An Octopus Group Sabbatical

When I started at Octopus as a fresh-faced grad in 2011, the prospect of a two month paid sabbatical after five years of service seemed like a pipe dream. Like a mythical beast. Did it actually exist? Has anyone ever actually done it? What sort of punishment awaits on your return for such a benefit?

When I realised, quite quickly, that I liked working at Octopus Group, it became a distinct possibility. I vowed to be a sabbatical veteran.

Five and a bit years later I’ve just come back from a six week tour of Australia and Thailand with OG’s blessing. And I still got paid.

I’m thankful to OG for the opportunity for a couple of reasons:

  1. The sabbatical offer is plain and simple. It’s not a con. There are no dodgy terms and conditions. I didn’t have to sell my soul
  2. It’s not a novelty act to try and look cool. Not one of these annoying ‘look at the amazing MacBook we give all new joiners’ sort of things that manage to go viral on LinkedIn from companies trying to look caring and cool
  3. I was encouraged to take it (not sure if trying to get rid of me or…?). You don’t have to grovel for it. The OG powers want people to be able to go away, do something different, and come back refreshed
  4. I was able to go a condensed ‘gap yah’ – never got the chance around studies –and still pay the mortgage
  5. Got to spend Christmas Day on the beach, wearing a novelty Santa hat in searing heat
  6. Allowed me to work on my Aussie accent with actual Australians.

Thanks for the opportunity, Octopus Group. It was great, here’s my best bits:

Jervis Bay
Sydney Fireworks
Sammy and Elephant
Breakfast Views
Wild Turkey