I sometimes work with clients who have had long work histories with one company, and a long period in which they have felt like both the work culture and the job do not fit them. In my experience, this can lead to a sense of imposter syndrome, as well as feeling trapped and disengaged.
Some clients in this situation work with me after they’ve already left the job, but often they want to leave but haven’t yet because of understandable worry about the unknown and finances. I help them work through these challenges, in part through exploring and taking steps towards a meaningful long-term career goal, reducing the unknown. But sometimes, before seeking new work, they need a break to recharge, recalibrate, and reorient to the new direction.
This article from Harvard Business Review talks about this type of break or “sabbatical,” and how it might look different for different people. Most of the clients I described above fit in the sabbatical category of “Quest.” *If you have heard someone talk about needing a break from work, but feeling worried about the unknowns – please refer them to me at https://lnkd.in/gAGfhEwn to set up a complementary career consultation; I would love to help them navigate a change!
Summary content from the article regarding three different types of sabbaticals:
o “Working holidays…People who were pulled into this type of sabbatical did so to work on a passion project (for example, to volunteer for a think tank or found a start-up)..These sabbatical-takers ended up largely returning to their former jobs.”
o “Free dives…People who fell into this category were pulled into their sabbaticals by wanderlust…they reached the point where they 'needed an adventure and a kind of a soul reset…'"
o “Quests…The third group had the most dramatic transformations. Questers weren’t pulled into projects or adventures but pushed out of work by unsustainable expectations and toxic organizational cultures. Exhausted and burned out, the sabbatical was a last resort because continuing on their current path was untenable…unlike with working holidays or free dives, questers rarely went back to their old jobs.”
Harvard Business Review, 2/22/23
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Kristina Bennett Cheney, MA, Career Counselor, helping mid-career professionals who are burnt out and frustrated in careers that drain their energy, to discover and transition to meaningful careers that fit and energize them.