5 Recent Resources About Sabbaticals

It’s a funny thing how you can live for years and years, and never see anything written about a niche topic.  And then when you have some interest in it, resources start popping up in some unexpected places. (Also, I’m pretty sure that there are some cognitive biases that can explain why.)

In the last six months, I’ve noticed more things being written – for mainstream audiences and very targeted ones – on non-academic professionals taking sabbaticals, so I figured I would put them all in one place and share them with you.  The resources range from the Durfee Foundation’s reflections on 20 years of funding nonprofit executive sabbaticals and advice to other philanthropies on setting up such programs to Fast Company and Real Simple providing guidance on how to convince your boss to let you take a sabbatical. 

  1. Creative Disruption to Systems Change: A 20-Year Retrospective of the Durfee Foundation’s Sabbatical Program (Durfee Foundation: September 2017)
  2. How To Convince Your Boss To Let You Take A Sabbatical (Fast Company: 02.14.18)
  3. How to Convince Your Boss You Need a Sabbatical (Real Simple: January 2018)
  4.  How A Sabbatical Can Radically Hack Productivity (Fast Company: 03.13.18)
  5. Room to Reflect: The Small-But-Growing Set of Funders Paying for Nonprofit Sabbaticals (Inside Philanthropy: April 03, 2018)

I found something interesting or useful in all five of these pieces!  But what do you think? Share your opinions and other sabbatical-related resources you have found useful in the comments below or on social media using #sabbatical.


Optimistic Anthropology believes that intentionally designed periods of reflection, exploration, and learning enable individuals to recognize and be energized by their gifts and values, and think differently about how they can use them to shape a more positive world.  If you are planning to take a sabbatical, and want help planning it with intention, consider checking out our Sabbatical Design Services.