The ultimate guide to Career Break
Episode 131 - How to plan for a sabbatical, enjoy it, and make a successful comeback
I’ve been thinking of doing an episode about sabbatical for a long time. I tried inviting guests, but no one felt comfortable coming out publicly to talk about their experience. This made me even more interested in the whole concept of what these professionals were calling a sabbatical, what it actually was, and why it's still a taboo to take time off from a long career to do whatever else one wants to do or just recover from being laid off and burned out.
Then, last month LinkedIn changed its profile settings recently to allow professionals to identify a career break during their work experience. And in the past couple of weeks, a few prominent Australians quit their jobs. They informed that they were resigning and planning to go on a career break: The Premier of Tasmania, the CEO of the Australian Football League, and former guest of The Job Hunting Podcast and the CEO of Koko Black, Nicolas Georges.
Their message was clear: The past couple of years have taken a toll. In his announcement, Peter Gutwein, former Premier of Tasmania, said that there was "nothing left in the tank."
Undoubtedly, more professionals are feeling burned out and dreaming about taking a break. So, how can we plan and enjoy a proper sabbatical and still make a triumphant return to work?
How to plan for a sabbatical or career break:
Have a Runway: For a well-planned break, you will need to build yourself "a runway". In business, the runway is the amount of time a company has before it runs out of cash. So to make your sabbatical as smooth as possible, you need to plan how many months you’re going to be out of work and start saving to be able to afford it. Here are some ideas of how you can achieve your personal runway:
Volunteer and accept a redundancy: It's part and parcel with being in the corporate sector. Sooner or later you may find yourself in a restructure, and this may provide a chance to embrace the career break path.
Reduce your living expenses: Listen to the episode to learn more about the Reset Your Career content where we discuss this in detail.
Plan a career break from your actual profession, but continue to earn by doing a completely different job. In this podcast episode, I provide a few examples. This may help ease the financial stress that a career break imposes, and may be enough to pay the bills.
Have a timeline - then extend it: When you think you’re done with your sabbatical, that's when you start looking for work again. This job search period can be longer than you expected, and you need to be ready and calm about it. Make sure you plan for it too.
Warm up your connections before you leave for your break. Let them know what your plans are, and when you will be back. This will make your return to work easier.
Consider including in your plans working with a career coach to make your return easier. You will enjoy your time off if you know you have a trusted advisor to support you when it's time to return to the workforce.
How to enjoy your sabbatical or career break:
Make plans for what you want to do during your break, and then be kind to yourself if you don't do everything you planned: Chances are you won't do everything you planned. We are often optimistic about our plans and ability to get things done. It's ok to have a bucket list, but if you don't do everything that's ok too! And remember to celebrate your achievements!
How to make a successful comeback:
If you took a sabbatical and you’re returning to the same employer:
Abide by the rules: While on sabbatical, you are still an employee. This means that NDAs and confidentiality agreements are still in place, as well as working restrictions.
Ease into a routine & build daily habits:
Remember that job hunting is work: This means it needs to be done consistently and you need to do it well.
Make yourself valuable to your professional community: Be careful not to jump back at your network asking for help. Instead, ask if they need help from you.
Invest in career coaching: If you have been away and you’re not an experienced job hunter, please consider hiring a career coach to support you. It will save you weeks if not months of job searching. Click here to learn more about my career services.
Resources mentioned in this episode
Click here to learn more about my career services on my website
Sign up for my weekly newsletter for job hunters and career enthusiasts
Learn more about my group coaching and online course, Job Hunting Made Simple
Free resource - Optimized Job Search Schedule: Free Workbook and Masterclass to start a successful job search routine.
Transcript of this episode
[00:00:00] Renata: So taking a break is fine. As long as you have the mindset and the confidence to understand that that is natural, that you having a break is normal and coming back to work after it will be a reenergizing and refreshing experience.
[00:00:27] Renata: Hi, I've Renata Bernade and this is the Job Hunting Podcast where I interview experts and professionals in discuss issues that are important for job hunters and those who are working to advance their careers. So, make sure that you subscribe and follow and let's dive right in. Hello, and welcome to episode 131 of The Job Hunting Podcast.
