Since Emma Watson was appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in 2014, the actress has made it her mission to empower young women and promote gender equality. Now, Watson has decided to take a break from making movies to further pursue a path of activism.
“I'm taking a year away from acting to focus on two things, really. My own personal development is one," the Harry Potter star said in a recent interview with Paper Magazine. Her UN women's rights campaign, HeForShe, is the other.
The 25-year-old credits her involvement with feminism for helping her grow and quiet her own self-critic and hopes that this break will help her continue on that path. “Everyone needs to have a balanced life,” said Watson. “Being balanced is crucial, because it helps us not to over-extend or to try to live up to other people's expectations in ways that leave you feeling empty.”
Celebrities aren’t the only ones who are taking extended breaks from work. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 23 percent of U.S. companies offer sabbaticals to their employees. And with millennials craving more work-life balance, we wouldn't be surprised if those percentages start to increase.
In fact, here are five reasons why many of us have a work sabbatical on our list of #GOALS.
Finding your passion
Sometimes it takes a little time to find the work that really lights us up inside.
Learning new skills
Whether it's painting, writing, or knitting, learning new skills is a great way to keep our brains sharp, an NPR article reports.
According to Health.com, work breaks are crucial in maintaining motivation, energy, and overall performance. In fact, one study showed "the more hours that elapsed before a break, the less energized and the more symptoms of poor health workers reported when returning to the job."
In an article on the Muse, one woman explained that her work sabbatical gave her a way to be comfortable in her own skin. "Because I had time to just think and dream, I left my sabbatical with clear priorities about what needed to change in my life upon my return home," she said.
Forming new relationships
Many people take work sabbaticals in order to travel and meet new people.