May 29, 2009
We have met so many people who have taken pre-retirement sabbaticals. Some took a sabbatical break a few years before retirement then returned to the same job. Others took a break – or even retired – then changed jobs for the last part of their working careers.
One is Ralph, who retired from an active legal career at 65. Though he called it retirement, he had a feeling that what he needed was a break then a new challenge. He took a year to travel a bit, be with the grandkids, do projects, and read stacks of books. He really focused on those things, but he knew he wanted one more job – and a chance to give back. And he wanted to do something other than use his legal skills. So he also used his sabbatical to get back in touch with his interests.
He began exploring volunteer opportunities along the lines of those interests. He had always loved music, particularly enjoying classical music. He was an avid concert goer. Learning of a local need, he became a weekly volunteer for the city’s symphony orchestra. That wasn’t enough, though. He wanted further involvement. Seeing a further need and a budding partnership between the orchestra and public schools, he signed on with the orchestra’s youth outreach program so he could be more involved with the music and the musicians. Today he heads that program, but he works a more relaxed schedule than his law job.