[00:00:50] Renata: In this episode, we're going to talk about sabbaticals, how. Plan for one, how to really enjoy your career break and how to come back swinging. So, if this is an topic [00:01:00] of interest to you, please keep on listening. My name is Renata Bernarde. I'm a career coach and I help professionals look for jobs. Find better opportunities, advancing their careers. Where they work or somewhere else. And I have never been busier. I thought I was busy during the pandemic. Now that things are going back to normal. I find myself even busier. So I'm very grateful to have so many followers here on the job, hunting podcast. So many listeners, if you haven't yet signed up for my newsletter, I send out a weekly newsletter with the new episode of the job hunting podcasts, as well as a whole range of articles for you to read if you're a job hunting, or if you're a Korean enthusiastic, and you're interested in the job market just to keep a finger on the pulse of what's going on, then the newsletter might be a good opportunity for you. So go to the links in the show notes below, and you will find the link to my newsletter. And I'd love to have you there. [00:02:00] Now I have been thinking of doing an episode about sabbaticals for a long time. I think since the beginning of the show. So, before the pandemic, I was already very keen to talk about sabbaticals, but every time I try to invite guests to talk to me about their sabbaticals.
[00:02:19] Renata: They didn't want to, they did not feel comfortable coming out publicly to talk about the sabbaticals. And that made me even more interested in the whole concept of what they were calling a sabbatical and how they were presenting it to be and what it actually was and what makes it for an enjoyable break where you feel confident, where you are enjoying a break when you're also successfully returning to work.
[00:02:45] Renata: And I think that. Returned to work is the piece where I really worry about and I'm more concerned and where I find I get clients because they come back from a break and they don't find it easier [00:03:00] to return it back to work. In this case, I am defining sabbatical as a break that you take. And some people use sabbaticals just to explain a paid leave.
[00:03:11] Renata: That you take from work, but you will come back to that same job. I think of sabbatical as a more sort of broader definition where you may or may not come back to work. You make call it sabbatical when it's infected Korea. And you were at between jobs, you are in what's called frictional unemployment. So you're, you're coming back from a career break and then you engaging frictional unemployment, which is that space that happens between two jobs, right.
[00:03:41] Renata: When you're looking for work to me. That's in fact work, you're working, you're working for yourself. So this episode will be very chit-chatty and about my reflections on what sabbatical is and the best ways to go about planning for it, the best way to make the most out of it. And, and also, you know, [00:04:00] what I have noticed are successful strategies for your return.
[00:04:03] Renata: My understanding was that the people that I invited to be guests on this episode about sabbaticals were only king to speak to me once they did get their jobs when they got their next jobs. And this is, this goes to show the great taboo around taking a career break that we face as professionals. You know, people sometimes see others doing it, or they understand the concept, but when it happens to you.
[00:04:31] Renata: Then all of a sudden you have an issue with it. So why is that? Let's look into this and make sure that we don't, you know, hinder our opportunities to enjoy life. We are going to have great long careers. Sometimes we will be working. You know, some of you will be working for 30, 40 years, 50 years. So taking a break is fine.
[00:04:54] Renata: As long as you have the mindset. Confidence to understand that that is [00:05:00] natural, that you having a break is normal and coming back to work after it will be a reenergizing and refreshing experience over the past few years in Australia. Prominent professionals decided to take career breaks. And the first one, uh, that I noticed recently, it was the premier of Tasmania who bailed out of his job saying, and I quote, there's nothing left in the tank to get Wayne resigned from his job.
[00:05:34] Renata: Being a politician after, you know, a few years of incredible difficult times for his state of Tasmania facing the COVID 19 pandemic affecting not only the health sector and all of the constituents there, the sickness and all of this. Also killing the tourism sector, which is such an important part of that beautiful and remote state.
[00:05:57] Renata: So I can understand how, uh, he [00:06:00] felt like, you know, I need a break from this now that we're on the other side and things are more stable. He felt it was time for him to spend time with his family and take a break. So good on him. And I think it's brave and courageous and also important for people to see.
[00:06:20] Renata: And, and, and hear about other staking those time offs. The second person that I like to mention here is also an Australian and he's the CEO of the Australian football league. Dylan MacLachlan melt. This is a very high profile man, leading a much loved sport in Australia. And he resigned from his job, the top of his game with plans to spend more time with his family.
