A mini sabbatical is a good alternative, if you cannot afford the big one.
Some people think a sabbatical is only possible when taking a lot of time off (for example 6 months to a year) but forget about this because there is also the option to take a mini sabbatical. In our definition, a sabbatical is can be any extended timeout – so basically everything that lasts longer than a normal vacation. If you are normally going on vacation for 2 weeks (which is already a pretty long time for the most people) – then consider everything above this duration worth calling an sabbatical.
A “mini sabbatical” can have the same effect as a large one.
If, for any reason, you are not able to break out from your daily routines, try having a small sabbatical. Start for example with giving yourself a couple of weeks off. If you take a 6 week sabbatical, you will give yourself time to unplug, the possibility to travel to exotic and distant places and on top have some time to get back to your routine after returning home. It is wise to give yourself some time adopting again physically and emotionally to your (normal) life.
Negotiating a mini sabbatical with your boss will be easier.
Imagine you have to convince your boss of a sabbatical that lasts a year. He will not be super happy because someone else will have to substitute for your person (even though negotiating a long sabbatical is not impossible, we wrote about it here). It will be much easier for your boss to support your dream of taking some time off for a shorter period, because it will be more easy to find someone else who will be able to manage your work while you are gone. On top, when you come back you won’t be surprised by huge internal changes.
Tipp for Negotiating: The common standard for women going on maternity leave is six weeks in the US, and up to 4 months in other countries (obviously this depends on the rules of your country, in some countries you might get more time, in others you will get less time off. Check this article for more information about the maximum length of maternity leave in European countries). Thus, if you are thinking about taking a mini sabbatical, why not taking one of the same length as a maternity leave? Many managers already know the procedure of planned absences and having to replace someone for this amount of time, so in the end you will have it easier to negotiate your sabbatical.
Also, the risk of being dismissed or replaced in your job is less probable if you only wish to take some “larger vacation” than spending a whole year away from your work and the company.
If you think a “mini sabbatical” might be a solution for you, we congratulate! If you are still soul searching and don’t know what to do with all the free time, check out our Sabbatical Ideas, and start planning your sabbatical ahead of time. We wish you all the best and good luck!