(by Helen Coster, Forbes Contributor, covering entrepreneurs, focusing on global and social entrepreneurship)

Considering that the prospect of taking just a week off can throw many people into a task-delegating, calendar-clearing frenzy, taking a prolonged break–by quitting a job, or taking a paid or unpaid leave–can seem downright insane. But a sabbatical (a word derived from the word “sabbath,” for rest) can have enormous long-term benefits if you have the determination to do it. Today hundreds of companies, including Boston Consulting Group, eBay and Blue Cross Blue Shield, offer paid and unpaid sabbaticals for employees who want to improve their health, recover from job burnout, develop new skills or clarify what they want to do with their lives. “The concept of working for 40 years and then retiring is outdated,” says Elizabeth Pagano, cofounder of YourSabbatical.com.  [Continue Reading]

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