[00:06:45] Renata: And when he resigned, a lot of the articles in the news were about him joining the gray resignation. So people were very much correlating Guillen's resignation with the great resignation, the great reset, [00:07:00] and the fact that so many professionals are finding it. Carry on after two very intense years of high responsibility for these leaders.
[00:07:09] Renata: And, you know, for everyone, you know, at the ground, you know, on the ground working nonstop as well as, you know, managing large teams and, and, you know, a lot of big decisions about in his case, do we have games? Counsel games, all of these things. I remember the last event that I went just, before everything shut down was an AFL game.
[00:07:32] Renata: It was the finals or the women's AFL league. And it was fantastic. Katy Perry was singing. There were lots of people on the stadium and I was starting to think, oh my God, should I be here? It was at that time when we didn't really know what we were doing and you know, it was the last time. Went to a very big event in a long, long time.
[00:07:54] Renata: And then finally this week, my friend and a guest of this [00:08:00] podcast, I will put a link below to Nick George's episode, which was all about leading in the times of the pandemic. We had a conversation early in the pandemic in 2020, and he, until very recently, it was the CEO of a boutique chocolate brand in Australia called Coco black, which you know, has done.
[00:08:21] Renata: Delicious gorgeous chocolates. And during the pandemic, can you imagine all the shops were closed and open and hard to, you know, know what to do next? And he announced that he is stepping down. He was stepping down from that role. And other CEO has already been announced. Now Nick had been posting on LinkedIn through.
[00:08:41] Renata: Pandemic and sharing the challenges of leading and keeping the business alive during extreme uncertainty. During those locked down, specially in Australia, it has been so hard and Coco black is mainly based in Melbourne and Melbourne has the hardest [00:09:00] harshest lockdowns in the world. So in his post announcing his departure, he mentioned.
[00:09:05] Renata: To operate at the level needed to keep the business. Thriving, took a real toll on his health and he needed time out to recover from it. And that level of vulnerability and authenticity is so Nick and so. Important for leaders in 2022 to acknowledge and embrace. And I'm very proud of what he's done. And I know that he will be, you know, fine when he comes back.
[00:09:33] Renata: And I think, you know, he's young and he, um, has a great career ahead of him and taking a few months a year, even out of, uh, you know, work, to focus on his. We'll only make his, the rest of his career better. Oh, so all of these jobs that I mentioned and these professionals, these jobs are big, you know, they're very big.
[00:09:56] Renata: These professionals were at the top of their game [00:10:00] and they decided that they needed a break. You may also be thinking you need a break, right? I've been talking about taking a break even before this pandemic. You know, I remember the first time I ran the reset your career workshop, which you can find more information about in the link below in this episode description or that YouTube.
[00:10:24] Renata: I've been talking about how to take breaks, to manage your burnout, to make sure that you make the best career decisions for a long time. And people now use this word sabbatical to explain, you know, they, their time out. But where does that word come from? Do you now, well, let me tell you, it comes from the Hebrew word of Sabbath or, or Shabbat.
[00:10:50] Renata: So it is a Shabbat or Sabbath is a weekly day of rest for Judah is an Christianity. It's a time [00:11:00] of worship given in the Bible as the seventh day. So if you are a Jew, you know this, you know, you will stop, uh, On the Friday afternoon, before sunset and from, uh, sunset Friday afternoon to sunset Saturday, you don't work.
[00:11:18] Renata: And you know, I have a friend, uh, he's a good friend. We've been friends for years and he is an Orthodox Jew. And he told me it's such a great thing to not look at your phone for that 24 hours to not think about work or do anything related to work for that 24 hours and many times. Just decided to do my own Shabbat, you know, be it on a Friday to Saturday or any other day and just take that day off and it's been great.
[00:11:46] Renata: You know, whenever I decide to do that, I wish I was more consistent with that practice. Like some of the more Orthodox Jews are and sabbatical and that rest, or that break from work is such a. [00:12:00] Concept. And I think it's a wonderful thing to do now. The sabbatical has comes from the word Sabbath, but is related to agriculture in the first place.
[00:12:12] Renata: So it was the year-long break from working in the fields. It's so every seven years there will be a one year. Give the fields a break. Now, if you work in agriculture, you know how important it is to do that rotation. I come from a town in Brazil and a region in Brazil that plants a lot of coffee and nearby.
