Turn your Layoff into a Sabbatical


(3 ratings)


10 Days


Cohort-based Course

Break free from the interview grind & Reframe your layoff into an opportunity.

Previously at Pinterest, MongoDB, Indeed

Perfect Day | Animal

Course overview

Reclaim the narrative and transform your layoff into a life-affirming sabbatical

Getting laid off sucks. The shock and shame that follow can undermine your confidence and leave you reeling. 

In the rush to reclaim some sense of normalcy, it's tempting to dive into the endless cycle of job applications. But this path can steer you down the wrong lane. Do you want more of the same? Or are you seeking something different — a journey that aligns with your true aspirations?

What if you invested three months to realign your career path with what fulfills you?

Imagine the Life ROI if you dedicated that time to rediscover old interests, develop new skills, or simply give yourself the space to heal, plan, and move forward with intentionality. What could you achieve?

Different roads, same questions

Michelle and Tobi took different paths to sabbatical-land. But for both of us, the journey evolved over a series of quiet, unsettling revelations. 

After moving to a new city and starting at a new company at the end of 2019, Michelle's sales team struggled after shutdowns in 2020 and at the end of the year, she left her job. The last few months were stressful, fighting to balance clients who were going bankrupt with finding others to sell to. When she finally left, she was surprised but what she felt. There was an unexpected feeling of peace which prompted her to reassess if she was on the right path. She decided to take a year off to de-stress, spend time with family, and start her podcast. She shifted from a corporate mindset focused on output and KPIs to a sabbatical mindset that prioritized her time and value. One year blossomed into two, and she's transformed her life into fulfilling freelance work with online communities and publishing creative work online.

Tobi stood at a crossroads for different reasons. He was already questioning why he spent all day coding when he no longer enjoyed it, then a friend's sudden death jolted him into existential reckoning. He felt torn — he craved something more meaningful than his role could offer, but felt silly leaving such a lucrative job in an uncertain pandemic. After months of contemplation, solace came in the form of lyrics to a song, "What's the point of flying first class on a crashing plane?" That question sparked the courage he needed to leave.

For both of us, the stress around leaving our corporate jobs was met immediately with relief. Making the decision to leave (or having it made for you) is at least a decision. However, a whole new set of questions and fears nestled their way into our heads.

Could we really afford to take months off work?

Would this affect our future career prospects?

Where would we find others like us?

What would we do all day?

If you're asking similar questions, then this course is for you. Layoff to Sabbatical is live, interactive and community-based course to help misplaced, burnt out, and unfulfilled tech workers who lost their jobs find their footing in our new world.

Layoff into Liftoff

This course is broken down into four sessions: 

Ground Yourself

Our goal is to make your ready for your sabbatical. We'll give you the tools to look at your financial runway, identify your values, and discover your unfair advantages.

Run Experiments

We'll discuss tactics for exploring new territories, hobbies, skills, and career paths. We'll share stories of travel, adventure, and creative endeavors.

Navigate the "Messy Middle"

We'll share our approaches to dealing with the turbulence of the "messy middle" where you've made some progress but not enough to live off.

Find Community

We'll discuss ways of finding other people on this sabbatical journey, people who understand your ups and downs, and who speak the same language. We will create breakout rooms throughout the course so that you can meet with others in your same situation.

Bonus: Tobi and Michelle will host "off the record" office hours for questions, concerns and commiseration for anyone that wants to chat off recording.

This course is for you if


You're in limbo. You spend afternoons halfheartedly applying for jobs you're not sure you want.

But you crave purposeful freedom.


You're jaded, overworked, and crave time independence. You're frustrated by the interview grind and you want to reclaim your agency.


You're worried about money.

Even though you can afford a few months of not working, you feel anxious about the idea of not earning income.

What you’ll get out of this course

Layoff to Liberation

You'll be empowered to build a life beyond the walls of tech. Through authentic vulnerable sharing and guided conversations, you'll be able to deprogram yourself from seeing your layoff as a negative, but instead a golden opportunity to reinvent yourself and your career.

You will be equipped to design your own sabbatical

You'll receive curated exercises, readings, and reflection prompts to propel you on your journey.

These will cover expected sabbatical challenges: identity loss, money scripts, ambition, lifestyle design, and how to answer the question "what do you do?"

