“There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same; there are no rules to this thing.” – Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay
In our dynamic, career-driven society, time often moves so fast that we find ourselves constantly trying to keep up with it. At first, there’s just one deadline, maybe two. Soon, commitments with friends and family start to merge. You run. Nights turn to days as you stay up late, trying to squeeze in more minutes into what’s already gone.
Still you keep going. Until you quickly realize that although your feet are moving, you are not. It’s as if everything and everyone else exists in a place where you cannot follow. And you’re stuck watching them like a reel of film. Just when time feels like it moved again, you fall. Hard, cold, exhausted.
Do you usually wish that you could get up and leave everything behind? Well, not literally, of course. But a break would definitely be nice. Ever heard of the term sabbatical? How about a career break? A lot of people are familiar with these words and even use them interchangeably – but they’re different from each other. Here’s how they can help you catch the break you deserve (and maybe even help you on the road to a better career).
Sabbatical vs. Career Break: Which One Is Better?
“We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you.” – Eric Roth
According to an article by career break coach, Sue Hadden, a sabbatical is a more formal scheme offered by companies to qualified workers. Examples are Nike and Adobe, big corporations that give employees the option of a sabbatical after they have served a certain number of years. It’s like a benefit, similar to getting pension contributions.
This is a good option for those who want to work in the same company or position after a long break.Advertising
Sabbaticals are typically used for:
- Relaxation from work burn-out
- Learning/honing new skills
- Traveling the world
- Volunteering; or
- General reflecting
If you’ve been feeling stressed out lately and you’re fairly certain that you just need a long break, ask your HR department about sabbaticals. Depending on your company’s policies, it might be partially unpaid or not at all. Check if you qualify for this perk and you might just fulfill that dream getaway sooner than you think.
Plus, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’ll have a job to come back to.
A career break on the other hand, is typically what you resort to if your company does NOT have a sabbatical policy. This will involve handing over your resignation. The upside is that you’re not tied to the organization anymore, which means you can take your time and hop on the career train whenever you’re ready!
Career breaks are perfect if you want to:
- Switch to a new career
- Start a business
- Go into freelancing
- Travel the world more extensively
- Get experience for a job you’re not qualified for yet
For some folks, going on sabbatical was the best decisions they ever made. For others, a career break was the more practical approach. Deciding which one suits your needs best would depend on YOU.
Think about why you need a break in the first place. Decide for how long you want to be away from work. Then, weigh the pros and cons of your choice.Advertising
6 Things To Keep In Mind During Your Break
“I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view.” – Eric Roth
Let’s assume that you’ve made up your mind on which break you want to take. You’re all set: finances are in order, friends and family members have your back, and you’re mentally geared to make this the best experience of your life (so far). Here are six things you need to consider before heading out the door:
1. Always keep your resume updated.
During your sabbatical or career break, new opportunities might come knocking. You want to be prepared for anything. So make sure you take a few minutes to update your resume. List new skills you have gained along the way. Write what you learned on a new section called “Life Experiences”. Pick your words wisely. This time you have all the hours you need.
2. Keep yourself healthy.
If you took a sabbatical or career break due to work burnout, don’t just sit on the couch binge-watching on Netflix! That diet you’ve wanted to try is waiting for you. Stop procrastinating and join your buddy for a jog. Meditate. Relieve the stress you’ve accumulated up to this point.
3. Avoid burning bridges.
Even if you resigned for a career break, do NOT burn bridges. Who knows – you might need those people again in the future. Today, there are various ways to stay connected. There’s social media, messaging apps, and the traditional text or call.
4. Create good web presence.
As you hop from one adventure to another, make sure you’re also minding what you post online. Whether it’s a sabbatical or career break, you don’t want employers getting the wrong idea. That time you went hiking in Thailand? Cool. How about that binge-drinking session with old college buddies? Not so cool.
Keeping your personal brand in check while out and about ensures that you’ll have nothing to clean up after all the adrenaline has ebbed.Advertising
5. Reflect a lot.
If you were used to 80-hour workweeks, you might find it hard to relax and do nothing for the first days of your break. Don’t forget to relish these quiet moments with yourself. Pick up a good book and sit by the window. Take long walks alone. Revel in the fact that for once, you’re not racing to catch up with time.
Imagine your future. Think about what makes you happy. Immerse in the moment.
6. Use time wisely.
It can be tempting to do nothing for days. But before you know it, days have turned into weeks, weeks into months. What do you have to show for your sabbatical or career break? What adventures did you take? What did you learn?
It’s amazing to finally have all the time in the world: but once you have it, what do you do with it? Use it wisely. Even if you’re in a two-year sabbatical, you’d be surprised at how fast time flies.
If you took a career break, you might be wondering how it would impact your career. While a lot of employers and hiring managers don’t care for gaps in employment history, you should still be prepared for people who won’t be as understanding.
This is why you should make each second count. Don’t waste your precious time just lounging around (you can always do catch-up marathons on the weekends). The important thing to remember after your sabbatical or career break is that the right job will understand why you wanted the time off.Advertising
For now, don’t sweat about it too much. This is your gift to yourself, remember? – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Sabbatical or Career Break? You Choose
“I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” – Eric Roth
Whether you’re taking a break to take care of your family or yourself, you shouldn’t see it as a luxury. We all need time for ourselves. It’s how we assess how far we’ve come, and where to go next. So avoid feeling guilty!
Don’t wait until the last moments to truly LIVE.
Featured photo credit: Adrianna Calvo/Pexels.com via pexels.com
How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success
Does it ever feel like the things you want to accomplish always end up on the back burner? If the answer to that question is “yes,” you’re not alone. Only about 33% of people consistently work toward their goals. In some cases, their goals may seem too lofty to accomplish, or else they aren’t sure how to make a plan for them.