[00:12:33] Renata: There are always, there are also lots of areas that plant cane, and if you just keep planting and planting and planting, you deplete the soil from everything. Good. Especially Kane and coffee. So you need to do those rotations and you need to give the land the break. So that's where the word sabbatical comes from, but it now is used to main arrest or a break from work, and it it's usually [00:13:00] read a lengthy and intentional and you take a break from your career.
[00:13:05] Renata: And it has been institutionalized by many employers are especially have the opportunity to qualify for paid sabbaticals and some employers that are not a higher education institution. Also have paid sabbaticals as an employee benefit. And especially in America, I see a lot of clients of mine when they receive salary packages, the sabbatical leave is discussed and included.
[00:13:37] Renata: So in Australia we have many opportunities to do sabbaticals through. A leave that we call here the long service leave. And there is an interesting story behind the long service leave. Australia was colonized by English, men and women, and the long service leave was an [00:14:00] opportunity for them to after many years in Australia, go back to England and visit bear family and their relatives and their friends.
[00:14:09] Renata: So that's how the long service leave. Came about. So I believe it's set around, let's say 70 years of work and then you get four months of leave or something like that. And even the time that you get was enough to, you know, book, uh, you know, a, a ship to go on a ship back to England that would probably take a month and then stay in England for a couple of months.
[00:14:35] Renata: Hop on the ship back to Australia and it will be another month. You know what I mean? So it needed to be long. Isn't that interesting. Now, most employees in Australia have that entitlement of long service leave and each state or territory in Australia has different laws. And even if you're working as a casual, if you're a long serving casual, you may be eligible for [00:15:00] longest long service leave in Australia.
[00:15:02] Renata: So take a look at that. I think it's still wonderful that we have that because Australia is a country of migrants. There are so many people in Australia to come from all over the world. I come from Brazil in Australia. We have people from Lebanon, from China, from Vietnam, Cambodia, India. Europe all over.
[00:15:21] Renata: I'm still a lot of people from great Britain. So having that long service leave after working for the same employer for so many years is a great benefit. However, I have to say it's more, it's rarer and rarer these days that you will stay for that long with the same employer. Right? So, and you know, some Korea experts only think of sabbatical as a leader.
[00:15:44] Renata: Paid or unpaid, but understanding that the professional is still linked to an employer. So having that extended break, but coming back to do the same job. So for example, I personally have had a [00:16:00] sabbatical per se. I took I've applied for and requested and got approved a three. Um, paid leave from my job at Monash university.
[00:16:11] Renata: When I was working as the manager of the governance unit at a business school, the faculty of business. And the reason why I asked for that break was because I was very unwell. I was recovering from surgery. I had already used up all of my sick leave and most of, I think probably all of them. Annual leave.
[00:16:33] Renata: So whatever leave I had, I had already used it all up, trying to recover from the pain that I was feeling on my back. And I had back surgery and the back surgery didn't really help with my pain. And I was still very unwell and I wanted to test if stopping work with. Make my pain go away because my job requires me to sit for long periods of time, you know?
[00:16:58] Renata: Well, if you're listening to this [00:17:00] podcast, you're also a white collar worker. And at that time we didn't have standing tables. I don't remember standing tables being a thing yet. They were probably just starting to pop up. This was basically 2006 and seven. It was a long time ago. And, um, Monash had an amazing support system for me.
[00:17:17] Renata: And I had a nurse that was following up with me constantly, but I was still unwell. So I stayed home. I just had a rest. I just wa I remember watching a lot of west wing and going for walks and doing physio and, um, going for my doctor's appointments. And. I'm doing a lot of physio, as I said, and massages and trying to figure out how to get better.
[00:17:39] Renata: And if work was really making it worse, I found out that work wasn't making it worse. I was actually feeling more pain at home because I was less distracted by work and responsibility. So I was very happy to go. To work after three months, even though that pain and that issue was unresolved back then, you know, the good thing is [00:18:00] that I, I haven't had severe back pain in a long, long time, so that's great news.
[00:18:04] Renata: And I worked very hard to overcome the issues that I had with my back. So I'm glad that it worked out in the end. That's a topic for another day, but that's goes to show that, you know, you can take a sabbatical for anything, even if. You know, recovering from a bad spell of healthy issues. Like I, I had now how to plan for a sabbatical, right?
