After 5 years of service, Influence Health employees are offered the opportunity for a sabbatical. The primary purpose of the Sabbatical Program is to allow employees time to recharge, rejuvenate, and return to work re-energized. Sabbaticals are planned, strategic job-pauses during which an employee should take time to engage in activities they may not otherwise have the time to do such as travel, volunteer, do research, learn a new skill, or fulfill a lifelong dream before returning to work.
Kirk Alford, Technical Product Manager, shares about his sabbatical.
1. What do you do at Influence Health and what is your title?
I am on Influence Health’s Product Management team and I work with our Consumer Data Platform and Data Science groups on product development. My title is Technical Product Manager, Enterprise Solutions.
2. Where did you go and why did you choose to go there?
My wife and I went to San Diego, California, for the first week of my sabbatical. We had not taken a trip for just us since she was pregnant with our seven year old. It was a blast and great for us to spend some time to just ourselves.
Then, our family of four spent the last week of my sabbatical at Walt Disney World. We had not been in three years, and our son was only a baby at the time. It was very special to get his reaction to all the magic of Disney.
3. How long did it take to plan the trip?
Not long at all. Picking what part of San Diego to stay in was the hardest part. Ocean Beach ended up being the winner. Airbnb rocks!!
4. What did your manager say when you asked for the time off?
Go for it!
5. Share a favorite memory or two from your trip.
We talked both kids, 7 and 4, into riding the Tower of Terror at Disney. They won’t be riding it again any time soon!
I spent the middle two weeks of my sabbatical hanging out around town and doing all the end-of-the-school year activities with the kids. It was great to be the only dad at my son’s field trip as well as attending my daughter’s end of year pool party.
I spent 5 days in California with my wife and had no schedule. It doesn’t get any better.
6. How did you feel on your first day back in the office?
I felt ready to get back to work as my sabbatical wrapped up. The first day wasn’t bad at all. It was really the second week back that was the hardest.
7. What would you tell someone worried about being gone/letting go of their projects for that long?
We have an awesome team at Influence Health that will cover for you while you are out. Getting a month of paid leave is one of those rare opportunities you have to take advantage of. Go big and enjoy every minute of it.
8. Would you do it again? If so, what would you do differently?
Absolutely, I’m already counting down the next five years! Next time, I want to be more diligent about keeping a daily journal of the experience.
9. Anything else you’d like to share about your sabbatical?
It is a wonderful benefit and I want to thank Influence Health for offering it.
Want to learn more about career opportunities and benefits at Influence Health? Check out our job openings.