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Sabbatical Basecamp

4.5 Weeks

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Cohort-based Course

The best thing you can do for your career—and life—is to take time off from it. Get equipped and out the door for the journey of a lifetime.

Hosted by

DJ DiDonna

Founder, The Sabbatical Project

Course overview

Use your sabbatical wisely.

Sabbatical Basecamp is a month-long intimate workshop led by the leader in research on sabbaticals for professionals: DJ DiDonna. Whether you’re looking to explore, heal, or create something new, your time in the Sabbatical Basecamp will ensure your time away is time well spent.

Who is this course for

01

Seekers


You're conventionally "successful" but looking for time to EXPLORE—inside and out—and return recharged, ready to make an impact.

02

Wounded Warriors


You're burned out, bored, or ready for a change in your career and/or life. But first, you've earned some time to HEAL.

03

Achievers


You've always wanted to ACCOMPLISH—a book, business, or living abroad with your family. You don't want to waste this opportunity.

Topics covered

Sabbaticals 101

Taking extended leave is an ancient human ritual. See how your desire to take off fits into a healthy and productive journey through life and career.

Taking the First Step

How to message—and ask for—extended leave at work, and among friends and colleagues. Make a concrete action plan to set off.

The Inner Journey

We’ll use personal assessments and coaching frameworks to help you discover more about yourself. These learnings will be the foundation for your next steps upon return.

The Outward Journey

The design process model will expand your thinking about what’s possible on your time off. Hear from sabbatical alums about setting boundaries and other tips.

Packing List

Learn best practices and how to avoid common pitfalls from sabbatical alumni guests. Get inspired by your sabbatical peers from all walks of life.

Returning Home

Synthesize your experiences into a coherent plan for your life upon return. Take advantage of coaching and peer support within the community.

See what people are saying

        Taking a sabbatical was one of the best decisions I’ve made and some of the hardest moments I’ve had. It was incredibly valuable to have DJ’s guidance during the difficult parts of my sabbatical.  DJ has amassed a breadth of wisdom and depth of empathy that was critical for my ability to stay present, reflective and truly make the most of my time.
Nidhi

Nidhi

Product Manager, New York City
        The sessions gave me permission to do what I wanted to do and helped me to find a higher level of meaning and mission in my time off, instead of just treating it like a long vacation. It was incredible to connect with other people who are in a similar place, and DJ's like an old school travel agent for your soul!
Alissa

Alissa

VP Marketing, SF Bay Area
        It was surprisingly difficult to give myself a real break for once. DJ’s coaching helped me to let go of my ever-present need for continuous progress and personal development for a short period. Doing so allowed me to start a new chapter with a rested mind and a clear perspective!
Louis

Louis

Founder, Dubai
        As a coach, DJ is tremendously knowledgeable and helpful about how to best take advantage of extended leave. But the cohort model adds another dimension—connecting with fellow Sabbatical-takers, as well as alums gave me the courage, inspiration and community to help me take the leap!
Lindsay

Lindsay

Product Director, Toronto
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Meet your instructor

DJ DiDonna

DJ DiDonna

dj believes that sabbaticals are the key to sustaining meaningful, impactful lives.

 

Over a decade ago, dj created his dream job, a company which helped over a million entrepreneurs in emerging markets gain access to finance. 

 

But, six years in, he found himself yearning for time off; space to do things that really mattered outside of work. His life had very little balance—he found himself disappointing friends and family with constant travel and around-the-clock hours. Burned out and disillusioned, dj set off searching for answers.

 

His four month sabbatical—the longest break of his life—changed his life dramatically. He walked 900 miles across Japan on pilgrimage, remodeled a cabin in the woods with his father, adventured, mourned and charted a very different course for his life upon return.

 

After returning from sabbatical, he began meeting fellow sabbatical-takers with similar stories: not only were sabbaticals crucial in healing burnout, they led to more creativity, life-satisfaction, and greater positive impact in one’s career. 

 

dj collaborated with researchers at Notre Dame and Harvard Business School to understand the impact of sabbaticals and their role in the future of work. This research is the foundation of The Sabbatical Project, a home for evidence, stories, and community around sabbaticals.



Course syllabus

01

Sabbaticals 101

1. Discover what the research has to say about the benefits of sabbaticals. Explore the definition of a sabbatical.

2. Address the three most common fears (cost, optics, responsibilities)

3. Identify your personal obstacles and make a plan to overcome them

02

Leaving Home

Overcoming fears and constraints

1. Actually get your sabbatical off the ground.

2. Create and execute on plan to leave (and return to) work

3. Apply these lessons to your personal life and professional network (messaging, expecation setting etc)

03

The Journey

How to plan, adjust and what not to do

1. Design your sabbatical based on YOUR needs and abilities

2. Understand the most common pitfalls in sabbatical design

3. Use design and research principles to create, adapt, solve for what you need on sabbatical.

04

The Inner Journey

Getting to know yourself (again)

1. Gain a better understanding of who you are at this point in your journey.

2. Test your assumptions with others

3. Work with a coach to better understand your unique needs during your sabbatical.

05

Returning Home

Hold yourself accountable (to yourself)

1. Design system to capture learnings from your trip

2. Be intentional about your next steps - avoid falling back into what you were doing before (unless that's what you want)

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Sabbatical Basecamp

Watch DJ's Tedx Talk on the sabbatical research that started it all

Learning is better with cohorts

Learning is better with cohorts

Active learning, not passive watching

This course focuses on live workshops and hands-on projects

Learn with a cohort of peers

You’ll be learning in public through breakout rooms and an engaged community

Learn with a cohort of peers

Surround yourself with like-minded people who want to grow alongside you

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to take a course about taking time off?
What is the course schedule?
I’m still on the fence about taking a sabbatical - is this course relevant?
I’m not sure I can afford to spend money on something like this right before taking a career leap!
What happens if I can't make a live session?
How is this different from your writing and online resources about sabbaticals?
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Be the first to know about upcoming cohorts

Sabbatical Basecamp