If you don’t come up with concrete steps to take toward your goals, they’ll remain dreams. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, but being able to turn your dreams into goals you can realize will help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life.
Luckily, you can realize almost any dream when you harness the right goal-setting methods.
In this article, I’ll show you how to achieve goals and get closer you success.
1. Break your dreams down into specific and measurable steps
We couldn’t talk about goal-setting without mentioning SMART goals.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related.
Specific and measurable steps are so important because if we don’t know what our target it, how can we ever hit it?
Take all those beautiful dreams you have for yourself and make them into things you can actually do. If you want to be an entrepreneur, for example, a step toward realizing your dream might be researching what you’ll need to start your business.
Find out more tips about utilizing SMART goals here:
2. Have at least one clearly defined goal for every interest and role in your life
It’s so easy to become complacent or stagnate. We often think that our careers are the only places where we need to set goals, but we aren’t only what we do.
To make the most of your life, take the approach that you’re always learning and growing in everything you do. Anything worth doing is worth doing well after all.
Set goals whether you’re sponsoring an activity for your child, taking up guitar lessons or trying to prove your worth at work.
You’ll notice that this approach forces you to constantly develop new skills. It can also be fulfilling to put more focus and value into all areas of your life— not just the ones related to our careers.
3. Align your goals with your life’s mission, purpose and passion
Take the opportunity to do some soul-searching. What is it that you want to do with this precious life of yours?
Anything that conflicts with your life’s purpose is bound to cause discontent. Staying in a bad relationship, doing a job that goes against your values, or maintaining the status quo just because it’s comfortable are not options for you.
Thinking about your goals in this way can help you eliminate things in your life that don’t serve you. This frees up mental space that you can use to do the things you care about the most.
Many of us struggle to find the time to work on our goals, but this strategy enables you to make more time.
4. Create goals that ignite your spirit and inspire you to take action
If you can’t be fired up about your goals from the start, they might not be good goals for you.
The road to success is often tough. You’re going to have times when you might feel tired or discouraged.
You need to feel inspired enough that you’ll be able to overcome obstacles as you encounter them.
If what you’re doing motivates you to be the greatest version of yourself, you’ll be much more resilient.
5. Write down all your goals in specific, measurable detail
This is your road map for what success will look like. The more you define what you want the finished product to be, the greater the chance that you’ll reach that vision.
When you write down your goals, you’re creating a document that you can revisit to make sure you’re on track.
When you’re in the middle of trying to achieve a big goal, it can be hard to see what’s working for you. The things you write in this step will help you stay on-message as you take your goals out of your mind and into the real world.
Don’t just write down your goals and stash them away in a folder somewhere. Take the extra step to put them somewhere where you’ll see them.
If you have too many goals to post on your desk, write a summary or choose one or two steps to work on for the day. Just seeing them will keep them in the front of your mind.
6. Commit to hitting each of your targets without exception
You wouldn’t have created the target if you didn’t think it was necessary. Hold yourself accountable for taking the steps to succeed.
You can always adapt your strategy or break your targets into smaller steps if you find that they aren’t attainable as you originally wrote them.
Hitting even the smallest target is cause for a celebration. It’s a step in the positive direction. Your success will make you crave more success.
We often make excuses when we get tired or overwhelmed. Take away the option to make excuses. You will only be satisfied with the best effort from yourself.
7. Share your goals with others to motivate each other
There’s something so powerful about people sharing their goals and dreams with one another. Doing so gives voice to some part of us that could remain hidden (and therefore never be accomplished).
When other people know about your goals, they can cheer you on and hold you accountable. When people share their vision with you, you can do the same for them.
This strategy is particularly beneficial when you’re trying to develop healthy habits. Post about your workout on social media, or do a healthy eating challenge with your best friend. You’ll be less likely to slack when temptation arises, and you’ll probably encourage someone else to reach for their goals too.
8. Set a series of daily, weekly and long-term goals, complete with starting times and deadlines
Many goals never reach realization simply because the goal-setter doesn’t check their progress. People tend to forget what they set out to do, or their goal gets crowded out by other obligations.
Forcing yourself to revisit your goals at regular intervals breaks them into smaller steps and it reminds you to think about them.
Giving yourself regular deadlines for smaller tasks related to your goals also helps you reflect on your strategy. You’ll figure out what works for you, whether your timeline is realistic, and whether or not you need additional help to stay on track.
In addition, celebrating small wins helps you stay motivated. Here’s how:
9. Take 10 minutes every day to imagine how great it will feel to achieve your goals
Visualization is such a powerful tool. Some of the most successful athletes, celebrities and business people take time each day to think about how success looks and feels for them. Imagining that feeling of satisfaction can be a great motivator.
When you do meet your goals, take some time to be grateful. Thank yourself for showing up and doing the work. Be grateful when the stars align properly to help you advance to the next step.
It’s not just getting to the destination of your goals that matters. How you take the journey is important too.
10. Take an action step toward reaching your goals every day
Your goals can easily get buried in the hustle and the bustle. Even the smallest step in the right direction is still moving you forward.
Keep chipping away at the work every day and before long, you’ll start to see those dreams come to life.
Maybe you didn’t start your business today but you designed the logo that’s going to go on your website and business cards. Doing that task well is going to help you so much in the long run.
Concrete actions day by day draw your dreams out of obscurity and into the realm of possibility.
Change begins today
Dreams can inspire and overwhelm us. By turning our dreams into goals that we can work toward, we increase our chances of success. Things that once seemed impossible are suddenly within reach.
It’s time to start turning your dreams into goals and your goals into realities.
Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com
|||^||Lifehack: How to Set Goals: 10 Steps to Stay Focused|
|||^||Entrepreneur: 4 Visualization Techniques That Can Propel Your Success|