Chapter 5: Sabbatical Program Paves a Path for Excellence in Work and Life

Fulfill a goal. Build a skill. Learn and grow.

There are many differing reasons why one might take advantage of the opportunity to go on a sabbatical. At Protiviti, we fully understand the value in that and support our team members as they find, define and live their passions.

That’s right — a sabbatical isn’t just an extended vacation!

We’ve caught up with three of our employees who recently took a sabbatical for a variety of different reasons. They shared with us what they learned, what they will take with them in their day-to-day, as well as their careers, and advice to anyone who is interested in potentially doing a sabbatical. This is a continued series from earlier in 2018.

Chapters 1-4 found here.

Melissa showing off the fruits of her labor on a farm in Spain

Chapter 5:

We’re headed to New York City for our first feature – heard of it? Meet Melissa. Melissa is a Senior Consultant in our Technology practice and she took advantage of her sabbatical to travel! Alongside her husband Sam, Melissa traveled through Europe and the Caribbean for two months visiting countries like Spain, Portugal, France, the Netherlands and the Dominican Republic.

Their first stop was a Northwest region of Spain called Galicia, where the duo signed up to participate for a month in a program called WWOOF, an organization that pairs organic farmers with volunteers who help with daily farming and growing tasks in exchange for free housing and meals.This was the second time that Melissa had volunteered with WWOOF. After graduating college, she worked on a farm in California, and credits her dad with instilling a love of farming in her. “My dad was raised on a farm,” she says. “He would always tell us stories when we were kids. I grew up hearing those beautiful memories, and always had a desire to live on a farm and experience that.”On the farm in Spain, Melissa, her husband, and other volunteers were tasked with harvesting, planting seeds, pulling out weeds, and working in the property’s greenhouse.

Although the work was labor-intensive, it was right up Melissa’s alley. “I really enjoy it. It’s a really therapeutic thing,” she said, noting that she loved being able to see the (literal) fruits of her labor. “They had a giant strawberry patch and when we got there, it was totally overgrown with weeds. It was barely yielding any fruit. And we spent two days weeding the whole thing, and from that point forward, every day there were strawberries.”


Melissa and her husband on a beach in Portugal
But it wasn’t all work and no play. The owner of the farm created a relaxed atmosphere, and volunteers were asked to start work around noon and end at five, meaning the group could do as they pleased with their free mornings and nights. Melissa and her husband took full advantage of the location and the flexibility, visiting Portugal, hiking mountains, going to small, secluded beaches in area, and attending a wedding in Majorca, a small island off the coast of Spain.
Strolling through the streets of Spain

“It was extremely beneficial for me to slow down and incorporate the things I enjoy that I maybe don’t get a chance to do in my day-to-day life. If you plan to take a sabbatical, be intentional about what you’re doing. Think about the things you care about, that you’re passionate about, that you love, that you enjoy. Savor those things and enjoy them. Really give them their time,” she says. “I think that’s the whole concept behind a sabbatical, to kind of reassess and evaluate your life and take inventory.”

This is the second sabbatical highlight series we have run – missed the first four? Don’t worry we’ve got you: Chapters 1-4

*this information was repurposed from Protiviti’s internal platform i on Protiviti run by the amazing Shawna*


Sabbatical Feature - Melissa Instagram

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: