Taking a leave of absence
2 min read

Taking a leave of absence

In order to take 10 weeks off last summer from my corporate employer, I took advantage of their personal leave of absence policy.

Here's Adobe's:

Leaves of absence | Adobe Benefits

Check your company's benefits portal for your policies. They could be pretty generous.

A personal leave of absence can be taken for any reason – no doctor's note, no official documentation required. But you will have to justify it to your manager and request it. There could be concerns – try to address that upfront:

  • Yes, I'll make sure my user stories are completed or transitioned
  • Yes, I'll make sure any PRs are reviewed and I'm not blocking anyone
  • Yes, I'll make sure everyone knows what to do in my absence
  • Yes, I'll write any docs needed to record my knowledge

The kicker of course is to: a) get approval and b) have F U money to take the leave.

Getting F U money first will increase your confidence to even ask because it won't be a bluff – you could leave and look for another job if they say no.

In my case, this allowed me to phrase it as "I plan to take 13 weeks off." Not "Can I take..."

I requested 13 weeks and was granted 10 weeks. Always ask for more than you expect, just like salary negotiation.

The thing is... they probably won't say no, especially if you've been there awhile. It is too much hassle to say no – they'd need to find and train a replacement, something that will likely cost six-figures in overhead anyway. Easier to let you do your thing and come back.

But what about everyone else...

Ah... yeah. They will live. If you just quit, it would be the same result. At least you're coming back. During my absence, at least 3 people left to find new jobs, even more on the greater team.


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