Taking a sabbatical from work

A sabbatical is a break from work, lasting anywhere from a couple of months to a year. Crucially, you’ll have a specific purpose for taking sabbatical leave and your employer will hold your job open for you while you’re away.

Reasons why people take sabbaticals vary enormously, but they usually involve one (or more) of the following:

  1. Travelling: choose a three-month or six-month sabbatical to travel somewhere meaningful, or just to take a well-earned longer break.
  2. Upskilling: use your sabbatical time to develop work-related skills (paid sabbaticals are often used in this way) or to study something entirely new.
  3. Resting: sometime two weeks in the sun isn’t quite enough, and you may feel like you need a longer rest to fully restore your physical or mental health.
  4. Volunteering: some people use sabbaticals to volunteer for a charity or an NGO. If your company has a CSR policy and works with a particular charity, this could be another route to a paid sabbatical.
  5. Taking a break: if you’re feeling bored or uninspired in your role, but don’t necessarily want to leave it, a three-month break from work to do some DIY, take up oil painting or spend more time with your family, might be all that’s needed to help put the spark back into your job.

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