Coworker rarely find themselves discussing career breaks around the water cooler. But they ought to. Because just under the workplace radar, sabbaticals stay in the news—if sometimes in odd iterations. Here are 5 stories, er, floating around the internets and other media…
Norwegian Cruise Line paid this website the ultimate compliment when they christened their new super-ship, “Breakaway.” But they forgot to ask permission, pay appropriate royalties, and give us free rum punches. We’ll let the courts decide; ‘nuff said. Meantime, the buzz is big. You can sail out of NYC to warm locales—and eat your heart out at 29 “dining experiences,” including a seafood restaurant lorded over by celeb chef, Geoffrey Zakarian.
Our local paper recently offered a Sunday feature about how Sundays, once a day of rest, are now a day of stress and dread. Yep. Nowadays, most folks pack their Sundays with activities and errands and do lists—and largely skip the part about sleeping in, worship and fellowship, and a hearty Sunday supper. 78% worldwide experience these doldrums, with 59% reporting a “really bad” dose. As for me, I’ve always hated “60 Minutes.” That ticking represents the weekend—or is it life itself?—coming to an end (after some depressing sensationalism and this word from our sponsor).
Meanwhile, Fast Company’s Laura Vanderkam writes a “Work Smart” column and calls sabbaticals “a great tool.” Wow! Who knew!?! Her story profiles a burnt-out employee who took six months off, came back refreshed and ready to re-invent her career, and went on to write a book called “Falling in Love With Work” all about it! Evergreen takeaways: Use your vacation days; schedule in free time; and “claw yourself time to think.”
We’ve ranted before about Iowa’s legislature way overstepping their bounds by slashing sabbatical budgets at the University by more than half (assumedly out of shameless jealousy and control freakism). Now, three years into their knuckleheaded bullying, teachers are indeed lamenting that without these working breaks, they are having a harder time doing research, publishing books, creating new courses, and (in one’s case) launching rockets. Hey, politicians: Keep your dirty hands out of smarter worlds.
Elsewhere in academia, Northwestern senior William McLaughlin advocates in the school paper for student breaks, travels, and gap years. He reflects his own year off before college, biking in Beijing. College years can already be a multi-year, ivory-tower BreakAway, if you ask me. Summers off! Spring breaks! Low taxes! Still, we applaud his vision, even if we cringe and disagree with his assertion that, “Old age is no time to start things.” Hey, Big Ten Boy: Who says you won’t want re-bike Beijing when you’re “old” and gray?
Any age is a good time to start something, right?