA, Hawaii

Kauai in Hawaii is one of the islands of Hawaii and would make for an unforgettable sabbatical.

If English is your native language and you want to go somewhere with gorgeous nature, Hawaii, in general, is a great option.

Kauai is home to Waimea State Park, where you can visit for scenic views of waterfalls and colourful canyons.

Finally: Yes, a sabbatical can benefit your career

I think it’s really important you stop every few years and ask yourself a question:

Am I happy?

Would I still do what I do if I didn’t have to think about making money?

We tend to grow and change every few years. If we don’t take time to reflect and adjust, we become stuck and unhappy.

It may be scary to make a change, but it’s much scarier to risk not living the life to the fullest.

Have you ever taken a sabbatical? How did it change your life?

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The first Millennial blogger in the UK. Twitter @_luckyattitude

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