An Unemployment Sabbatical: Need One?

learn, read, sabbatical, exercise, free, courses, classes, iTunes, MIT, Harvard, choice You may be like me, swimming in the sea of unemployment…and yet you may never be busier! See this time as time for you…as a sabbatical.

A sabbatical is defined, roughly, as “any extended absence in the career of an individual in order to achieve something”. Okay, and “sabbatical” sounds so much better than “unemployed”, especially when unemployment has shifted to “long-term” status.

Sabbaticals still involve work, though, which fits the job of job hunting. Explaining some of this logic to others might be a bit daunting, though, especially with family. Someone unfamiliar with the dark waters of unemployment may scoff at your new outlook, but those of us in the water with you will smile and nod.

Now, what to do with this “absence”?

Visit the local employment agency in your area and see what resources are available. There may even be monies available for you through the Workforce Investment Act to pick up a class or two toward an improved educational foundation. iTunes has a feature called “iTunes U“, which is a collection of free classes/courses from universities and other institutions all over the world. Many are also available via YouTube or through OpenCulture. While these courses are not offered for credit, they are, for the most part, equivalent (if not exact) to what students on campus are taking.

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Keep your brain engaged and let your curiosity run free — what courses did you really want to take, but didn’t have room in your schedule? What’s something that piqued your interest? now you have time to explore!

Develop a schedule for reading, including many of the sources Greg Johnson listed in his article. Add to that the fact that many text books can be rented from Barnes & Noble, and you have the beginnings of a recipe for staying current.

Take the knowledge you have and volunteer at your local schools. These kids need help in everything from reading to research paper development to science. And, they will definitely keep you on your toes with some of the questions they have.

Enjoy this sabbatical time.

Set a schedule for each day to include some form of exercise for the body as well as the mind. Get current on your industry/area as well as supporting areas — who knows, maybe the end to your sabbatical is down a different path than you thought.

Go explore! Imagine the stories you’ll have when you do return to the corporate world!

Thanks Cait_Stewart for the photo via flickr

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