Matt Koenig of 1 Year Sabbatical might have a few sleepless nights ahead of him.
A few weeks ago, after working through Negotiating Your Sabbatical: The Ultimate Toolkit for Writing and Presenting a Killer Sabbatical Proposal Your Boss Can’t Refuse, Matt presented his sabbatical proposal to his boss. She understood Matt’s desire to live with his wife’s family in Indonesia for a year, giving his family – especially his two young sons – time to experience and connect with his wife’s heritage. She got it. Thumbs up from the boss!
But, as in many organizations as large as the hospital where Matt works, whether Matt can take his year-long sabbatical is not a decision left entirely to his boss. Next step: HR. Matt’s boss would present his proposal to the Human Resources department and get back with him.
His readers – this one included – were on pins and needles.
The answer finally came. Company policy only allows for three months’ leave. The HR director feels they might be able to “milk it” for up to four months.
So now Matt has to decide – Does he take the four months and come back to the security of his job? Or does he graciously quit, move overseas and “make epic things happen“?
“The big thing for me is that, especially in this economy, it’d be nice to have that sense of security of knowing you have someting to come back to,” Matt told me. “Our primary concern is the financial end of it.”
Ah, yes…..money is always a top concern with sabbatical-goers. Matt’s father is a little worried, too. “In some respects, I think he understands why we want to do this,” Matt says. “But the other part of him may be thinking ‘What about your financial future? What about buying a house? What about planning for your retirement?’” All are reasonable concerns, of course.
But, as Helen Keller once said: “Security is a myth.” A job, a house, and a fully-funded retirement portfolio do not necessarily equal security. Life is full of surprises.
I’m cheering Matt on. We regularly work with companies, trying to make sabbaticals a part of every career path, and most sabbaticals offered are between 8-12 weeks. But this family sabbatical would be difficult to fulfill in that time frame. Really experiencing and feeling what it’s like to live in another country and culture takes time.
Good decisions take time, too. So we’ll anxiously wait and see what Matt decides to do.
For those of you contemplating pitching a sabbatical to your boss, Matt said this about our Negotiating Your Sabbatical workbook: “It really got me thinking about what I want out of this sabbatical time. I was able to put my thoughts together coherently and prepare myself for the meeting with my boss.” To read more, view his post about the process of writing his sabbatical proposal.