[00:18:29] Renata: Let's talk about planning for a sabbatical. We spoken about what it is and where, you know, the word comes from and how we define it. Our definition here for this episode is very broad. It's any type of career break, be it one that you take. The approval of your employer or, you know, you take because you left your employment.
[00:18:49] Renata: Right. So how do you do that? Well, first of all, let's talk about the forest break. Like the break that I had, that three month break, I really had to take that [00:19:00] break. I was at a point where I thought I couldn't work anymore. Right. So I needed to take time out, to figure out what to do with my back. Now, this is the worst case scenario.
[00:19:10] Renata: To do you know, it's to do with your health. And, um, since Dan, you know, since that scary time and after fully recovering from my back issues, and it takes awhile for you to fully recover and get accepted in all of your insurance policies. So I'm going to talk about insurance. I decided to take up quite a lot of insurance.
[00:19:32] Renata: And I have an insurance agent. Her, her name is Jennifer and she and I, we talk for hours each year, a couple of hours each year reviewing all of my insurances, making sure I'm not overpaying and finding the right balance between my benefits and what I am willing. Pay annually to be eligible for things like income protection, you know, those income protection insurances here in Australia, they [00:20:00] are tax deductible.
[00:20:01] Renata: I believe in the U S and the UK is the same, but please check it. This is not financial advice. This is just somebody talking from their own experience. On how they realized that having income protection is important. So take note if you, um, get sick and if you start feeling unwell for an extended period of time, I recently have felt quite unwell for an extended period of time.
[00:20:24] Renata: Last year, if you're a longtime listener of this podcast, you may have noticed from time to time, I have mentioned that I have had some health issues. Yeah. Uh, Jennifer suggested that I had to take notes because if you want to activate your income protection, you know, it usually has like a four month sort of timeframe for it to kick in.
[00:20:46] Renata: So if you can show that you've been on well for, let's say four months, then it kicks in straight away, as soon as you apply for it. If that makes sense, I've had several clients who have been in this tough, tough [00:21:00] situation. Sometimes I'd even notice that they could very well be applying for income protection.
[00:21:07] Renata: So I've, you know, I've mentioned like they were talking to me in a 30 minute call and discussing their issues and what situation that they were in. And I'm like, well, do you have income protection? Have you considered contacting your insurance to discuss your, your ability to access income protection?
[00:21:26] Renata: And that's when they realized that maybe they shouldn't. So something to think about and to consider you may already even have income protection and you don't even know. So I think if it is like what I call a forest break, think about those opportunities there to access the support that you already have in place.
[00:21:47] Renata: The second sabbatical I want to talk to you about is the break when you still have a job and it can be done. And I always recommended to people that call me and they, um, you [00:22:00] know, and I get those calls. As you know, you can go on my website and book a consultation we've made like you would book a consultation with.
[00:22:06] Renata: You know, a psychologist or a physiotherapist. So you can, you can go there, go to my calendar book a time, pay and talk to me so many times people book a consultation because they really want to, you know, leave their jobs. They, they have made a decision already. Quit. And somebody has told them that before they quit, they need to talk to me.
[00:22:26] Renata: And I think that that's very kind, I'm very grateful for those amazing friends and colleagues that tell people that they should talk to me first before making that big move. And I tell them, you know, tell me how many days of annual leave you have. And they will say something like, oh, I have probably have three or four weeks.
[00:22:43] Renata: And I'm like, have you considered instead of resigning taking a full week? I don't understand why people don't think about that, but they don't, you know, and even if it's, you know, you don't have any more leave, let's say something really bad's happening at work. Uh, [00:23:00] you know, this might be cause for a mental health day, this might be cause for you to take time off.
[00:23:07] Renata: I would suggest that you use any volunteering opportunities because you may just need a break from the working environment and maybe. Companies these days. And for a long time have offered their employees a couple of days to go and do volunteering work a half day to go give blood, do whatever you can to be away from work, to clear your mind.
[00:23:30] Renata: Right. All of those sabbaticals, big or small Sabbath or sabbaticals, they are going to be super useful for you in the research or career program that I have developed for people that are in that sort of state of mind where they are really, oh my God. Really ready for a reset. They really need. They really need some guidance.