You will meet other creative thinkers in this space

Embarking on a sabbatical can seem lonely at times.

The real magic happens when you start connect with other people on similar journeys who understand your fears, celebrate your wins, encourage your dreams.

So we'll pair you with another person whose circumstances mirror yours

You will gain a framework and vocabulary to think about your sabbatical

Both co-hosts completed 12 month sabbaticals after leaving tech. In that time, we've published essays and worked alongside the leading sabbatical voices in this space.

We'll share our framework and vocabulary to help you conceptualize the design and phases of your jour

This course includes

7 interactive live sessions

Lifetime access to course materials

4 in-depth lessons

Direct access to instructor

Projects to apply learnings

Guided feedback & reflection

Private community of peers

Course certificate upon completion

Maven Satisfaction Guarantee

This course is backed by Maven’s guarantee. You can receive a full refund within 14 days after the course ends, provided you meet the completion criteria in our refund policy.

Course syllabus

Expand all modules
  • Post-Course


    • Lesson 3: Navigate the "Messy Middle"

    • Lesson 4: Building Community During Your Sabbatical


(3 ratings)

What people are saying

        Michelle and Tobi have expanded my own imagination for how to think about the relationship between work and life. I often think of Michelle’s idea of “sabbatical mindset” when I am trying to slow down and observe what’s emerging in my life. I’ve learned a lot from both of them and believe you will too!
Paul Millerd

Paul Millerd

Author of "The Pathless Path", Founder of "Find the Others" Online Community
        Tobi and Michelle were incredibly helpful guides as I was exploring taking a sabbatical. Tobi's story about leaving Pinterest gave me confidence that I could approach it too, as well as his journey towards figuring out what he wants to do next. Michelle is such a validating, affirming sounding board, and hearing her journey inspired
Vinamrata Singal

Vinamrata Singal

Former Lead Product Manager @ Match Group
        When taking the leap into my sabbatical, I found so much courage and inspiration from Tobi and Michelle’s conversations, compilations, and writings. On a call with Tobi, I was supported to discover new life possibilities. Unconventional roads are filled with teachers who wonder and wander – and Tobi and Michelle are two of the best.
Saalik Lokhandwala

Saalik Lokhandwala

Software Engineer, Writer
        Quitting my job sounded TERRIFYING. I was scared to have a stain on my resume. I worried about money. But, it turns out: the grass is greener on this side! You’ll walk away from this course with a plan, confidence, self-awareness, and a few new weird friends.


Video Editor, Animator, Writer

Meet your instructor

Tobi Ogunnaike

Tobi Ogunnaike

Software Engineer, Writer, Technical Storyteller

Over five years as a Software Engineer at Pinterest, I contributed to several projects that drove significant wins in user experience and user satisfaction.

These days, I lead Circle Back Copy, where I use my technical storytelling skills to help businesses articulate their unique stories. On my personal newsletter, I publish evocative creative collages (prose, poetry, and everything in between) that paint vivid scenes.

Michelle Varghese

Michelle Varghese

Former Software Sales, Community Manager, Writing Mentor, Writer, Podcaster

At the end of 2020, Michelle left her six year software sales career to take a sabbatical and explore creative projects online. Originally, she committed to taking one year off, but one year turned to two and in her third year she began freelancing as a community manager and mentor in popular online communities like Small Bets and Write of Passage.

Michelle started writing about her experience in taking a sabbatical in 2022 and has received phone calls, emails and 1:1 meetings with people looking to take the leap but nervous to do so. Specifically with people who also started their career in Tech. 

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Course schedule

2-4 hours per week
  • Tuesdays & Thursdays

    1:00pm - 2:00pm EST

  • March 19-28th

    Tuesdays & Thursday starting March 19th.

  • Weekly projects

    2 hours per week

    Optional worksheets to think through your mindset and values going into your sabbatical

Free resource

How to Design A Sabbatical

What to do when you no longer have to do anything?

Get this free resource

Learning is better with cohorts

Learning is better with cohorts

Active hands-on learning

This course builds on live workshops and hands-on projects

Interactive and project-based

You’ll be interacting with other learners through breakout rooms and project teams

Learn with a cohort of peers

Join a community of like-minded people who want to learn and grow alongside you

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I can’t make a live session?
I work full-time, what is the expected time commitment?
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Turn your Layoff into a Sabbatical


Bulk purchases