Musings of a Sabbaticeur!

 

Musings of a Sabbaticeur
After a decade of major life events, I decided to take a much-deserved sabbatical, during which I travelled, read, wrote a blog and generally contemplated life's higher purpose. Though I thoroughly enjoyed this phase of my life, I should offer a disclaimer that taking a sabbatical comes with its share of bouquets and brickbats! 
Well-meaning friends and colleagues told me that as time went by, my “ bargaining power” with companies would decrease. While I understood their concerns, I did not believe this to be true. To elaborate, during an insightful ISB workshop on interviews, the trainer dispelled some common misconceptions. He explained why interviewers viewed a “gap in the resume” suspiciously: there had been a couple of incidents in the United States in the 1970s where interviewers discovered that the gaps in the candidates’ resumes were because they had been serving jail time! So as I said, a gap is not necessarily a panic button, as long as one is upfront about it.
To answer the obvious question, “Is it tough getting a job after a break?”, I can only say, in all honesty, “Yes".  And my answer to the obvious follow-up question, “Is it worth taking a sabbatical?” — a resounding “Yes!”.  I will do my best to explain these seemingly contradictory statements. 

 

While working, our sedentary lifestyle combined with the “not-enough-time syndrome” results in unhealthy lifestyle choices. A break offers us a superb opportunity to experiment with different healthy alternatives (food and exercise)and to kick-start a sustainable routine.

 

I’m a huge proponent of experiential spending versus spending on material things. Learning is a lifelong journey, and all this new-found time gives us the opportunity to pursue all the countless things we want to do. I actually used to wonder whether 24 hours would ever be sufficient! And as much as it is fun to wake up knowing that we don’t have to rush to meetings galore (oh yes, and working in-between meetings), ensuring that we use the available time productively requires proper planning and is a rejuvenating experience!
For me, the journey is as important as the destination, and the older I get, the more I understand that it’s okay to live a life that others don’t understandAs Friedrich Nietzsche said “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music”.

 

About the author:

The author of this article is Archana Challa, alumnus from PGP Class of 2013, who is an avid traveller who finds solace in books and music. She currently works in Strategy at Keva, Mumbai. Read more at http://ac-catharsis.blogspot.in/

 

 

 

 

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