Go study. No. Really. Go.
These days, college professors aren't the only ones taking sabbaticals. More and more corporations are beginning to see their value -- and allowing their employees to take an extended leave from the office. But how do you know if you're a good candidate for a sabbatical, and how can you go about setting it up?
Here's what Patrick Lennahan, director of the career center at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I., has to say:
- Know what you're getting into. "People think that sabbaticals are about leaving the job for a few months, but they're really about leaving the workplace," says Lennahan.
A sabbatical is not a vacation -- it's time given for study and research so you can do your job better. There has to be something in it for your company, like a project that will make you a better employee and make your team more efficient. (By the way, Lennahan says the typical corporate sabbatical lasts three months, rather than the six months to a year you'd find in academia.)
- Have leverage. Your company won't grant a sabbatical unless you've really brought a lot to the table on their behalf. Don't even ask unless you've been a top performer for several years, or have just taken part in a project that was a major success.
- Do all the legwork for your bosses. Prepare three things before you make your request, suggests Lennahan: An explanation for how your sabbatical will help the company, a plan to minimize the impact of your absence on the workplace and a way to make sure it doesn't cost the company large amounts of money.