Head: The sabbatical advantage
Intro: Do you want to brush up your professional skills because you might be feeling out-dated? Then take a sabbatical leave to rejuvenate yourself with the latest knowledge, says Rupashree Singh
Sukanya Krishnan, a final year B.Tech (Computer Science) student at IIT Kanpur, was one of those lucky few who bagged a job the first round of campus interview. It was her dream job - a fabulous pay packet from an US-based software giant with housing accommodation at Bangalore and an opportunity to go overseas on assignments. But the honeymoon lasted only for a brief time - till the industry was hit with recession. Soon their Indian office was running short of assignments and was forced to downsize. For the first time, Krishnan felt the need to upgrade her technical skills to remain employable. She applied for a sabbatical leave and within a few months, she was off for an M.Tech programme in Computer Science at Princeton University, USA. It proved profitable for the company too, as it was a way of saving money when business was slack. When she came back, she not only had a job waiting for her in the same place but also a promotion for the extra skills she had acquired. One of the consequences of the move towards a better work-life balance is that more employees are now negotiating time off work in addition to their annual leave and opting for sabbaticals to pursue high-end educational qualifications. A sabbatical leave is a voluntary arrangement between employers and their employees and can be paid, partly paid or, more commonly, unpaid. During the break, service of the employee is counted as continuous when she returns. Initially, sabbatical was introduced at the PSUs and government organisations on a different note. It was seen as an effort to cut down the staff - in tune with the voluntary retirement scheme. However, since investment in training and skill upgradation of their resources is immense in progressive organisations,...
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