A sabbatical is a planned, focused job pause in which an individual takes time to rest, travel, volunteer, learn a new skill or fulfill a lifelong dream before returning to work. Many see a sabbatical as the perfect opportunity for intentional reflection, personal growth and renewed passion.
Elizabeth Pagano, co-founder of YourSabbatical.com, a gateway for people and companies interested in sabbaticals, says 24 percent of small businesses and 14 percent of large businesses allow their employees to take a paid or unpaid sabbatical of six months or longer.
"Employees [that] return from sabbatical are more committed and energized, and that increases employee loyalty," Pagano says.
During a time when companies are cutting costs, Pagano says a sabbatical actually can save a company money since they temporarily have one less employee to pay.
Tim O'Connor recently finished a sabbatical after loosing his job as a senior vice president of marketing. This 50-year-old took six months off from the job search and volunteered with a nonprofit organization.
O'Connor says he had the full support of his family and used his sabbatical as a learning opportunity and a time of personal reflection. In turn, he's brought a new sense of humility and sense of calm to his next job.
"I learned how to lead a team of volunteers, and this is key and the biggest most tangible lesson learned," he says.
Before you go back to work, de-age your resume.