A sabbatical is a legitimate option for career training. This is the only time a person can learn how to fill in unstructured time. Doing so develops skills in how to create jobs where none were defined before. The key element of extended absences is the completely unstructured time. Things that do need to be done can take much longer than normally would be allowed in a work setting.
My discussion here is why I criticize my 17 year old self for not being more confident about my self-assessment. I don’t criticize my 13 year self who pretty much understood the same thing. It is reasonable to the 13 year old to treat the assessment as a hypothesis to be tested. The various tests attempted were all appropriate, if not not sufficient.
In modern times, the reality of the workplace is that the environment is constantly changing very quickly. Getting hired into a hot job one day can lead to returning to unemployment a few months later. Workers are adapting to the new reality of constant changing work. One of the adaptations is accepting the ideals of life-long learning and gaining new skills to be prepared for the next job that will be needed sooner than one may anticipate. It is reasonable to imagine another cultural shift to be more strategic about when to be employed. There is nothing to gain by staying on a dying job and there is little to gain by catching a job at the peak. The rational approach is to get out before the job dies its natural death and strive to get out in front on a wave that has not yet developed. A portion of the non-participating labor may be behaving like the water surfers swimming further out, ignoring the immediate waves, in order to catch a wave at its beginning so as to allow for the longest ride and then leaving the wave before it crashes ashore. Good surfers spend more time swimming than they do surfing.
The following are my thoughts triggered from this article about the increasing dissatisfaction of doctors with their professions compared to what they had thought it would be. The article makes a point that the practice of medicine has changed a lot in recent decades so that the bulk of demand of time from the…