Sabbatical Stories

Klaus’ Sabbatical Rekindles His Gratitude for Life

Summary: After realizing that something in his life was missing, Klaus unknowingly begins a sabbatical that renews his gratitude for life & family, and transforms his views on work.

My journey of self-discovery and personal growth made me deeply grateful for everything my life is all about

After starting/building up a company in 2017 together with businessmen from the Ukraine — a rather intense time professionally — I accepted a job in the Austrian public sector in the city of Vienna for the first time in my life. But after only a few years and despite an amazing team I was responsible for, I realized something was missing.

Ending my job in the public sector triggered the realization that I needed a change or I wanted to change or perhaps a bit of both. During that time I talked to my wife a lot and decided to try out Somatic therapy and it was incredible. It helped me resolve early trauma and start healing and growing in ways I did not expect, at all. Freed up new energy and an appetite for new challenges set in and I intuitively started with some of the activities I listed below.

It may sound surprising but I did not know at the time, that I am on a self-started sabbatical

It may sound surprising but I did not know at the time, that I am on a self-started sabbatical; i.e. until I came across DJ and his inspiring sabbatical project. Astonishingly, my journey pretty much follows the pattern that DJ describes and naturally I had to tackle and overcome certain barriers, as well.

DJs research and so many of the sabbatical stories made me think deeper and helped me look at my own from a different perspective. It also inspired me to share my own personal story and for that I am truly grateful.

klaus and his family sabbatical gratitude

I think I am currently coming closer to step no. three and must admit it is somewhat frightening to end the sabbatical, but at the same time I am curious what challenges lie ahead. I trust everything will work out fine.

Some activities I engaged in during my sabbatical:

  • Cooking for and with my folks, friends and family.
  • Switched to intermittent fasting to live healthier (eat every second day; together with my wife) after some time quite incredible effects in terms of energy level and overall well-being. I can recommend it depending on your age.
  • A road-trip with my wife and our three perfect children that led us from NY City through ten US states to Florida and back to NYC.
  • Skiing and hiking in the Alps/ Dolomites with my father, sister and family.
  • Various kinds of sports with friends, family and our children.
  • Spent time with some family members whom I had lost touch with over the years.
  • Together with my middle daughter’s boyfriend, we helped an old friend to relocate.
  • Renovated parts of our apartment.
  • Helped my daughter with her apartment.
  • Helped my children with learning for school / their education.
  • Went to basketball tournaments with my son.
  • Motorcycle rides.
  • Started and completed a program with an Austrian career consulting firm, that has advised many candidates and companies on new professional challenges.
  • Looking for exciting new professional opportunities.
  • Continuing education and career counseling.
  • Sailing trip with some of my German folks/family (planned/upcoming).
klaus on a sabbatical finding gratitude for life

How long was your sabbatical (in weeks)?
44

Describe any changes you made in your life post-sabbatical:
Sabbatical is still ongoing at the time of writing.

How did your sabbatical experience change the way you thought about your employer?
I developed a better understanding and respect for the challenges in the public sector.

Why do you think others should (or shouldn’t) take sabbaticals?

For all the reasons you will find in the personal stories on The Sabbatical Project’s website. My tip is to listen to your gut when thinking about taking a/another sabbatical and talk about it with family and friends.

From a corporate perspective, I reckon every company should think about embedding sabbaticals in the HR policy.

You can connect with Klaus Kurth here.
Interested in more stories about sabbaticals as a career transition? You might like Samantha’s story.

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