Sabbatical: Career Builder or Career Damper?

There are many good reasons to take a sabbatical. These may be maternity (paternity leave), caring for a sick or elderly relative, personal enrichment or a business endeavor. Pursuing a degree or specialized training is not really a sabbatical. Whatever the reason for your sabbatical, a lot of your success in re-marketing yourself to prospective employers will depend on how you present the sabbatical.

“Are career breaks or sabbatical years really accepted? Does the industry welcome you back, acknowledging your strengths and prior experiences? Or is there a price to pay?” – Asha Naidu, Senior Software Consultant

If you are considering a sabbatical but want to come back to your present employer, this is definitely the easiest re-entry. Check your company policy to see if sabbaticals are available. If your company does not have a policy in place, they may still be receptive to the idea. Some companies may look at granting such a request as a way to hang onto valuable talent, rather than have to recruit your replacement. Others may be eager to take advantage of awarding a sabbatical instead of a raise.

If you are going to be out on the market looking for a new job at the end of your sabbatical, then deciding to go forward on such a break is more complicated. In any technology field, things can move fast. If you have been gone for some period, your competition may be better positioned than you upon your return. This competitive advantage may be harder to overcome in the current climate of a lingering recession with many un-employed and under-employed candidates.

Again, there are many good reasons to take a sabbatical. If you chose to do so, keep a few things in mind. Does the purpose of your sabbatical strengthen your professional knowledge, skill set or experience? If you are just burnt out and plan on catching a lot of re-runs and surfing the internet, you may want to explore some other options for rejuvenation. On the other hand, if you considering volunteering in the Peace Corps, or starting up a company, or some other venture that will allow you to contribute, grow, develop, this may be an opportunity to differentiate yourself in the eyes of a future employer.

While you are on sabbatical, make sure that you keep any professional certifications or memberships current. Build and update your skill set where ever possible. Keep in touch with your colleagues and network while you are away so that you know what is going on in your industry and your industry knows what you are doing. You may want to consider blogging about your endeavors.

“In my case, I had a one and a half year break in my high-tech career, during which period I was running my own business. That break, however, didn’t pose a big problem for me to get a decent job. In fact, I got a great job, with a 33% salary increase over my previous position.” – Henry Shen, Engineering QA Manager

Once you have concluded your sabbatical, make it a part of your value proposition. Gaps in employment need explanation, so you definitely need to include the sabbatical on your resume. This is an opportunity to bring to light the skills and talents you’ve built on and how they add value to your future employer. Use the experience to market yourself as a more skilled and knowledgeable person. While some people have experienced challenges in re-entering the workforce where they left off, others have parlayed their sabbatical experience into career advancement.


– A Resource from Redfish Technology, Executive Recruiters in High Tech and Green Energy.


4 Responses to “Sabbatical: Career Builder or Career Damper?”


    Ideas which can do justice to the emotions associated with every event.
    Perhaps it is a treat she found when traveling in another
    state or country. Educators receive dozens of gifts for just about every gift-giving occasion.

  2. Antoine

    Regardless of the reason you wear it, jewelry is
    nonetheless an item of most people’s everyday attire.

    Rather, it would be better if you will put effort
    when purchasing gifts to your attendants. They
    wind up happy and you wind up happy because everyone gets what you wanted in the first place.


    And after you have that knowledge you’ll end
    up spending FAR less money inside the long run because you’ll know WHY you
    may need that next little bit of gear, and you also’ll be unlikely to buy “excessive car” to your needs.
    There are various speaker stands being sold within the market these days, so here are tips to guide you in searching
    for the best speaker stand to get. Without the speaker, one will not
    understand how large the speaker enclosure or speaker hole ought to be in order to obtain optimum sound.


    If the glove gets messy, you can wash the glove
    in cold water with a mild laundry detergent. Crab and Cheese Rounds – Cocktail-size bread rounds make a handy base for many appetizer offerings.
    Allow the pan to sit for about 10 minutes before serving the oven baked s’mores.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *