Feb 03, 2023

Everyone gets a sabbatical after 4 years at iwoca – find out what Colin did for his!


min read

Everyone gets a sabbatical after 4 years at iwoca – find out what Colin did for his!

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Colin Goldstein is our Commercial Growth Director and has been with iwoca for seven years. He recently made use of his sabbatical, a benefit offering four weeks of paid leave for anyone who’s been in the company for four years. 

We appreciate that working in a scale-up, a lot of people care personally and often put a lot of themselves into their work. That’s why we encourage employees to take a break and take the time off to recharge. 

We caught up with Colin after returning from his sabbatical to find out how he made use of it, and the impact it had on him. 

Welcome back, Colin! Tell us what you got up to during your sabbatical…

I was actually able to take annual leave at the end of my sabbatical to extend my break to a total of seven weeks, and was able to get away with my family. I spent a month in Thailand and two weeks in Peru, which were spectacular. Thailand we travelled all around, and Peru we went trekking in the Andes to Machu Picchu and then on to the rainforest. I’ve seen spectacular landscapes, nature, wildlife, different cultures, tried different foods, and had valuable family time. The whole seven weeks was pretty magical. It was a really special time for me and I don’t think as a family we will ever again be away together for such a long time. It was literally a once in a lifetime opportunity.

What were your main reasons for taking the sabbatical this year and what were you hoping to get out of it?

My four-year anniversary with iwoca came up around the time the COVID-19 pandemic happened and I therefore delayed taking my sabbatical. The pandemic was a challenging time, both for the business and myself. I therefore wanted to use my sabbatical to switch off from work entirely and recharge my battery. I was able to do that and didn’t engage with work for the whole seven weeks. The second most important thing for me was using the sabbatical to spend time with my family, because during the hard work of the last few years I did not get to spend as much holiday time with them as I would have wanted. 

How did you feel being out of office for a longer period of time? Did you have any concerns?

I felt 100% supported by the team and leadership ahead of my sabbatical. We worked together to delegate everything in advance before I went away, and at no point was I made to feel that going away would be difficult. I really want to praise James and Christoph (Co-founders) for that.

How did you feel coming back to work?

Mentally I felt re-charged. Because of the delegation and the way we had set everything up for me being away, I didn’t come back to a whole load of pending tasks or major problems to solve, as everything was under control. Coming back to work was very manageable, thankfully.

How important do you feel Sabbaticals are as a benefit?

Offering sabbaticals is a great way of letting people reset and come back with their mental battery fully charged, and staying engaged and positive in the job. I’ve been given an amazing opportunity to have that time off and I’m very grateful to iwoca for it.

What's the new year going to look like for your team, what projects are you excited about?

We made great progress in 2022 with building back our business post covid, in particular with our launch of larger loan amount and longer duration loans. We also invested in our partner API platform and introducer portal, so I’m excited to see some of our new partnerships that are in the pipeline come to fruition in 2023, as well as more building and growth of our introducer network.


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