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Making the most of a sabbatical

A sabbatical can feel like a once in a lifetime chance to take a chunk of time off work to recharge and follow your dreams. There can be a lot of pressure to make sure you do it all right and make the most of it. You can’t do a sabbatical “wrong”, but you can do a few things that will help you get the most out of the experience.

This is a really common question - "how to I make the most of my sabbatical?" To help, here is a run-down of the most popular tools and tips from Beyond a Break for making the most of a sabbatical at every phase of the journey.

Planning a sabbatical

Ask yourself - Why am I taking a sabbatical?

Before you start planning what you are going to do on your sabbatical, figure out what you need to get out of the break – reboot, refocus, recharge or reach a dream. Understanding the purpose of your sabbatical will help you design the right sabbatical experience for you.

Design a great sabbatical plan

Plan your sabbatical so that it’s aligned with your sabbatical purpose. For example, don’t plan to climb Everest if you’re physically and mentally burnt out.

Check you can afford a sabbatical

With a great plan and a few financial tips, you can probably afford a sabbatical right now. Find out by using the Sabbatical Cost Calculator.

Convince your boss

Asking for a sabbatical can be a tricky conversation. You need to pitch it, manage the optics, and show you’ve thought about how to manage the absence. Use this Pitch Pack to help you think through all the points you’ll want to cover to frame it as a win win for both you and the business.

During your sabbatical

Maximise your recharge on sabbatical

Sabbatical recharge is not automatic, and it’s not guaranteed. You need to be intentional about how you manage your time and activities on sabbatical to get the most recharge value out of your time off.

READ THIS - Recharge Model

Know that it's ok (and normal) to encounter ups and downs on sabbatical

Not all phases of a sabbatical are easy. It can be hard to disconnect and decompress. Some big (scary) questions might be popping up. It might not be what you expected. Understanding the psychological phases of a sabbatical will help you to figure out how to navigate the mental and emotional journey of a sabbatical so you can make the most of it, wherever you’re at.

Find a someone who can help you make the most of your sabbatical

It’s handy to have a sounding board when you’re on sabbatical and you’ve got ideas popping around in your brain. You can use the time on sabbatical to sort through what you want next in your career and life, guided by a coach who’s been there and done it too.

Get inspired and learn

Here are our book recommendations for everything to do with sabbaticals, life design, wellbeing and more.

Returning from sabbatical

Have a stress-free return to work

Returning to work can be jarring but with a few tips and some self-reflection, you can make the process smooth for you and your colleagues.

Learn from your sabbatical and make some life changes

Sabbaticals tend to have a way of helping you get the inspiration, clarity and energy to make the changes you’ve been longing to make. Having a coach to help you through the post-sabbatical transition really helps you have a clear plan and stick to it. Even if your sabbatical is over, it’s not too late to get support.

Share the sabbatical love

Your sabbatical was awesome! Great! Let’s get your company involved so everyone you work with can have their best sabbatical experience as well. You can be a champion for sabbaticals in your company. Just put us in touch with your HR team and we’ll take it from there.


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