You were working smoothly in your company. Diligently you were planning your career plan, but God had different ideas. There may be n number of reasons for you to take a break from your job. You may be dreaming of changing your daily routine, doing something out of the ordinary, you may need to take care of family responsibilities or some medical concerns came up. Sometimes, I too have this feeling of changing the daily routine of nine to five job. So that I can strategize and refocus. And breathe. Do you also feel the same way sometimes?
So exactly what is a sabbatical?
According to the Oxford dictionary a sabbatical is “a period of time when somebody, especially a teacher at a university, is allowed to stop their normal work in order to study or travel”. In IT sector, they have modified the definition of sabbatical. They refer sabbatical as a way for the employees to enhance their skill set. The employees take a break from their job for one to two years and go for higher education. They may come back to join the company after the sabbatical.
Points to ponder-
So you have made the mind to take the sabbatical. A sabbatical can become a blessing in disguise if you take some steps after careful planning
1. Finances– First and the most crucial part to be taken care of is Finances. When you have chosen a sabbatical, your steady flow of income comes to a screeching halt. You need to figure out some ways to cope up with the lack of money. You need to take care that you are not exhausting all your savings. There is nothing more soothing than having parents’ support at such times. Otherwise, you can look for some freelancing projects from Upwork, Freelancer or OysterConnect. Such projects can serve multiple purposes. One it will help you with your finances. Two, it will improve your skills in the field which you always wanted to pursue. Three, you won’t feel that your precious time is getting wasted; instead, you are utilizing it to best of your potential.
2. Company Policies– You need to figure out the policies of your company regarding sabbatical leave. There are certain conditions required to be fulfilled to be eligible for a sabbatical. For example- in IT industry, there is a provision for the employees to take sabbatical only if they have spent two years in the company. Also, the reason for the sabbatical is to be clearly defined, and you need to give a proof of that. Typically, companies don’t hesitate to allow for sabbatical leave if the employee is going for higher education. There is a choice for the employee to come back and join the same company after the sabbatical leave. The companies give a proper promotion and salary hike.
3. Timeline– You need to decide the time after which you would want to go back to work. This decision is crucial for your career because otherwise, the perfect day may not happen again.
4. Skill Development- You can also utilize this time by doing some certification courses from websites like Udemy, Coursera, EDX, etc. Doing such certifications will upgrade your skills and simultaneously prepare you for your next level roles. You also have the option of going for Live- projects available on websites like www.oysterconnect.com. Such live-projects are valuable add-ons to your CV.
I had a friend in TCS who utilized the facility of sabbatical to full use. He told me about the complete process. So, I will guide you through the sabbatical process of TCS in brief. TCS provides sabbatical leave for pursuing higher studies. A necessary condition is that you should have worked in TCS for minimum two years. First, you need to inform your manager /supervisor and your account HR about your plan. This prior information will help them to replace your position. If you are going for higher education, then it will be easier for you to get the required approvals. Next, get the release from the project on which you were working on. HR will ask you to use your CL/EL before availing the long-leave. TCS will give long leave for a maximum of two years (760 days). If you come back to TCS, they will add two years’ work experience along with that salary hike and promotions (which you missed in last two years). If you don’t want to join TCS, they will give experience letter as past experience before the sabbatical.
To all the achievers in their respective fields, go ahead and explore the opportunities in a sabbatical and don’t forget to upgrade yourself in this dynamic world. Perks of reading the article- I am providing you the links for some live projects which I came across. Enjoy-
Become a Freelancer at OysterConnect.com today – www.oysterconnect.com