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Review of ¨Negotiating Your Sabbatical¨ e-book

Written By: jeff

Posted On: February 24th, 2011

The truth is, most people who want to take a sabbatical or a career break want to go back to their old job. One of the biggest myths out there is that people who take a break really just want to leave their job. Consider this statistic, in 2008, Mintel reported that 70% of people wanting to take a career break wanted just that, a break. Nothing more. It was only the minority of people that wanted to take a break to figure out how to transition themselves to something different.

While the number of companies offering paid or unpaid breaks has been growing, many people still find themselves working for firms that don’t have a formal sabbatical program. Until recently, those people were left to fend for themselves in negotiating their time away.  But, there is a great do-it-yourself resource made specifically for these people.  And, even if your company has a sabbatical program, this resource can be equally beneficial.

Summary Review

Negotiation Your Sabbatical

NEGOTIATING YOUR SABBATICAL: The Ultimate Toolkit for Writing and Presenting a Killer Sabbatical Proposal Your Boss Can’t Refuse, is a comprehensive tool that will take you through all phases of getting time off from work.  The workbook forces you to think through your reasons for wanting a career break, identifying the benefits for your company, writing the proposal, presenting the proposal and what happens when the boss says yes, no, or not right now.

The workbook costs $49.95. I think it’s a good deal and here’s why.  Compare the price to the cost of going to an executive coach, which will run you hundreds of dollars. Talking to your company about agreeing to time off can be stress-inducing.  You want to be prepared and have thought through the pros, the cons and all the possible reactions such a discussion might trigger.  This is an important conversation and you want to be prepared.  I’ve read through the book in detail and I think there’s a lot of good advice and insight that you can apply to your circumstance.

What’s in the workbook

This is not a book you get that’s going to give you a bunch a great ideas ¨in theory.¨ It’s meant to be used as an active part of your planning.  You will print it out and mark it up as you apply the lessons to your life.  I like that on page 8, it states

¨Your goal is to get agreement to take time away from your job while maintaining benefits and the reassurance that you will return to your same position and continue to be regarded as a valuable contributor in your company.¨

To get to that point, this workbook poses lots of questions so that you can start to prepare to have that talk with your boss. The content includes

  • Reasons why your company would want to give sabbaticals with hard data, page 15
  • List of individual benefits and benefits to the company, page 21
  • ¨Thought Barriers and How to Overcome Them¨, page 25
  • Checklist for Building a Strong Sabbatical Proposal, page 29
  • Sample Sabbatical Proposal, page 39 (with real-world examples)
  • Presenting Your Case, page 56
  • 5 possible reactions from your boss and scripted responses, page 70
  • Questions to keep the conversation moving forward, page 72

What I Liked

  • The book is easy to read and easy to implement for anyone. There is a nice logical flow
  • Lots of stats that you might be able to you in your presentation
  • Templates to write your proposal and examples of how those templates were used by others
  • Emphasis on doing the work and having your backup ready. Our biggest fear in talking to the boss is that they will say no or not right now.  This tool prepares you so that you will have plenty of backup. Essentially, it helps make it difficult for them to say no!
  • The Appendix is full of additional information like what action words to use when talking to your boss, and the top questions you need to be prepared to answer (especially the tough ones!)

What I’d Like to See In the Next Update

I found the toolkit very complete. So, what I’d like to see is really more of the same! The formula and structure of the toolkit is already on solid footing.  There are just a couple of things I’d like to see more attention on in a future revision.

  • Benefits to the company. The list is quite good and ties back to the statistics that the toolkit cites from various studies about sabbaticals. I would like to see the list expanded to include more benefits for different functional areas: marketing, operations, IT, customer service, etc.
  • What to do if the boss says no. Ultimately, if the boss says no, then you have to decide if you are going to take a break anyway. But, I would like to see more examples of what real people did in those circumstances and if there are any examples of people who turned their boss around on the idea.

Who This is Ideally Suited For

I see this toolkit useful for 2 primary types of people:

  • People who work for companies with no sabbatical program and want to go back to that same company post-career break
  • People who work for companies with paid or unpaid sabbatical programs and must apply for the benefit


I like this toolkit a lot. as I mentioned earlier, there isn’t much out there and certainly nothing as comprehensive with all the tips, templates and real-world examples. If you are looking for a way to take a break and return back to your company, this toolkit is a must-have investment in your future.


An evaluation copy of ¨NEGOTIATING YOUR SABBATICAL: The Ultimate Toolkit for Writing and Presenting a Killer Sabbatical Proposal Your Boss Can’t Refuse¨ was provide to us upon request.  The workbook was reviewed independently by Career Break Secrets and not provided to Your Sabbatical before publishing.  The workout is available through the Career Break Secrets Travel Market. Links on this page are affiliate links. A commission will be paid to Career Break Secrets if the workbook is purchased after clicking one of these links.

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2 Responses to “Review of ¨Negotiating Your Sabbatical¨ e-book”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sherry Ott and BriefcasetoBackpack, Marcello Arrambide. Marcello Arrambide said: Via @CareerBrkSecret Review of ¨Negotiating Your Sabbatical¨ e-book http://ow.ly/42ylu [...]

  2. [...] If  you prepared a sabbatical proposal in a company without a sabbatical program in place and used our ebook, we’re confident you haven’t overlooked any of these factors. (Check out this latest review of  NEGOTIATE YOUR SABBATICAL: The Ultimate Toolkit for Writing and Presenting a Kill….) [...]

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