Sabbatical 101

A question mark written in chalk on a blackboard.

If you’re looking to get your early questions about sabbaticals answered then you’re in the right place.

This is Sabbatical 101!

You may have heard a friend talking about sabbaticals or maybe someone at work took one a few years ago and you’re wondering where to start, this is the perfect place for you to begin.

Quick Links:


Sabbatical 101 Posts

What Is A Sabbatical And Why Take One? [Complete Guide]
The starting point for all factual information on the subject of sabbaticals and career breaks. This post answers questions surrounding the law of sabbaticals, how long to take, if you’ll get paid and then runs through 8 common reasons that people decide to take a sabbatical.

How Long Is A Sabbatical?
A potentially obvious question, but with more layers than you might think, ‘how long is a sabbatical?’ answers this question in detail from both a financial and career perspective.

How To Take A Sabbatical From Work
A comprehensive guide to everything work-related, from finding your company’s policy to approaching your boss.

Can You Afford To Take A Sabbatical?
One of the early questions most of us ask, here are all the resources you need to work out how much your sabbatical will cost, and if you’re in a financially stable position to take one.

How Do I Request A Sabbatical?
This post goes into detail about preparing for the big meeting with your boss.


Sabbatical Mindset

Want To Take A Sabbatical? Breaking Down The Mental Barriers
One of the challenges with taking a sabbatical is this mental roadblocks we put up for ourselves. ‘My job might go while I’m away’ ‘I might not enjoy it’ ‘I might miss out on a promotion’. Yes you might, but what if a sabbatical will bring more to your life than all of those things combined?


Sabbatical FAQs

What is sabbatical leave from work?

A sabbatical is a period of paid or unpaid time off of work that offers you the chance to return to your job role or a close equivalent at the end of it. Whilst your benefits are normally frozen during this time (pay, pension payments, share earnings), usually you continue to accrue pro-rata related benefits.

How long is a sabbatical?

A normal time-period for a sabbatical is between three and twelve months, however this will depend on the company your work for and how much time off you can afford to take.

Do you get paid during a sabbatical?

Generally, no, however there are some exception, most commonly in academia.

What does sabbatical mean?

The word sabbatical has its origins in the word sabbath, meaning a day of rest. In both Judaism and Christianity, one day a week is set aside as the sabbath day, a day of rest and worship.

The word has evolved to become a general term, used for either paid or unpaid leave given as a benefit to employees by their company.

How do I take a sabbatical?

To take a sabbatical you need to start by researching your company policies, to determine if sabbatical leave is regularly granted and how you go about requesting it.

You then need to plan out your sabbatical, working out how much you need to save in advance when would be the right time to travel and what you want to do.

Before you book anything you then need to request the sabbatical via your line manager or HR team.

If the sabbatical is not granted you can then make a decision if you want to risk leaving employment and finding a job on your return or giving up on your dream.


Great Sabbatical Resources

Your Career Break: The ‘How to’ Guide
Your Career Break: the ‘how to’ guide is a workbook that guides you through the process of taking a career break. It helps you decide if it is the right time for you to take a sabbatical or career break, and provides you with strategies to overcome the psychological barriers that may hold you back.

Escape 101: The Four Secrets to Taking a Sabbatical or Career Break Without Losing Your Money or Your Mind
What is your dream escape? Relaxing on a palm-studded beach? A year off to write your novel? Missionary work with the needy? Exploring ancient ruins or saving the rainforest? Whether you’re an adventurer, a poet, a volunteer or you just need a break, Escape 101 provides you with a step-by-step system to take as much time as you need from your job, career or business, without losing ground.


What To Read Next…

This site is designed to flow from the point you hear about a sabbatical right through to coming home, below is a suggested order to make your way through the sections.

Sabbatical 101
(You Are Here)

Sabbatical Inspiration

Financing a Sabbatical

Sabbaticals & Your Career

Planning a Sabbatical

Travel Guides

Returning From Sabbatical

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Useful Tools for Booking Your Sabbatical

Flights

I always use Skyscanner or Agoda alongside Google Flights to make sure I’ve got the best price. I use Google Flights to save a route and monitor price changes and a combination of Skyscanner and Agoda to get the cheapest tickets. 

If you are in the UK I would also highly recommend signing up for Jack’s Flight Club to get incredible flight deals sent to your email inbox every week.

Accommodation

When booking accommodation I always start with Booking.com as they generally have the best range and prices. I also regularly use Airbnb for longer stays and apartments in cities (use this link for £25 off your first stay). For a different experience try signing up to Housecarers for free house-sitting opportunities (get 10% off membership with this link).

Insurance

Travel insurance might seem like an unnecessary cost, but when a flight gets cancelled, injury occurs or you damage a piece of gear you’ll regret not paying in advance. I’ve used  World Nomads for two sabbaticals and (after badly damaging a hire car in Laos!) found the claim process to be simple and transparent.

Tours

Using local guides is one of my favourite travel tips. The easiest way to find a local guide is to use Get Your Guide who offer tours with local guides all over the world.

Gear

Check out my gear page for my favourite travel gear, here for a detailed 3-month packing list for men and women and here to find 38 great travel gifts.

Transfers

Getting from the airport to your destinations is an added stress after a tiring flight, so take the guesswork out and pre-book with JayRide.com. Their prices often beat the local taxis and I've found them to be reliable and easy to use.

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