Sabbatical Stories

Joel regains his true identity

My eagerness to contribute. – Remind me of my true identity

In September 2021, I chose to leave Bolloré Group, equipped with a solid professional experience. Having worked as an engineer in the top logistics firm in Africa, I strongly believed that it was not only a comfortable social position but also an invaluable asset that I must share with others.

I travelled the country for six months to explore the needs and wants of the Cameroonian market at the local level, meeting would-be entrepreneurs, anxious to leave my contribution. At the end of my trip, my answer was clear: the market was in need of better logistics and modern means of payment.

Young professionals require more job opportunities in information technologies. This sabbatical gave me a fresh start and helped me to clarify my vision for the upcoming years as in the French mantra, “the ways and means to make the world” — namely, building it with the people and for the people.

Activities you engaged in during your sabbatical as possible:
– Training and certification: English and Problem Solving
– Sports as daily habits: Hiking, Football
– Volunteering

How long was your sabbatical (in weeks)?

What were you most concerned about when contemplating a sabbatical?
Money – it’ll cost too much!

Did HOW you work change at all, post-sabbatical?
Went from company employed to self-employed
Committed to taking significantly more time off
Returned to totally different work

How did your sabbatical experience change the way you thought about your employer?
Upon reflection during my sabbatical, I gained a deeper understanding of my work experiences. I recognized that my frustration was not solely based on unmet expectations at work, but also on my desire to contribute more my community

Why do you think others should (or shouldn’t) take sabbaticals? Are there occasions in life where it’s particularly helpful?

After spending years in school and the corporate world, many people tend to lose touch with their true selves. The constant pressure and demands can make it difficult to reconnect with our inner spirit.

It is imperative to take a moment and ask ourselves the question – Who am I?

This question may seem simple, but it can be quite challenging as we are often forced to adjust ourselves to fit in with society, our education, our work, and even our partners. No worries, take a sabbatical and piece together your answer.

You can connect with Joel here.

Interested in more volunteering-related sabbatical stories? You might like Bethany’s story.

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