Advice Career Development

How Women Can Plan a Productive Sabbatical to Boost Their Career

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A sabbatical is a time when you intentionally step away from your job to focus your time and energy on something different. Many people, especially women, hesitate to take a sabbatical from work as they feel it can adversely affect their career. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

A sabbatical can be a productive time to learn something new, achieve personal goals and gain valuable life experiences. Not only that, a leave maybe just what you need to give your career a boost. All you have to do is, plan for your sabbatical and have a goal-oriented purpose for the time you get.

That said, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy to plan your sabbatical leave. It is entirely up to you what you do with your time. If you are not sure what you want to do with your time off, here are some exciting sabbatical ideas to help you:

1. Explore Other Fields – A sabbatical allows you to explore other jobs that might be a better fit for you. If you have always fancied social work or artistic work, take up some freelance assignments to see what it’s like. You could also sign up for a short internship to explore a different job.

If you have a passion for making a difference in the lives of other people and a strong desire to build something of your own – you can be an excellent Image Consultant. And since image consulting is a profession that needs you to understand others to help them better, women tend to do better in this career than most men. Use your sabbatical to launch a second career using your experience, interest, and passion.

2. Try New Hobbies or Learn a New Skill – Look at your sabbatical as an opportunity to focus on doing things you love. If you have a creative passion or hobby, your sabbatical is a great time to pursue it. Another good sabbatical idea is to think of new skills that you always wanted to learn but never had the time for. These skills could be related to your professional goals or something for your enrichment. You may also use this time to focus on learning new soft skills.

3. Focus on Planning Your Long-term Career Moves & Goal-Setting – How many times during your daily work-life have you taken time to reflect on how your career is panning out and what you can do to enhance your career growth? Rarely. During your sabbatical, look at how far you have come in your professional life and strategize. Set goals and make a plan for achieving them.

4. Expand Your Education in Your Field – One of the most common sabbatical tips you will receive would be to go back to school. But how do you decide what to study? Think about your profession and the skills you need to excel at your workplace. Then choose a course that gives you a chance to learn the skills and knowledge you can use in your field.

5. Organize Your Life – A sabbatical is an excellent time to de-clutter and organize your life. Keeping your surroundings organized can improve your mental health and make you more productive. Start by de-cluttering your home and getting rid of the things you don’t need. Then look for organizing and storage solutions that can help you manage your belongings more easily. A home and life organizing exercise will bring fresh energy into your life and help you get back to work with a better mindset.

6. Network – Building a circle of contacts that can help you grow personally and professionally is an essential exercise for everyone. Your sabbatical will help you expand your circle of references to people outside your workplace. Attend professional events, conferences, trade shows and job fairs to find relevant people to network with. You can also build a good network on LinkedIn and other social media websites.

Sabbatical planning can be an essential step in your life. Taking time away from your daily work may help you gain direction and momentum in your career. It can also help you highlight the parts of your life that you would like to change. A sabbatical is an opportunity to improve your quality of life while enjoying the security of a job you can return to anytime you wants.

About the Author

An award-winning Image Management Professional, Suman Agarwal has helped students, home-makers, women on sabbatical as well as people seeking second career alternatives to explore Image Management and Soft Skill Training as a vibrant professional choice. She frequently writes blog posts about the urgent need of image consulting professionals and soft skill trainers in the 21st century and loves guiding people in exploring lucrative career options. Write to her at to seek advanced career guidance.

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