3 Big Misconceptions About Taking A Sabbatical

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Taking a Sabbatical|3 Big Misconceptions About Taking A SabbaticalTaking a sabbatical is a good idea for a lot of reasons, but people often misunderstand why they are useful. Many people also get the wrong idea about taking lots of time off and they think that it will damage their career and their life in some way. Unfortunately, these misconceptions mean that so many people are not benefitting from taking a sabbatical when they could be. These are some of the biggest misconceptions about sabbaticals and why you should take one.

You Should Only Take One When You’re Burnt Out

The biggest misconception about sabbaticals is that you should only take one when you are completely burnt out. They have this idea that you should work yourself to the bone and only when the stress becomes so much that you feel like you can’t go on anymore should you think about taking some time out. But even though sabbaticals do help you recharge your batteries, there are a lot of other great reasons to take one. It gives you time to focus on personal goals and it can give you more perspective on your career. So don’t think that you only deserve a sabbatical if you are under extreme stress. If there are things you want to achieve in life or you just want some time to focus on yourself, those are perfectly valid reasons to take a year off work.

You Can Only Take One

The general perception is that people only take one sabbatical in their lifetime. It’s seen as a time when you can achieve that big thing that you’ve always wanted to do, and it’s a once in a lifetime experience. But that isn’t the case at all and there is no reason why you can’t take regular sabbaticals throughout your life. In fact, best-selling novelist and corporate leader Karan Bajaj advocates taking a sabbatical every 4 years. It gives time to achieve more personal goals instead of focusing on one single thing, and it’s an effective way to find more balance in your life. By having regular time off to focus on yourself, you will ultimately be happier.

It Will Stall Your Career

This is the number one reason that people don’t take sabbaticals when they should. They worry that taking significant time out will stall their career and other people will overtake them, meaning that they miss out on opportunities for advancement. However, the opposite is actually true. If you want to advance your career and get promotions, you need to be at the top of your game. Unfortunately, it’s hard to stay motivated and put the work in if you haven’t had enough time off, even if you love your job. When you take a sabbatical, you will return to the role with your batteries recharged, ready to hit the ground running. You also have a fresh new perspective on the job so you can bring great new ideas and a different approach. This all means that you are more effective and you are actually more likely to progress.

It’s important that you ignore these myths about taking a sabbatical and consider taking some time out if you think it will benefit you.

How To Grow In Your Career

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | How To Grow In Your Career

Professional development is something that requires an intimate awareness of what’s expected of you, as well as the different ways that you can situate yourself within your industry. If you want to get the most out of your time in your career, it’s important that you begin thinking early about your skillset and the way you interact with your colleagues. Professional development is something that begins from a conscious awareness of where you’d like to be in your career and taking informed steps towards that goal. It may take some time to get to that point, but it’s worth it to consider it now if you’d like to get further in your goal.

Navigate Relationships Professionally 

When you’re at work, it can be easy to get super comfortable with your coworkers. However, consistently maintaining an air of professionalism in the workplace will ensure that you’re able to maintain a consistent image that can project you into higher positions in the future. Maintaining this awareness during your interactions with other coworkers means that you’ll be able to more easily navigate conversations surrounding the modern political jungle in dialogues with other employees and coworkers. Developing good relationships with your coworkers is still important, so there’s no reason that you can’t maintain consistent relationships while maintaining professionalism in the workplace.

Develop Your Skills 

Steadily increasing your skills on your own is an excellent way to prove to employers that you’re engaged with your job and are aware of the growth of the industry. By steadily making improvements in your own abilities, you’ll be showing your employers that you truly care about your ability to maintain consistent productivity within your field. Making improvements is always a great way to shift the expectations of your employer and for them to see you as a more serious candidate for advancement.

Dress For The Job You Want 

When you’re working in an industry, how you’re perceived can make a huge difference in how the opportunities that you’re afforded. While you don’t have to go out and buy an entirely new expensive wardrobe, it is important to make sure that you always look nice. The old adage still rings true- dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If you’re having trouble finding apparel to wear to work that you feel comfortable in, consider having some clothing tailored, as this gives off a much more professional look when it fits you perfectly.

Employees Spill The Beans On What They Really Want From Their Employers

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article |What employees want|Employees Spill The Beans On What They Really Want From Their EmployersIf you think employees just want a paycheck at the end of the month, you’re sadly mistaken. Fortunately, (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective), they need a lot more than that.

In the past, business culture was very different. Companies pretty much told their employees what to do, and they got on with it, without really asking any serious questions. But with falling unemployment and changing expectations, that’s all gone out the window. Now firms have to give their employees many reasons to stay. Otherwise, they’ll look for opportunities elsewhere.

You can listen to consultants all day long, telling you what you should do to reduce employee turnover. But the easiest way to encourage people to stay is to ask them yourself.

When you do, here’s what they say:

Opportunities For Progression

Money today is great. But employees also want the promise of more money in the future. Often, this idea is more compelling than receiving a bonus in the here and now. People want to feel like their lives are going somewhere. They don’t want to get stuck on an eternal treadmill, doing the same things every day, without end. They need a sense that they’re progressing. They want recognition in their communities.

If you want to keep employees, therefore, you should create an explicit schedule for their careers. Make it clear what you expect from them and then make opportunities available once they gain sufficient experience and expertise.

Recognition For Their Work

Some people work for money and nothing else. But a lot of people feel like they’re part of a large social enterprise and expect recognition from their superiors. For them, work isn’t just a means of making money or achieving goals. It’s also about getting some much-needed affirmation.

