Sabbatical FAQs

A question mark written in chalk on a blackboard.

If you’re looking to get all of your sabbatical questions answered, 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 where to begin.

Sabbatical 101 Posts

What Is A Sabbatical [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.

8 Reasons To Take A Sabbatical
Having interviewed many people about their reasons for taking a sabbatical I collated the top reasons into eight buckets. Which one(s) fit where you are?

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.

Can I Take A Sabbatical? (How To Find Out)
Covers off how to find out your company policy on sabbaticals and what your choices are if a sabbatical policy isn’t in place.

Is Sabbatical Leave Paid or Unpaid?
This post includes of examples of both paid and unpaid sabbatical leave and a simple way to work out exactly how much a sabbatical will cost you.

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 Leave in the UK: A Comprehensive Guide
For my UK readers, here is everything you need to know about sabbatical leave in the UK. Includes details about sabbatical law in the UK, a list of big companies in the UK that provide sabbaticals and links to useful resources.

Taking a Sabbatical: 10 Practical Tips from a 3x Veteran
Bridget has taken three sabbaticals, here we learn her top tips from financing to chatting to your boss.

Overcoming Fears About Taking a Sabbatical

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.

Your Career Break: The 'How to' Guide
  • Hadden, Sue (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 246 Pages - 04/02/2013 (Publication Date) - AuthorHouse (Publisher)

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.

Escape 101: The Four Secrets to Taking a Sabbatical or Career Break Without Losing Your Money or Your Mind
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Escape 101: The Four Secrets to Taking a Sabbatical or Career Break Without Losing Your Money or Your Mind
  • Clements, Dan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 172 Pages - 10/15/2007 (Publication Date) - The Brain Ranch (Publisher)

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How Long Did You Take For A Sabbatical or Career Break?

If you have taken a sabbatical or career break (unpaid time off from work) how long did you take?