Rumspringa- an Amish word that means ‘running around’. This word was originally used to signify the gap that adolescents were required to take before coming back to their responsibilities, to help them discover and uncover parts of life. Rumspringa was a term that was used to signify a positive experience, an awakening that a person receives after they explore the different aspects of life.
Sabbatical is a more generic alternative to this word. Recently, however, it has turned into a word that questions an employee’s willingness to work.
The word was meant to signify a break that was taken by someone who had been in the workforce a few years, someone who could afford to indulge in a break and some ‘me’ time. However, it is now considered no more than a word that only those who are willing to indulge in “career suicide” are meant to take.
People are increasingly loving the idea of taking a vacation- of earning more than necessary before they turn 30. More than 63% of millennials under 30 are saving/investing with a clear aim in mind. Despite the increasing importance and consciousness about saving, people are ALSO, increasingly, justifying not going for their dream vacation – “I’m so close to my goals”, “I don’t have enough money” , “I won’t have enough money (once I’m back)”, and the best one yet, “I’ll do it when I have the time.”
Stop. Think for a moment. When you’re caught in this unending rut of trying to outperform yourself, do you really think structuring your life, your fun time, your experience is the best idea?
Where is your urgency to live?
Watch this inspiring talk by Stefan Sagmeister, a New york based graphic designer, about taking time off for yourself when you’re 30, and read on to see what we picked up from the video:
Work Will Start to Look the Same
After a while( a few years, decades) of having convinced yourself that you can stay for longer and do a better job at working, you’ll realise that your ideas become stagnant. Stefan, here, for example, being a graphic designer, started to realise that his one idea of drawing in 3D, or placing the object he decided to advertise inside a cut out in a book, had become one of his go-to ideas.
To move on in career, in life, and even with relationships, you need to know that every new day will be a different thought process and a different path altogether. A safety net is fine, but too much is monotony.
Disperse 5 Years of Retirement Into 35 Years of Work
An average person works from age 25 to age 60- post that, or so we believe, we have ample time left over to do the resting.
A productive life, however, starts with a fresh mind- take a loan from the future, 5 years, perhaps, and if you’re still skeptic about the idea, convince yourself that it’s only a 2-month break that you will be taking. The more relaxed you are, the faster you finish your work, with more efficiency and perfection.
A year of break had given Stefan 7 years worth of ideas, a.k.a, the time till which he had sworn to go on another sabbatical.
Google Gives 20% Off as Personal Time
Most of the companies in the U.S provide 15% time-off the employment contract for Sabbatical/Personal time off. Google, being one of the most successful companies, gives 20% off. Why do you think the company that comes in the top 25 of the Fortune 500, gives all that time off? Shouldn’t they be wringing their employees till they are dried of their ideas?
Talent is a Language
Quit putting it off for work. When you die, you won’t remember the time that you clocked in early to work. You’ll recall that one year (or 5, or 10), that you took off to establish your life. That time you were 30 but went bungee jumping in Africa, with no intention of going back to work- and when you were deep sea diving in Bali, the quiet blue gave you your awakening. You considered all kinds of prospects, now that you had time for yourself.
People understand talent, and they will recognize your worth. Power and authority are not the only things that matter in your life.
When you explore, network. Tell them about what you do. Not how you do it, it isn’t a business meeting. But find a person who’s just as paranoid or just as calm as you on their vacation, and discuss your vacation plans with them. Tell them what you used to do and what induced your decision to stop it all (maybe for a while).
Talent is a language. They will understand your worth, and you will be important regardless of which mountain you’re sitting on top of, in shorts and a vest that you bought off your last couple of bucks from the local vendor.
Stop telling people you admire their courage to have taken this step. There are no compulsions to have ideas that change the world. There are compulsions, however, to do what you aspire to. It doesn’t matter what you take your time off to do. Many a time people realize on their vacations that they don’t want to spend the rest of their lives relaxing.
Well, good job. You had your realization, and your way of retiring your 9 to 5 life at 30 meant getting back to work.
Think about it- what hard and fast rule asks you dedicate your life to work? It doesn’t take a lot to change your own rules- it only takes the step in the beginning to be the change.