Great opportunity -
or mid-career panic
A couple of months ago I read a Pulse article on Linkedin. The article argued that it makes perfect sense to take a sabbatical year when you find yourself mid-carrier. Like, when you are 40 years old. Like me.
I was inspired. Who wouldn’t be, right?
Of course, being a hardworking and ambitious Brand Manger in a high-profile Fortune 500 company in Scandinavia one can always argue that a break from work would be great. But that’s not really what the article was telling me. Instead, the author said, you need to start thinking really hard about the future:
Where will you be five years from now? 10 years? Are you on the right path in your career?
I started thinking, do I really like my job and where it is taking me. How about the company I work for? The culture? Being 40 years old I can still fix all that if I want to change path or try something else. In five years time I can’t, argued the author.
So the time is now. Start thinking. That is where the mid-career sabbatical enters the picture. You need time to think — and a clear head. You can’t do it while working to many hours a week, claimed the article. So I need time off to get my thinking done. This could be a problem.
Fortunately I have a solution to the ‘problem’. His name is Jonas. He is five months old and my son.
Living in Scandinavia I am entitled to 36 weeks of parental leave from work. I even get my old job back afterwards (if I decide to come back, that is). Pretty great.
So this is what I’ve decided to do from this coming Friday: Seven months out-of-office/off work/unplugged etc. Instead I will be having a great time looking after Jonas. Seeing him grow and develop. At the same time I will think really hard about where to go from here career-wise. Try something new, go back to the old job. Get it all figured out. After all, life is too important to waste on not doing something you love.
So this is the start of completely new journey for me and my family.