Six Months Off: A Book Review
March 20, 2008
When we started doing research for Escape 101, the book I kept stumbling across over and over again was Six Months Off. It eventually found its way into our book as recommended reading, and it deserves the good reviews it’s received.
Billed as “The Sabbatical Book”, Six Months Off is indeed a comprehensive guide to getting away. The book attempts to cover the whole range of sabbatical planning and experience, from overcoming doubts to choosing a destination and negotiating with your employer, and does a pretty good job of it. The authors also interviewed a number of people who have successfully escaped on sabbaticals of their own.
The case studies are inspiring and broad, and do the job they should: make you believe you really can get away from it all. The section on “Big Buts”, is terrific, and tackles the toughest of the “I could never do that because” scenarios with ease. If you only bought the book for this section, it’d be worth it.
The chapter on negotiating with your employer is also excellent. For most people, this is a significant hurdle, large enough to stop most people from even considering a sabbatical. The book even includes scripted responses to the big questions that an employer will throw at a would-be sabbatical-taker. It’s a thorough, and best of all, it’s not focused on “quitting and walking away” – there’s a pervasive attitude of get-paid-while-you-do-it that’s quite refreshing.
What’s Not as Great:
The book’s a bit older. Published in 1996, it’s extensive resource sections have no website listings. Don’t let that stop you, though. The book’s just as helpful and inspiring today, and in this day and age, printed resource materials go out of date quickly anyway – most of the resources can be found online quite easily.