I read this very interesting article sometime ago where one law firm was offering its lawyers the opportunity to take the year off for 1/3 their annual base salary. Now obviously that 1/3 was probably more than most of us make on a full salary, but I still thought the article was very interesting.
Only in a financial world turned upside down would an arrangement like this one make sense. Looking to cut costs like everyone else, but not prepared to lay off employees, Skadden has chosen instead to offer all of its associates — about 1,300 worldwide — the option of accepting a third of their base pay to not show up for work for a year. (So far, the partners have no equivalent arrangement.)
The company is helping associates find pro bono work, and is encouraging them to do so. But the lawyers could also spend the year catching up on every episode of “Top Chef” that they missed during the boom years, or traveling around the world, “all of which is O.K. by us,” said Matthew Mallow, a partner at the firm. Other firms have adopted similar strategies, but Skadden’s program is unusual in that it has no pro bono requirements.
So let’s pretend. If your place of employment offered a similar deal and you could afford to do it with some minor cut backs, would you?
More importantly what would you do if you had one year off work?
Me? I really don’t think I would take the deal. I love what I do too much. I truly feel I get to live out my calling. Now, would I like a little more flexibility? Sure.
I would probably speak less and play with my kids more.
I would lead less and love more.
I would attend fewer meetings and do more international missions.
How about you?