Much of the consternation around taking a sabbatical stems not from the prospect of having empty days and no salary, but that those empty days and no salary may go on forever. In other words, the fear is that like the Hotel California, you might check into the sabbatical any time you like, but what if you can never leave.
It's a valid fear and so let's discuss it now.
Sabbatical exits are supposed to be like rocket launches, not like exiting a pit. In other words, with any luck, you will be screaming towards the troposphere, unshackling the chains of the gravity of your previous life.
But how can this be? After all, HR everywhere is so bureaucratic. And they're such a bunch of frustrated Harridans that they cannot bear to see that anyone has taken time off and enjoyed themselves. No no, they will never allow such a person into their organisation, where only obedient order-followers are allowed.
Well this should be your first clue that this is not how one exits a sabbatical. In any case, you will be so much in tune with your needs by this time that you will not even feel like interfacing with the soul-less golems of corporate bureaucracy.
How then does one get a job after one's sabbatical? Are jobs not acquired by submitting your CV on a careers page, jumping through all the hoops put there by HR and whatever broken recruitment process exists at the company?
I could answer your question with a question. Who said anything about a job? I only spoke about exit. You are thinking of a job. Well, it's not wrong. Job is one way to exit a sabbatical -- in fact both of mine ended with me taking a job -- but it is far from the only way. And in most cases you don't need to submit a CV or pass an HR screening.
So let me tell you how one exits a sabbatical in style.