5 Signs That You Need To Take A Sabbatical

I’ve recently been interviewing people who have been thinking about taking a sabbatical and those who have taken one (or more). In this process, I’ve discovered many issues and challenges that people have, but I also noticed that there were some recurring themes in the mix.

Here are 5 signs that you might need to take a sabbatical:

You feel like you are a cog in a machine.

It’s like a machine kind of work. Make a machine which is automated. Turn on the switch. … run, run run, finish this deadline, that deadline. It’s so stressful… I feel like life is too short and I’m just working so mechanically. -C

You feel yourself burning out at work.

It was such a mad dash, really hectic all the work I had to do. And it was so crazy. It was crazy hours and after that I think I felt really burned out. I’d been putting all of my life into work and at the end of the day I’d knew I needed to take time out for myself. -L
I was so consumed by work. I was tired. It was emotionally draining. -P
I am just so tired and so burned out. -S

You feel stuck in your career, without a path forward.

After awhile you get tired of the same routine. And you start to feel like you have tunnel vision when it comes to your career and your approach to how you do your job. -L
I just felt really stuck and it was really frustrating and I kept going into work being like grumpy and just not caring about what I was asked to do, which is a bad position to be in. And when you know you don’t care, you just feel crappy about yourself all the time. -P
I wasn’t sure what to do next. I wasn’t really clear because I had just been working so much. I think I felt that I wanted to take a big break, like a vacation wouldn’t be enough. -L

You feel like you are missing out on something you’ve always wanted to do.

There is this internal drive I have to want to leave the world a better place because I’m lucky enough to be alive in it. And how dare I not use that privilege of being alive in this world to try to contribute to it being better…. And so, why am I not doing something right now? -K
I want to create some memories. They wouldn’t be work accomplishments, but they would be accomplishments. -S
I realized that I didn’t want to be 65 before I started enjoying my life in that way, and that there were things I wanted to do that needed my 30-something year old body to do, that I couldn’t do in my sixties when I retire. -K

You never take time for yourself.

I have a family to take care of, so I go from work to making dinner and caring for the kids and at the end of the night, I’m exhausted. — L
So when I was working long hours after that, I thought, is this why you survive, to work these long hours?… what is my meaning here? -M

Are any of these familiar? If so, you might need a sabbatical.

There are many reasons why people ultimately take the plunge to take a sabbatical. Sometimes they are offered that opportunity through work, or through a windfall. Sometimes there’s a natural transition that they can take advantage of (for example, a layoff). And sometimes… most times, it seems, people just plan for it and take the plunge on their own.

Is 2019 the year that you will finally explore the idea of taking a sabbatical? If so, you might be interested in joining a pilot that I’m creating to help people to design their sabbaticals. This pilot workshop is limited and will help me develop more tools and resources for people like you.