Taking a break from career

New / EngMS DOS💾
Apr 3 283 Comments

Thinking to quit my job and take 2-3 year sabbatical to travel and enjoy life. Anyone done it? Is it hard to get a job after not working for several years?

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TOP 283 Comments
  • Tell us more - how old are you? How can you afford to take 2-3 years off to goof off?
    Apr 323
    • Intel e8235288
      I had $0 at 34 after 1st divorce. By 45 I had enough to be able to retire. And I don't even work for Fang.
      Apr 3
    • Twitch RbOv54
      Could you teach us how you did it Intel? Would appreciate the wisdom
      Apr 3
    • Intel e8235288
      I never said I did it at Intel.
      Apr 3
    • Roku clarencee
      Intel guy, where do you live, what’s your TC, and how many divorces!
      Apr 3
    • Wow.. everybody but op has opinions to share about OP’s life, savings, depression and his underwear color. 😱
      Apr 3
    • New / EngMS DOS💾
      OP
      Lol I'm not a trust fund baby, didn't inherit anything and paid for college with student loans. Passive income is from AirBnb rental business I run on the side.
      Apr 3
    • Autodesk spybot
      OP that’s not entirely passive, but I get what you mean. Good on you for having something going on the side that can afford you some breathing room. I am trying to sort out the same for myself.
      Apr 4
    • New / EngMS DOS💾
      OP
      You can think of passive vs active income as a spectrum. On one side you have 100% active income, a job where you exchange your time for money. On the other side of the spectrum you have fixed income securities which is the only source of 100% passive income. I spend less than an hour per week managing my AirBnb business, so it's relatively passive.
      Apr 4
    • Amazon tYhgX
      @msdos how much margin do you manage to make on Airbnb?
      Apr 4
    • Microsoft / Product
      Brazuka

      MicrosoftProduct

      PRE
      Bain & Company
      Brazukamore
      3 years sabbatical is really long. Maybe think 1-1.5 years instead. You can take another one 7-8 years later
      Apr 5
  • What are you going to do though? Do you have a plan for the sabbatical? You’ll get bored pretty quick, trust me. Heck, I feel like I have nothing to do right now even with a job - I don’t know how to fill the time!
    Apr 318
    • Yahoo Crdp53
      Just know that when you are getting pinged to attend a useless meeting this person is chilling with bliss
      Apr 3
    • Snapchat
      hopenope

