What’s stopping you from taking a sabbatical?

Two of my closest friends have recently embarked on year-long sabbaticals. One, a nurse from Melbourne, is spending his time in Madrid learning Spanish, while the other, a banking executive from Sydney, is spending hers at home focusing on hobbies and activities that make her heart sing. In both cases, I must admit, there’s a touch of envy on my part at how generously life is treating them.

When you consider the benefits of going on a sabbatical – the reduced stress, enhanced wellbeing, the discovery of new interests and passions – it’s a wonder only a tiny minority of people pursue them as a career priority. Maybe it’s because this is the era of crippling mortgages where even two months off work, let alone 12, can be debilitating. Or maybe it’s our fear that stepping away from corporate life will make it so much harder to re-enter it. Or perhaps it’s just that we’re doubtful our businesses will continue to run effectively without our daily presence, our vigilant gaze, our micromanagement.

And yet there are those who still somehow make it happen. It’s a middle-class privilege, to be sure, but how do these individuals manage to do it? That’s an especially important question when taking into account the stigmatisation these employees often attract. Read more

James Adonis – Brisbane Times – 28 June 2018