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Why paid time off is worthwhile for your career

1st November 2022

Are you dreaming of taking time off from your job - perhaps to further your education? Here's how!

Living compatibility - but how?! Why paid time off from work is worthwhile for you and your career


Taking paid time off from work outside of regular vacation days is the dream of many employees. We tell you everything you need to know about educational leave, sabbaticals & co. and how you can make the most of the time off.


HOW to make the most of educational leave


Currently, only 2% of Germans use their educational leave. We think so: That should change as soon as possible! Because you can use this paid time off from your job to ...

- acquire a new professional skill

- specialize in an area that will help your company achieve a better work-life balance or equal opportunities for disadvantaged people

- improve your work-life balance, for example by attending a course on mental health at work or self-organization pursue your personal interests - various language courses can be booked as educational leave.


These forms of educational leave are available


You can either book an educational leave as a trip or you can continue your education at your place of residence. Especially popular are language courses in Spain, Greece or Malta (where you learn English, not Maltese). Educational vacations aimed at stress management and improving your mental health in your career and life are also often combined with a trip - a yoga retreat in the Alps or a hiking vacation in the Harz Mountains or a stay at the North Sea. Design, marketing or accounting skills are not usually offered as a trip. The courses usually take place in educational institutions. But of course you can make a trip within Germany out of it and combine your further education with a city vacation. Most offers are designed for the legally agreed five days. Sometimes there are also ten-day courses - for these you can "save up" your educational leave from two years.


How to apply for educational leave


You can apply for your educational leave in just three steps.

1. find a suitable course

On the bildungsurlauber.de platform, you can get an overview of the various options for taking paid time off from work. In addition, there is information on the official pages of your state or municipality. Most providers of courses that are recognized as educational leave will provide you with forms that you can use to apply for the leave.

2. apply for special leave

Once you have found a suitable course, apply for educational leave at your place of work - usually this is treated as special leave. A tip from Lara Körber, CEO and co-founder of bildungsurlauber.de, if there are any questions about your choice of educational leave: "Many people worry that companies interpret educational leave as time off instead of funding, especially when it comes to non-work-related training. At the same time, mental and physical health is also important for your career - those who pay attention to their personal needs act highly professionally in our opinion."

3. book

Once your vacation application has been approved, there's nothing standing in the way of your booking. You can get help with the costs through programs such as the federal education premium or similar funding opportunities offered by the German states.

Good to know: If you are in the process of applying for a job or negotiating a salary, you can have your next educational leave directly recorded as an agreement. That way, you can avoid discussions about your leave request.


Take a longer break from your job: The sabbatical principle


You want to leave your job for longer than your vacation entitlement allows? Then a sabbatical could be an option for you. This is a good idea, for example, if you:
- want to travel for a longer period of time, for example if you want to extend your parental leave
- want to care for a relative
- need time for yourself after a separation or the loss of a person
- want to further your education more extensively than the educational leave provides for

"At least an idea of what you want to do with your free time should already be there, and in the best case you already prepare something for the first month to facilitate the start of the sabbatical," advises Barbara Horvatits-Ebner. 

The travel blogger and psychologist has been on a sabbatical herself and is of the opinion that the time off can help you personally a lot - if you use it accordingly. Because especially if the everyday life is otherwise very strongly clocked through, you could be overwhelmed by doing nothing at first.


Take a sabbatical or time off from your job: This is how it works


Taking time off from your job needs to be well planned. "Financially, things can get pretty tight during a sabbatical," Horvatits-Ebner says. One possibility is to work in your job for a while at a reduced salary and then receive a regular salary during your absence. If your employer does not go along with this, it would also be possible to take unpaid leave. It is important to make sure that you are covered by health and social insurance for the time you are not working in your regular job. It's also a good idea to take stock of your finances beforehand: Will you be able to make ends meet with your savings? Can you work a mini-job?


If you want to travel during your career break, you should consider what to do with your current place of residence: sublet it or dissolve it completely? You should pause or cancel contracts with the gym & Co. In addition, your documents should be up to date and you should adjust your mobile phone options to your new situation.


Use time off from your job for further training


You don't want to go far away, but you still need some time off from your job? You have the feeling that you are stuck in your career and would like to change your career - but preferably without quitting? Then discuss with your superiors what opportunities they see for further training within the company. If you are short of IT specialists, you could attend one of our boot camps and lead your company into the future. You could use your sabbatical to become a web developer or data analyst in 12 weeks.


Your way to a well-used sabbatical from your job


If you're quitting your old job and want to re-position yourself, you're in good hands with us. You can also finance our bootcamps with the help of our financial partner Chancen eG. In addition, we are certified as an educational institution, so that you can use the so-called education voucher from the employment agency. We have set out to prove that anyone can make their way into IT. Regardless of where you come from and what background you have. We work for a diverse world where no one is too old or has too many children. Let's code the rainbow. 🌈


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