[00:23:52] Renata: I designed a program just for this it's there. It's on my website. It's ready for you. The first master class in that [00:24:00] workshop is all about these ideas of creating those dose timeouts for you. Okay. And, uh, I would recommend that you contact. Getting the research or career workshop as part of your planning of, of your sabbatical or your career break.
[00:24:18] Renata: So you have those long service leaves. You, you may be able to apply for sabbatical. Now, mind you, I have lots of friends who are academics and, and people that have sabbatical in their there, uh, salary negotiations. Stuff like that. It's not easy to apply for sabbatical my friends. Let me tell you, it is not easy.
[00:24:35] Renata: It's a thorough process and it can take a year for it to be approved or more. So you might go through the entire process and it won't be approved for this year, maybe next year. And it can be frustrating. So just letting you know that if you have the plan to take a year off, then start thinking about it as soon as.
[00:24:57] Renata: Right. If you love your job and you, you want to carry [00:25:00] on working where you are, but you are interested just in having that year off I'm with you 100%. I know a lot of people that have that in their plans. Some clients of mine have that in their plans and we're working towards that years in advance. Okay.
[00:25:15] Renata: So just something to think about. The other thing that you want to think about when planning our sabbatical is building yourself a runway. So in business, the runway is the amount of time that a company has before it runs out of cash. So when I I'm talking about your personal runway, Building yourself, the savings to allow you to have your sabbatical, you know, sometimes sabbaticals as part of your salary, packaging will be paid.
[00:25:44] Renata: Sometimes it's just an opportunity for you to be away, but it's unpaid. If you have been laid off or made redundant, you know, you, your, your sabbatical is totally funded by you. So you need to plan how many months. [00:26:00] You are going to be out of work and start saving to bank yourself to help yourself have that time out.
[00:26:07] Renata: Okay. So ways of increasing your savings substantially is to volunteer and accept a redundancy package. You may seek it out. You know, some people that come to me for coaching, they are quite upset about their redundancy. But there are a few people and we should take a leaf out of their books. They really enjoy the redundancies and they seek them out in.
[00:26:33] Renata: These are people that are very confident about their careers and they know that they can find another job, but they seek out redundancies because they are middle managers. They know that redundancies are often going to happen in, you know, restructured. Common in their line of work. And they know that that has nothing to do with them.
[00:26:52] Renata: And you should know that too. It's just how businesses need to work for mergers and acquisitions and [00:27:00] restructures and growth and, and whatnot. So they seek it out because with that, they can pay their mortgages. They can have a sabbatical, they can spend time studying and so on. So some people are very comfortable with the idea of being made redundant.
[00:27:15] Renata: So that's something. Bad echo is something that's part of your dream. Or if you're one of your goals, then seeking out a redundancy, something that you might be able to do. The other way of doing is of course, to reduce your expenses. So in the reset your career, we have a master class about how to do that and how to do that in a way that is fun.
[00:27:38] Renata: That is a project. And we have, you know, funny names for the different budgets. I'm not going to tell you much more about. But yeah, that's, um, uh, one of the masterclasses that I get more feedback and comments about and people really enjoy it. And you can also plan a career break from your actual profession and seek a [00:28:00] completely different job.
[00:28:01] Renata: You know, that's a different idea as well. So taking a break from your nine to five white collar job where you're sitting at a desk and doing something of, you know, much responsibility. And then, you know, seeking out a sabbatical where you will still be earning some money, maybe just enough to pay the bills, but let's say you might drive an Uber or I have a, uh, somebody I know in New Zealand and she owns a flower farm and she has a little cottage at her farm.
[00:28:32] Renata: And some people come from all over the world to help her pick the flowers during the, you know, the season, the way where it needs to be done. And yeah, so there's, everything is provided that the little house and food and, you know, maybe some cash, I don't know how, how it's done, but I, at the time I went to visit her, there was a couple from the UK there, and this is in New Zealand in the most beautiful part of the world.
[00:28:58] Renata: You know, you could move to, uh, [00:29:00] Place and, and, and be a waitress. And don't think that you can just get a job as a waitress. If you know, there's a lot of people, if you're listening to this a few years from now, you might have lots of people also doing the same thing, but right now, especially around Australia, because there aren't that many backpackers here, we have such demand for people to do.
