Nov 19 2013
Basis Team

Got Sabbatical? Centro Employees Do


Remember how wonderful holiday breaks felt like back in the day? After week-long all-nighters, countless cups of coffee and an arduous week of final exams and final papers, your brain was fried and your body was exhausted. The well-earned time to relax and put your feet up couldn’t come any sooner.

As you headed home, you would mentally prepare a “to-do” list that most likely included items such as: turning off your alarm, binge watching TV shows, packing for a long trip and/or catching up with friends and family. Did you ever think you would ever be able to create a list like that again?

Well, sabbaticals are Centro’s adult version of those holiday breaks! On top of our generous paid time off benefits, every Centron is eligible for three consecutive (and paid!) weeks off during their 5th, 9th, 13th and 17th year of service.

A sabbatical is a celebration of our peeps’ commitment to Centro and a way of showing our gratitude for dedication to this organization. The three weeks are intended to give the individual the opportunity to step away from the desk, refresh and fill that time-off with a “to-do” list similar to the one above. It’s an investment we are willing to make for our peeps to come back reenergized and check back in feeling personally fulfilled.

In the past, Centrons have spent this time volunteering, taking a long trip abroad, dedicating time for hobbies or projects or simply taking a “staycation” at home to unwind.

In 2013, we celebrated a whopping 15 sabbaticals – hey, it happens when you’ve been growing for 12 years and have a high employee retention rate. This upcoming year, we will have 36 Centrons taking their first sabbaticals and ten Centrons taking their second. Don’t worry, with our 400+ employees and continuous hiring, we’ve got the business covered.

This year, Katie Risch (SVP, Publisher Development) took advantage of her second sabbatical – check out her experience below.

Centro: Where did you go?

Katie Risch: Given I’m in airports and planes a lot for work, I stayed close to home and avoided all the stress and hassle that can come with travel! I spent much of my time in Chicago, Eagle River, WI and doing a roadshow around the Midwest to visit college friends in Louisville and Indianapolis on what I call “the baby tour” – visiting good friends whose babies I hadn’t been able to meet yet.

Who were you with?

KR: A bunch of peeps! I was in Chicago mostly with my boyfriend, Dustin. We went to Lollapalooza and took full advantage of the fact that I didn’t have to get up early for work. I bought tickets to after shows around the city four nights in a row (these typically end around 1 AM), and then attended three full days of the music festival. We were hardcore about seeing as much music as possible over the course of the week. In Eagle River, WI I spent time with my family. It’s beautiful up there and the perfect place to relax and unwind. On “the baby tour,” I saw my college friends and, of course, their babies! It wouldn’t be a baby tour without babies, right?

Why do you think Centro offers sabbaticals?

KR: Centro has a lot of employees who are committed to the betterment of the company. For those who’ve invested five years of their time, talent and energy into it, a sabbatical is a way to say ‘thank you’ and help them recharge so they can come back more energized to continue making this company a special place.

What advice would you give to someone who has yet to be eligible for their three weeks off?

KR: Check something off your bucket list. Whether that means travelling to a remote part of the world that requires at least two weeks off to get there and back and immerse yourself in the culture, or sitting on your back porch and starting to write a novel, or becoming certified as a yoga instructor. For me, my first sabbatical was a “bucket list” check mark. I went to Africa and got off the beaten path. My second sabbatical wasn’t about a bucket list item, but I would say to those who are about to embark on their first, do something that requires an investment of time that would not be achievable within a standard week-long vacation.

How would you spend your sabbatical? Write in the comments below and tell us!