This is the place to get all of your sabbatical FAQs answered, and find out more about them before starting the planning stages.
As a veteran of three sabbaticals (that’s me in the photo, on a sabbatical in Thailand) and someone who’s interviewed dozens of people on the topic of sabbaticals and career breaks, I’ve built up a wealth of sabbatical knowledge, which I share on this page.
The aim is to whet your appetite, give you all the basic information you need to know about sabbaticals, before getting into the nitty-gritty of planning your big adventure.
What is Sabbatical Leave?
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.
READ MORE: What Is a Sabbatical? A Complete Guide
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 exceptions, most commonly in academia, but also in countries such as Australia, where they have a paid long service leave law.
READ MORE: Is Sabbatical Leave Paid or Unpaid?
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.
What Do People Do on a Sabbatical?
Sabbaticals are taking for countless reasons, most commonly to travel, but even within that cluster some people hire an RV to traverse Australia, whilst others backpack through Southeast Asia, some cycle across America, while others book a house sit and get to know a city.
READ NEXT: 10+ Reasons To Take a Sabbatical
What Are the Benefits of Taking a Sabbatical?
The benefits of taking a sabbatical are numerous.
You might see a destination you’ve always dreamed of getting to, learn a new skill, spend more time with a loved one, or give back to a community by volunteering.
There is also the often overlooked benefit to your workplace – your sabbatical presents an opportunity for others to step into your shoes for portions of your work. They can and must make decisions without your input and by doing so, individuals expand their repertoire of skills, enhance competencies in new areas, build confidence and develop leadership skills.
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.
READ NEXT: Our Sabbatical Planning Homepage
Sabbatical Country Guides
Here you’ll find guides to sabbatical leave by country, including the laws
Taking a Sabbatical in the UK
Here is a complete guide to taking a sabbatical in the UK.
READ MORE: Taking a Sabbatical in the UK
Below you’ll find posts links to posts which include statistics about sabbaticals.
22% Of The World’s Top Companies Offering a Sabbatical Program
You are not alone! 22% of the world’s companies now offer a sabbatical program, and searches on Google for the term ‘sabbatical leave’ have nearly trebled in the last 15 years. You will not be the first to take a sabbatical or the last. It is possible to do so without it ruining your career.