Vested View: The Value of Pressing Pause - Vested UK

Vested View: The Value of Pressing Pause

Vested employees are lucky enough to have the opportunity to take a sabbatical once they hit the four-year milestone. This can either be a 12-week paid sabbatical or a three-week holiday with a payment to help employees make the most of their time away. A time to take on new challenges and focus on themselves – it’s an opportunity not to be missed.

We sat down with Millie Graham, Account Director at Vested, to discuss her recent sabbatical and what she got up to during her time away.

Why did you decide to take a sabbatical?

Since joining the industry after university, I’d only ever taken one holiday that was longer than a week. For this reason, the opportunity to take 12 weeks off to rest and recuperate as well as explore the world jumped at me. And, with no dependents or a mortgage to pay, it felt like the opportune time to step out of the office and to take a leap of faith. So, in January, I set off on my solo adventure to South America, to embark upon my own personal journey. A chance to focus on myself and reflect on my career to date, but also to think about what’s next.

What did you do on your sabbatical?

My sabbatical was focused on personal development as well as education, so I decided to spend the 12 weeks travelling around South America to improve my Spanish and Portuguese. I had previously studied both at university, but my skills had become quite rusty since.

Arriving in Brazil was a little overwhelming, which is why I opted to spend the first week of my sabbatical doing an intensive Portuguese language course to help me get by. From there, I was fortunate to spend a month exploring Brazil, enjoying the Afro Caribbean culture and music Salvador had to offer, as well as beautiful beaches down south. The remainder of my trip focused on improving my Spanish and seeing some of the impressive landscapes South America had to offer, including Patagonia, Salar de Uyuni, and Machu Picchu.

What was the highlight and the lowlight?

Highlight: The W trek in Patagonia. Not only was the scenery unreal, but the four days of hiking made it even more worth it!

Lowlight: It’s a toss-up between losing my prescription sunglasses to the waves in Rio de Janeiro on day one or being conned by a taxi driver.

What was your key takeaway?

1. Patience.

Whether it be trying to make yourself understood in a different language, getting from A to B, waiting for a meal, or getting local currency, patience is key. You have to come to terms with the fact that things work differently in other parts of the world, and as a result, you have to adjust your expectations

2. Make time for yourself. 

When travelling, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. You’re constantly meeting new people and sometimes your social battery can feel drained. At times like this, I made sure to take time for myself, and immersed myself in the books that have been on my reading list for far too long!

And finally, any tips for those thinking about a sabbatical?

Do it! After meeting so many different people from all over the world, I realised how truly unique our sabbatical policy is and how fortunate I am to have had this incredible experience. Whether you opt for three weeks or three months, make the most of the time you have off and use it as an opportunity to pause, reflect and to come back with newfound energy.

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