It’s time for another installment of Protiviti’s Sabbatical Series, which focuses on all the unique and meaningful ways our employees utilize our sabbatical benefit to enhance their lives. In line with our People Promises, Protiviti offers the benefit of a sabbatical to our employees so that they may take time off to pursue their passions.

Today, we’re chatting with Amanda, a Senior Consultant in our Internal Audit and Financial Advisory solution out of Chicago, Illinois. Amanda has been with Protiviti since she interned during the summer of 2018 and is now a valued member of our team. We excitedly share her story today.

PROTIVITI: Tell us a little bit about what you did for your sabbatical.

AMANDA:  I took a five-week sabbatical so that I could go to Baton Rouge, LA to get married, then spend two weeks abroad for my honeymoon. We had a little over a week in Italy before heading to Greece. We started in Rome, then went to Florence, Venice, Mykonos, and Athens before returning to the United States. Once we got back, my husband and I packed up all of my things in Dallas, TX to move up to Wisconsin!

PRO: What was the idea behind using the sabbatical program during this time in your life?

A: I was having a lot of massive life changes occurring in what I knew would be a short period of time. My then-fiancé was graduating pharmacy school and had not found out his residency program placement until a month before the wedding. We knew there was going to be a small window of time for us to get married, enjoy a decent honeymoon trip, and move. Taking a sabbatical meant I could enjoy a longer honeymoon (we extended our trip from one week to two once I had gotten approved!) and live in the moment. I cannot imagine trying to balance a workload while also planning a wedding, trying to find a new place to live across the country, and then moving.

PRO: How did you feel supported by your teams as you planned to take this meaningful time away from the office?

A: I felt extremely supported by my teams before I left! I might not have even taken a sabbatical unless one of my directors suggested it to me. I worked with HR to take care of the logistics and communicated with my teams often to remind them the dates of when I would be out and ensure my work was wrapped up prior to my leave. They were my biggest supporters and asked for all the details of my trip once I returned.

PRO: Were you able to translate the learning from your sabbatical experiences to the work that you do at Protiviti?

A: Yes! I was constantly traveling during the five weeks, with very scheduled days when I was in Italy. Navigating different countries and different modes of transportation (railway systems, airports, boats, etc.) can all be stressful, especially since it was my first time abroad! I learned that you must not be afraid to ask questions and do your best to not get overwhelmed. As an auditor, I know I will have lots of various clients and many fast-paced engagements. The best you can do is work with your team to delegate tasks and learn about the different industries — no two clients are exactly the same.

PRO: What, if any, changes have you made at work based on the experience you had?

A: Based on my experience, I have learned to appreciate my work life balance. I knew that if I had had to work while also dealing with all of these life changes, I would not have been putting forth my best quality work. Taking the sabbatical meant I could do the stressful aspects, relax and recharge on my vacation, and then be ready to go and work hard once my sabbatical ended.

PRO: In what other ways do you feel Protiviti supports your work life balance and wellbeing?

A: I feel that Protiviti supports my work life balance and wellbeing by having supportive team members. If I ever have a CTO day planned but offer to hop online for a client meeting or to send an email in my free time, my managers refuse and tell me to enjoy my time off as the team will cover it. If I have an appointment or need to take off work an hour early, my team is flexible with me as long as I communicate with them, so they are aware, and I still get my assignments completed.

PRO: Why do you think someone should consider taking advantage of this benefit? What should they consider for their own sabbatical experience?

A: I think people should consider taking advantage of this benefit because not many companies will offer a paid leave of weeks to months! Generally, when people think of vacation, it’s a “Maybe I can take 1-2 weeks off of work” but to take a sabbatical means you can explore so many options. I know of someone who caravanned across the continental US for a month, and I know of another who spent months backpacking across Europe. The options are limitless!

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Amanda! To learn more about Protiviti’s incredible benefits like this one, visit our website and find your next adventure with us.

You can read our previous Sabbatical Series installment here!

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