[00:29:22] Renata: That type of job, you know, the grand Prix happened in Melbourne a few weeks ago and my husband went and he said, the QS aligns for coffees or beer or anything were huge because they couldn't find enough workers to work at the grand Prix. And, you know, frankly it pays really well. And, um, you could be working in the beautiful part of the world.
[00:29:43] Renata: And, um, having your break from your career and it doesn't mean that you have to use up all your savings. You can still pay the bill somehow by having, um, different types of jobs. So that's another way to plan a career. Now the, the [00:30:00] other way that I think it's really important to think of it is having this timeline where let's say, you think, okay, I just need six months off.
[00:30:08] Renata: Right? And then you take six months off and guess what? My friend, you come back to your job search and you find it really hard to find a job. So you have to think about the time. Including your job search period and job searches, depending on what type of role that you are seeking out can take a long time.
[00:30:31] Renata: When you think you're done is when you start looking for work again, Ryan. So you think you're done with your sabbatical, then you start looking for work. And then it's another six months of looking for work. It could be even longer. That can be a long period. Specially if you have not planned ahead.
[00:30:49] Renata: That's the next stage of planning ahead is warming up your connections to make your return to work easier. Okay. Letting people know that [00:31:00] you are on a six month break and after that break, you will, you will be seeking opportunities. So Nick Georgis when he posted. Uh, LinkedIn announcing that he was stepping down from the CEO role.
[00:31:12] Renata: That's exactly what he said. He said, I'm taking three months off and then I'm going to be back. So I will have a link to his post so that you can read and see how he's done it. And I think it's important for you to do that, warming up your connections, making sure that people know exactly what's going on with you.
[00:31:30] Renata: Explain what the opportunity is for you. What you're seeking out. Clarify that for your, um, professional network meet and touch base with your close professional network. So they know what you're planning to do and, and do that before you go on your sabbatical and, and then do it that again, when you're returning back from your sabbatical.
[00:31:55] Renata: So touching base before and after your break is important, I have clients [00:32:00] who have. And, uh, to speak with me, uh, for the 30 minute of free onboarding for, for my coaching program, to understand how the coaching works and to pencil in their return. They are now on a break. I have two people that are now on a career break.
[00:32:19] Renata: These are people that have had very difficult jobs during the pandemic and they couldn't. Oh, seek work because it was just that, I mean, you know what I'm talking about, people that are working in government, um, departments, or, you know, high level executives or even people that are change managers, you know, working at, um, that sort of really hard implementation of rapid change that, that occurred during the pandemic.
[00:32:47] Renata: There are now on a career break and they are penciled into work with me when they return later to see. And I think that that's wonderful that they know that they need a coach and it's all sort of set in. I get, I [00:33:00] think it gives people a good sense of relaxation. Like I can relax, I can enjoy this break.
[00:33:05] Renata: I have everything set out. So when I return, I know that I, I can quickly work with. And get my act together and start looking for jobs in a very efficient way now, how to enjoy your sabbatical. The best part is an editor make plans for what you want to do during your break, and then be kind to yourself because guess what chances are.
[00:33:29] Renata: You're not going to make everything that you planned for you. Now, we have high expectations for the time that we have, and then we realize that tell time just flies. And you know, you won't do everything you plan, but have a curated list, have a bucket list. The must do list of things that you want to achieve during your break.
[00:33:51] Renata: Celebrate your achievements. Now, some people do fancy sabbaticals where they go on a trip to Europe, or they do a [00:34:00] fancy executive education programs. But a lot of people have told me, Renata, I just went for long walks. That's all I did. And you know, some people. Uh, rent a house somewhere and move with their family somewhere different.
[00:34:16] Renata: The kids go to the local school and they do that for six months. And that's great. That can be in France, but that can be just somewhere in your country, you know, just a few hours away to something to take your mind off your, your work and just move maybe to our quiet town. If you're live in a busy city or vice versa.
[00:34:40] Renata: Take a sabbatical to do gardening, to go on a road trip, to visit family and friends, to renovate your house and do DIY work to focus on your health on studying something different on a hobby that you love. So there are lots of ways of enjoying [00:35:00] time away from work. And how do you make a successful comeback?
