If your current job is secure or you’ve been downsized and your finances allow it, consider creating your own unpaid sabbatical. The payoff can be impressive.
A January 11th article in the N.Y. Times focused on “gap years,” in which individuals take a long break while employed or unemployed to explore interests, hobbies, or new career possibilities. “Taking a break from work is an excellent way for adults to segue into a new career or invigorate an old one,” reports Holly Bull, President of the Center for Interim Porgrams in Princeton, New Jersey. The center sets up gap year programs for college students but it also serves older adults. Planning a gap year “takes a little more preparation for adults,” Ms. Bull said. “Concerns about finances and job prospects are more common,” she said.
In the Times article, Lee Attix of South Portland, Maine, reported that taking a gap year more than 10 years ago enabled him to switch careers from sales and marketing into work focused on wildlife. “I wanted more than just a paycheck and doing a job,” he said.
Finding work in recessionary times, requires individuals to consider all possibilities and examine which of these offer them the best fit for their needs. Taking a gap year may just be the right answer.