I intend to take a sabbatical to write a book about the domain I work in (I will quit my current job and spend some months to write it). It would be on a topic that some might think it's controversial. I don't want to tell what the book is about but it will expose some problems together with me offering some solutions in trying to make it better. I plan to use a pen name, so it won't be obviously linked to me.

After the book is written I will put it on sale on Amazon and try to make some income from it. Since it's my first book, I don't expect to retire with the sales I make, so at some point I will need to get another job. And then I will need to explain the gap in the CV.

How can I do that without mentioning the book, having the interviewers look at it, and wrongly interpret it's content, thus affecting my chances of getting the job?

Please don't say not to write the book! It's something I think will benefit the domain and I want to write it.

  • 2
    You took time out to be with your family, raise a puppy, raise a barn. You have any number of different reasons to be taking a sabbatical.
    – user44108
    Oct 19, 2017 at 10:21
  • If you end up mentioning you wrote a book, is it written under a pen name? Would they be able to look you up later and stumble across the publication?
    – user34587
    Oct 19, 2017 at 10:43
  • 1
    @Kozaky: yes, it will be under a pen name. I'm not worried about them finding the book later on, that won't be a problem, the book will be balanced. I'm just worried that it will be a handicap at the interview because people won't see it as it is but just conclude it's a rant.
    – may
    Oct 19, 2017 at 10:47
  • 1
    Or simply work part time until the book is done? Maybe 4-6 months if your original fulltime estimate is 2-3 months. Oct 19, 2017 at 12:28
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Interviewing for jobs after a long (no work) period of absence?
    – DarkCygnus
    Oct 19, 2017 at 15:42

3 Answers 3


I took some time to focus on personal devlopment and some studies. I didn't gain any qualifications, but what I think what I learned would help me with this job. For example...

This keeps it professional, is still objectively true and will allow you to use the insights you gained in a positive light, opening up the conversation.

If the interview steers towards your book, so be it. By that time you would have disarmed the interviewer sufficiently.


I took some time out to be with my family

This would be ambiguous enough for most people. You might want to subtly imply that a family member needed caring for, or that you were stressed in your previous job and needed some time to unwind and gather yourself.

There's no much else you can say really apart from making up lies about how you used that time. Keep it simple.


You could tell any other reason. For taking care of the family is a reason used a lot where I live.

If you do volunteering you could fill that space and put a focus on that.

In a interview that would allow you to skip the subject faster.

"I was at home for reason xxx, and at the same time I took the time for some volunteering for yyy ..."

  • 1
    Note that if you say you volunteered for something and your potential employer checks up on this and it's proven that you did no such thing, then it's an instant fail.
    – user44108
    Oct 19, 2017 at 10:39
  • @SnarkShark I totally agree, its why I wrote if you do volunteering. Kinda like taking care of the family, if the OP live far from his family and have no kid.
    – yagmoth555
    Oct 19, 2017 at 11:30

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