[00:35:04] Renata: This is the part where I think a lot of people struggle with is returning to work. If you're still working for the same company before you go to check the rules before you leave, I think it's very important. And this is a lesson learned from working with women that go on maternity leave and then they come back and they find that.
[00:35:25] Renata: They are fish out of the water. They, their jobs don't exist anymore. You know that the, the policies allow the company to move them around and make their jobs slightly different or very different. Remember that? Why? And also remember that while you're on sabbatical, you're still an employees. You are taking a paid sabbatical or an M paid sabbatical, and you still supposed to come back and work.
[00:35:49] Renata: Company, you are still bound by NDAs that you've signed. You know, you cannot have any conflict of interest and work for other companies there's [00:36:00] confidentiality involved and so on. And remember that what you say may impact your return. So if you're going to be very vocal and some. Advocacy and platform, and you're not, this are things that you might need to clear out with your company before you leave.
[00:36:16] Renata: Okay. So make sure you do that now, for those of you that are taking your own sabbaticals, and you're not going back to your company, you, you know, you're in between jobs, then you need. Go back to your job search, right? And the best way is to ease into a routine, build daily habits and learn to job search efficiently.
[00:36:38] Renata: I have a free resource for that to kickstart your job search. It's called the optimized job said schedule it's a workbook and a masterclass that teaches you how to build a weekly schedule and the distribution of tasks that you need to do to get yourself into. The work mode that is job searching. It's very [00:37:00] different from your professional work mode.
[00:37:02] Renata: So if you are a manager, an engineer, if you are, you know, um, whatever it is that you do, marketer job searching is different and the distribution of work is important for you to the stand. And that's why this is a free. Go and downloaded. There's a link to it in the episode, show notes, easy to find on my website and you have to ease into that routine.
[00:37:27] Renata: So maybe start with the light version of the schedule, then moved to part-time and then moved to full-time. There is no point after having such a wonderful time out going straight into a full time working week as a job searcher, you're going to find it really hard. Looking for work is a nine to five job, but what I'm saying.
[00:37:48] Renata: Start with two to five, and then stablish something that you can do consistently. There's no point in working nine to five, Monday, Tuesday, and then not doing anything Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. That's [00:38:00] not going to work for you. I have a client who had a sabbatical and has just started working with me.
[00:38:06] Renata: And that's exactly what I told her to do. You know, she's going to be working two to three, then two to four and two to 5:00 PM. That's PM by the way, afternoons every day building slowly. Time back and yeah, there's no hurry for her. So that's great. And it will be, you know, very effective to do that over time.
[00:38:26] Renata: You might think, oh, that's too slow for me. You would be surprised. Yeah. You don't, you don't want to crash and burn as a job. Hunter. There's nothing worse than. During the job search and then crashing and burning at a job interview. And that's very common. Let me tell you and think the thing is no one really cares that you've been away.
[00:38:46] Renata: So don't worry so much about being away from the work. You know, I think a lot of people, envy sabbaticals make you feel confident about the time, the choice you've made. Or if it [00:39:00] was made for you, embrace it, make yourself useful to your professional community. Let them know that you're back, that you're here to help.
[00:39:09] Renata: Do they need anything from you? You know, I think people are very transactional when they are anxious about getting a job and they forget to serve. Never forget to serve, you know, make yourself useful to dos that are working full time and feeling burnt out and stressed out here. You are coming back full of energy, serve your community and invest in help.
[00:39:30] Renata: If you have been away for a long time, if you're not an experienced job, hunter, you may need a coach, right? It might be counter-intuitive. Doing vest when you've been saving and you know, you're not earning much or you're earning nothing at all, but you might be just reinventing the wheel when there is so much that you can learn from working with a career coach that can help you speed up your process and get yourself into your next job [00:40:00] sooner.
[00:40:00] Renata: I hope you've enjoyed this tip. And I would love to work with you if there is anything that I can do, just go to the links and find me. You can also try to spell my name and find me on my website. All right, I'll see you next time. Bye. For now.
About the Host
Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach professionals (corporate, non-profit, and public) the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress.
If you are an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, if you are looking to find your next job or promotion, or if you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running, then this podcast is for you.
In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, on my website, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients.
Contact Renata Bernarde
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My free resources for job hunters: The Optimized Job Search: Weekly Schedule & Masterclass.
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