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Boost Your Career Prospects On Your Sabbatical

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 25 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
Sabbatical Confidence Skills Training

A common characteristic of people who take a sabbatical is that they are keen to make some sort of change in their life. That is not to say people who take sabbaticals are unhappy or dissatisfied, although they may be, more that they are looking for a new challenge or a new situation.

Not only can your sabbatical be a change for an amazing adventure and a time to reflect and reassess, it is also the perfect time to upgrade existing knowledge or learn completely new skills that will help to boost your career prospects when you return home.

In order to make your sabbatical work for you, take some time before you start to think about what you want. If you put ideas into practise right at the start of your sabbatical, you will be able to research the best possible options to help you achieve your aims. Don’t leave it till the last month of your sabbatical as you will not be able to gain as much in terms of improved career prospects.


If you are generally happy in your current employment but feel as though you are ready for a promotion that has not been offered by your boss, your sabbatical is the perfect time to address any shortfall you may have in your skills.

Enlist the help of a friend or colleague that understands your career goals and your company and talk about what areas you could improve in. You could also ask the advice of your boss or HR manager – they may be able to tell you of particular skills that would boost your chances of gaining a promotion.

It may be that a certain course or study area would be needed. Use your sabbatical to either complete an online course, or find the information you need and take it with you to study in your spare time.

You may need to improve a particular area of your behavioural skills, such as your management ability or negotiating skills. In this case, you could choose your sabbatical to correspond with the areas you need to improve on – for example, a team work exercise in a developing country where you need to make a project happen within a given time and budget.


One of the greatest ways to boost your career prospects on sabbatical is the confidence and self belief you gain when you have proven your capabilities to yourself. Taking a sabbatical is not an easy option – you have to arrange it with your employers, deal with practicalities such as tenants or landlords, research the most suitable sabbatical and survive the whole experience. Many employers are impressed by people who have successfully completed a sabbatical as it shows they can be self sufficient, driven and open to new challenges.

Regardless of what you chose for your sabbatical, your confidence will undoubtedly grow. You will meet a variety of people from different countries and backgrounds, so you will also be more open to the potential your life can hold. This positivity and attitude is very appealing to employers so utilise the opportunity and harness it.

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