Freedom and development are very important at acondas. And sometimes this even means that our employees take a time out. Read more about Julia and her sabbatical in Malaysia here.
I have been working for acondas since the end of 2016. In various project assignments with clients from different industries I was able to learn a lot and gain valuable experience. I really enjoy this varied work. Nevertheless, last year I felt the need for a break for personal reasons: My partner wanted to work abroad for a while, and I wanted to join him.
I already knew about other acondas colleagues who had taken a sabbatical. So I discussed the situation openly with our management. At that time, we didn’t know all the details, but fortunately they told me that acondas would find the best possible solution.
In the summer of 2019, the time had come: My partner had found a job in Malaysia. At that time, my current client’s project was facing some changes. Therefore, it was a good time for a switch and I handed over my tasks to other project members.
In September we finally flew to Kuala Lumpur and I started my break in Malaysia, planned for one year. First, I explored the city at length and settled into the country and culture. We also made many trips to other Malaysian cities and as far as Singapore.
Malaysia is a very exciting and diverse country. There are beautiful rainforests and beaches, but also quite modern cities like Kuala Lumpur. The country has been a trade hub between China, India and Europe for a long time. Therefore, many different cultures live here very openly next to each other, which has been very impressive. We celebrated the Malaysian Independence Day, but also the Indian Festival of Lights, Christmas, Chinese New Year and Ramadan.
Besides these many new impressions I used the free time for my own development and interests. For example, I had a closer look at the topic of sustainability and created a blog about circular economy.
Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur
With COVID-19 the situation in Malaysia had unfortunately changed for us, too. Fortunately, Malaysia had only few cases of infections, which was mainly achieved by strict measures like curfews. Our intended trips, which we had planned mainly for spring and summer, unfortunately fell through. We therefore returned to Germany at an early stage, but at least healthy and without any further problems.
My return to acondas was easy: Due to the earlier return trip, I also started working on the project sooner than planned and even returned to my previous, still ongoing client project. Here I was again warmly welcomed and I’m very happy to continue working with the same project team. There was also a heartily welcome back in the acondas team. As part of our internal development, I am now in the new Knowledge Team for Sustainability and can thus contribute my knowledge in a targeted manner.
All in all, I had a wonderful time, which meant a lot to me personally. I am very grateful that acondas as an employer has given me this opportunity.