Like a boomerang
A check in with Roisin Edwards, our People Advisor returning from sabbatical.
Meet Roisin, our People Advisor of 4.5 years. This year, Roisin set off on the adventure of a lifetime, before returning back to us – just like a boomerang.
Roisin used her sabbatical to explore, learn and even pop into our Sydney office, and has returned feeling energised with a fresh perspective on life and work. Now she’s back in Manchester, we’re checking in with her to see how she’s reflecting on her time away from the office. Over to you Roisin…
Why did you want to take a sabbatical?
Travelling is something I have always loved, but the longest I had ever been away for was 2.5 weeks around the Greek Islands. After I finished Uni, I went straight into work and carried on for the next six years. Travelling was always at the back of my mind, but after covid hit it made me want to go even more! I wanted to experience new cultures, discover new places, meet new people. It’s so easy to go through life feeling comfortable, I wanted to experience things that really pushed me out my comfort zone.
Where did you go on your sabbatical?
I travelled around Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Bali for three months with my twin sister. My sister then had to go back to work so I flew over to Australia.
I spent the first week with Ellie Walton, an Account Manager who made the move from Leeds to Sydney last year. It was so nice to get the opportunity to stop by the Sydney office and meet the team out there. From Sydney, my boyfriend (now fiancé! He popped the question on a remote beach in Northern Queensland) came over to meet me before travelling the East Coast together, finishing Perth.
What were the highlights of your time away?
There were lots, but my top ones are…
- Visiting an Ethical Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Staying in Hoi An, Vietnam – It is such a magical place
- Singapore, I loved it all!
- Climbing Mount Batur at sunrise, Bali
- Getting engaged in Northern Queensland, Australia
How did IMA-HOME support you in the process?
IMA-HOME were great. I first had a chat with my line manager about six months before I wanted to go before submitting a formal request to the business. In the request I included why I would like a sabbatical and what I could do to support the business if the sabbatical was approved.
Luckily IMA-HOME were super supportive and allowed me to take four months out of the business. I recognise there’s not many companies that would do that! So many people I met whilst I was away were shocked that I had been given this opportunity, which I think goes to show what a unique place this is to work.
What did you learn whilst away on your sabbatical and how will this impact how you work moving forwards?
A lot of people think that travelling is one big holiday, and yes, 90% of the time it is, but there are parts where it is hard. I think I’ve built up resilience and confidence from this, which I can now bring to work.
My time away has also given me a greater appreciation of life. We often moan about how mundane life can be, but instead we should try appreciate what we have got, there’s always positives to a situation, and I’ve returned to work remembering this.
And finally, I’ve learnt to work hard but play hard. Live more in the moment and stop worrying so much about the future.