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Why a Sabbatical on Your Resume Makes You More Desirable – Plus Tips for Negotiating One

Marlo Gaal, who hires employees as corporate HR director for Hyatt Hotels Corporation, says a sabbatical on a resume has the potential to make a candidate more interesting. “It’s an upside [for a candidate] because I appreciate the diversity,” Gaal says, in a US News & World Report article this week. “To me, [what you learn during a break from the traditional workforce] are transferable skills, and I appreciate people who are non-tradition in their thinking. I think it brings a refreshing and new way of doing things into a team environment.”

Alexis Grant, the US News & World Report career writer addressing the topic, also provided some great tips on negotiating a sabbatical if your company doesn’t have an official sabbatical program for employees. Here’s a brief summary, but you’ll want to read Grant’s entire article for details.

  1. Be purposeful. As we’ve often said here at yourSABBATICAL.com, the best sabbaticals are planned ones.
  2. Show how your time away will benefit the company. How does one do this? Our toolkit on “Negotiating Your Sabbatical” takes you through the process, step by step.
  3. Think carefully about your timing. What time of year will be the easiest time for you to leave your colleagues for a while? When will your time away have the least impact? And how long have you been with your company before you even approach the subject of a sabbatical?
  4. Be prepared to quit. Yikes, right? Well….what ARE you going to do if your boss says no to your sabbatical request? Our toolkit lays out your options and how to respond.
  5. Play it up on your resume. If you think time away from the job is something you should “hide” on your resume, think again. Instead, leverage your sabbatical on your resume or professional bio.
  6. If your boss says no, consider a company that does support career breaks. Drum roll, please….here are more than 100 companies that offer them regularly to employees.
  7. It can’t hurt to ask. Actually, it can, if you don’t ask the right way. Your pitch needs to be thoughtful and strategic, and that takes planning and forethought.

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About Elizabeth Pagano

Founding Partner, yourSABBATICAL.com.

Elizabeth consults with organizations on leadership/talent development. She is co-author of THE TRANSPARENCY EDGE: How Credibility Can Make or Break You in Business (McGraw-Hill), which has been translated into four languages and is now in paperback. A former business journalist, articles by and about her have appeared in a wide array of business publications, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, CNN International, Outside Magazine, Oprah.com, Journal of Accountancy, CBS News, Web CPA, Business to Business, Talent Management, Employee Benefit News, Manage Smarter, and Canada’s Globe and Mail. You can find her book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Transparency-Edge-Elizabeth-Pagano/dp/0071458840/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1291230117&sr=8-1.

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After 9/11, Elizabeth sailed with her mother on their family's 43-foot Beneteau, "Revival". To read more about their adventure at sea, go to http://yoursabbatical.com/about/team/pagano-sailing-sabbatical/. Since their sailing sabbatical, Elizabeth and her mother have been working tirelessly to ensure that every career path includes a sabbatical or two.

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