If you’re a natural boss, you may struggle to see the importance of this. They already get paid, so why do they also need parenting? It seems weird. Sometimes, though, you have to ignore your instinct and spend a bit of time telling your employees you appreciate them. It’s the equivalent of the teacher giving the student a gold star.

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article |What employees want|Employees Spill The Beans On What They Really Want From Their EmployersShow Them You Appreciate Them

Paychecks are great. But ultimately, they lose their appeal. Sometimes, they can become a source of resentment. Employees often come to believe that you’re giving them too little for the work they do.

Corporate gifts for employees, however, can sweeten the deal somewhat. With these, you can show your appreciation without having to go through the rigmarole of a salary renegotiation. For workers, it feels like Christmas.

Offer Flexible Hours

If there’s one thing that workers want more than anything, it is freedom over how they use their time. Not everyone wants to be in the office on weekdays. Some people find it more convenient to come in on the weekend and get their work done then.

Create a system that allows people to work flexibly, where possible. You could allocate a certain number of flexi-hours per week if you need colleagues to be in the office together at certain times.

Make Yourself Way More Attractive To Employers

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article |Professional Development|Make Yourself Way More Attractive To EmployersWe all have to work if we want to make something of ourselves. Some of us settle with something low-key and try to get through life with little-to-no fuss, others harbour lots of ambition and strive to be at the very top of their field. If you associate yourself with the latter, then you’ll know by now that it’s more than just a bit of talent and a little luck that will get you there. It takes hard work and a little extra know-how.

If you want to get yourself into a fantastic job, you need to stand out and be exactly what the potential employer wants – regarding both the job in hand and overall poised professionalism. Different people find different aspects of a person attractive and magnetic, so nothing is set in stone, but let’s talk about a few things that can make you a sexier prospect.

Become More Organized

If you work at becoming more assembled and almost systematic in your ways, then, like a lot of things, it will become second nature. Employers like when people have their stuff together as it, more often than not, means they’ll bring that kind of energy to the workplace. If you’re a more organized person in general, you’re more likely to have everything in order and impress during interviews, too.

Work On Your Resume

It’s not the be all and end all, but a good resume will certainly draw attention in a positive way. Sure, it’s nice to have good qualifications and relevant experience, but if you’ve laid it out in a cluttered manner, then employers may just toss it away immediately. Try to make it pretty and easy on the eyes.

Work On Your Skills

This goes without saying, but try to perfect what you’re already quite good at. Nobody will ever master anything completely, but hard work gets you ahead of others. There’s always something you can work on: if you’re looking to work in IT, then you can learn about anything from coding to something more basic like how to send large files online – every bit of knowledge can gain you that extra bit of advantage you need. Things don’t get easier; you just get good at them.

Smarten Your Appearance

This is almost aligned with the idea of being more organized as an individual. First impressions count for a lot when meeting someone – especially a potential boss, so making sure you’re fixed up and looking sharp is important. If you turn up to interview with a part of your shirt untucked or looking a little worse for wear, then you’re going to stand less of a chance.


Working on something without getting any reward other than knowledge and experience is super attractive. It shows that you really want to do a particular job and you’re not just in it for the benefits that could follow. It also shows a great work ethic – a lot of people, understandably, work or do things for others because they want something in return. With volunteering, you’re literally taking a risk and working your backside off just because it’s in your nature to do so.

Why Career Progression Starts with Self-Improvement

We are not always happy in our current job, and want to make changes that will improve our lives, self-esteem, and bank balance. However, to successfully improve your career, you’ll need to adapt a new approach and attitude. Instead of waiting for the opportunity to knock, you have to get proactive and search for ways of improving your knowledge, getting extra work, promotion, or new qualifications. Below you’ll find a few tips.

Talk to Your Manager

You will never get that promotion until you ask for it. It is important that you let your employer know about your ambitions, and ask for advice. You might not want to go straight to the point and ask for a promotion, however, if you ask what type of extra work you can take on to help them out, it can help. You might want to volunteer for new projects or get advice on how to secure more qualifications.

Discover the Next Step

It is also important that you look through your strengths and limitations, so you can determine which future careers will suit you. If you cannot stand stress, working as a stock broker might not be for you. If you are not sure what career suits you, it might be a good idea to improve your self-knowledge and get a better understanding of your personality. However, if you have good people skills, you can be a direct marketing expert, customer engagement officer, or even a nursing practice leader.

Take Your Qualifications Further

When it comes to progressing your career, you can’t simply sit back and wait for your chance to train with your current or future employer. You will sometimes need to take the first step. Overcome your fears and search for online courses that will help you improve your skills and knowledge. You can find a course suitable for your plans, such as an rn-bsn online that can be completed online. Once you have the qualifications and knowledge, you can meet the expectations of your potential employers better.

Request Training

Sometimes the best approach is the direct one. If you want to get that management job, you can ask your employer for further training. Find a position that is in high demand and needs qualified workers. Offer your employer to complete the training for the unfilled position. If you present yourself in the right way, you might even get your workplace to fund a part of your course, or offer you a low interest or interest-free loan for the duration of the training. This way, you can get time off to prepare for the exams and show your commitment towards hard work and your employer.

Whether you are a nurse or an office worker, you will need to start with your own personal development before you can make a career progression plan. Learn as much as possible about yourself; your skills and limitations, and find the career path that suits your needs and your employer’s. Don’t wait for the opportunities to come across; become proactive in finding them.