      Snapchat

      PRE
      Google
      hopenopemore
      Take me with you?
      Apr 3
    • EA / Engactivision
      I don’t think you will get bored if you know other things to enjoy aside work which there are plenty
      Apr 3
    • Uber d hu wiu
      Do you have a girl to regularly get laid with?
      Apr 3
    • Nvidia ML-
      2 kids + golden retriever + running
      Apr 3
    • SAP pWhJ04
      You own an Xbox or PlayStation ?
      Apr 3
    • Wolters Kluwer gtUY05
      If you make it down to Mexico your savings can take you far in a place like PV
      Apr 3
    • Facebook / Engbushdid119
      How do you climb over that Mexico wall?
      Apr 3
    • Splunk KE94107
      Same way the Mexicans do: in a plane.
      Apr 3
    • Amazon SorFillson
      Easy. Open the one way door. Getting back is the challenge. Fly to Canada in that case.
      Apr 7
  • Amazon / Engpatelra
    I read something on Huffington Post that the most optimal vacation is 8 days, anything after that and you just get bored. Have you considered taking a month off to travel and see how you like it? 2-3 years seems excessive
    Apr 38
    • Amazon HouseBezos
      Absolute bullshit. Those articles are written by idiots that don't know how to enjoy life. Clickbait bums that know nothing.
      Apr 3
    • LinkedIn KIOX76
      Pretty much. If money wasn't a concern and you couldn't handle 2-3 years off I feel like people just need more hobbies
      Apr 3
    • Google / Engyogi bear
      lol, their conclusion is apparently flawed.
      Apr 3
    • PayPal codestar
      Highest degree of bullshit I have ever read.
      Apr 3
    • Ahah well I took holidays from 2 days to 9 months. The best ones were always the longest ones.
      The best ones are actually the ones where you have enough time to relax and be ok with not doing anything that day without the fear of losing a day of holiday
      Apr 3
    • Indeed / Englolzzzzz
      Bullshit + 1. Back from a month vacation and wishing I had 2 more months break.
      Apr 3
    • Xilinx ba*fZ-1qEr
      Working at Amazon, unironic consumption and internalization of HuffPo. The golden rule of missing the point.
      Apr 3
    • New / EngMS DOS💾
      OP
      What @gokdforu says is the reason I want to do this. Normal work vocation — everything is planned out to make the best of the limited time. Sabbatical — you live different lifestyle for extended period of time.
      Apr 3
  • Facebook ibeethat
    Hi there! I'm about your age and in the last 10 years I have taken three sabbaticals each lasting 9 months. During those periods I learned new skills and hobbies, traveled the country, read books, spent time with family, took adventure trips off grid and visited friends. They have been the best periods of my life and often the personal work I tackle there leads me to my next job. If you don't relate to people who would 'get bored' with 'nothing to do' then I highly recommend doing it. It is my view that work gets in the way of the more interesting stuff and that time is needed away in order to grow. Time away also allows space to reflect on your career thus far... And to plan for where you want to go in the future and how best to fashion your strategy to get there.
    Apr 37
    • Squarespace rw-rw-rw
      How do you afford so much time off?
      Apr 3
    • Amazon / Producttatochip
      I too am a similar age and took 15 months off at the age of 30 in order to take a step back and explore more of the world and my interests. I traveled the country for the first month, spending time with friends. I read a lot, particularly about personal interests that I could potentially pivot into a bit of a career change (creative coding and 3D printing vs development of typical corporate software). I traveled to conferences related to those interests, both in the US and abroad. And I even worked on a friend's cranberry marsh for 6 weeks just for the experience. Those 15 months were awesome. There is nothing that compares to the feeling of living each day as you want to live it, not having to comply with the expectations of others. I can't recommend it enough. But there are things you should be aware of. 1) You may spend money faster than you think you will, which is easy when you are traveling. 2) Most people you know will still have rigid schedules and responsibilities, so it can be a bit of a lonely experience. 3) If you are going to pursue something new, it may be difficult to get feedback or learn from others -- a typical office job provides those often overlooked benefits. You could find that you question your abilities or struggle to set / pursue goals if you don't have coworkers around you. If you have any hesitations about any of that stuff, it would probably be good to follow the advice others have provided and start by taking something like a month-long vacation to see how it affects you.
      Apr 3
    • New / EngMS DOS💾
      OP
      Thanks for encouragement @ibeetthat and @tatochip!
      Apr 3
    • Dropbox systest
      @rw Why can’t people afford it? SWE pay is insane even with sky high rents.
      Apr 3
    • LinkedIn Zxosns939
      What about health insurance and stuff? How do you make it work?
      Apr 4
    • Facebook ibeethat
      Re. Affordability: prior to my job in tech I was self employed for many years in what used to be a well paying industry ( times have changed). I didn't live in the Bay and my COL was insanely low.. allowing me to save a good bit of money. Anything I didn't invest I put towards my sabbaticals after deciding how much runway I wanted. For one sabbatical I just went without healthcare, for the others I was covered through my wife's care at a reasonable rate.
      Apr 4
    • Facebook ibeethat
      I'll follow @tatochip and add some gotchas that I discovered in my sabbatical adventures: 1) Yup - you'll spend money faster than you think. Be sure to start lining up your next gig when you have two months+ of cash left to burn. 2) embracing a simple and minimal diet will help save money. 3) I actually loved that my friends were on regular working schedules - I would meet different friends for lunch at or near their work and invite them out for drinks in the evenings. It was the most social time of my life and my friends all enjoyed my energy. 4) I did deal with self doubt which gets worse as time goes on. We live in a culture that messages us to be busy and productive all the time. Going against this grain feels audacious. The messaging got to me and sometimes I would wonder if I would find work ever again. I can tell you after three sabbaticals: I always end up in a better place with more life experience and no regrets. 5) I have absolutely sacrificed earning potential and career status... But I'm doing fine and I feel the trade-off was worth it. It's my tax for having lived on my own terms and I'm happy to have spent the money.
      Apr 4
  • Oscar 🐨koala
    All about DOSing leetcode. You can always work on side project or get contract work for a while.
    Apr 39
    • Microsoft ttyl
      Why did you assume he/she is a Dev?
      Apr 3
    • Oscar 🐨koala
      I will find out. ttyl.
      Apr 3
    • Oscar 🐨koala
      I found out. His/her handle has “Eng”.
      Apr 3
    • Microsoft ttyl
      I stand corrected good sir
      Apr 3
    • Oscar 🐨koala
      No. I did assume :)
      Apr 3
    • Xero baytechie
      Nice assumption 😀
      Apr 3
    • Twitch RbOv54
      For this reason, I'm jealous of folks who work in eng as you can work remote and practice leetcoding, whereas I feel like business folks really don't have that luxury :(
      Apr 3
    • Google / EngJLrC80
      Did you just assume he/she/it assumed that he/she/it was an Eng? I am assuming that is a reasonable assumption...
      Apr 6
    • Oscar 🐨koala
      Can I assume that you/they/it are/is late to the party because you/they/it spent time digging up old posts? 😭
      Apr 6
  • Amazon yWsJ24
    I've done a month off, and honestly, it was enough. I felt amazing by the end of it. I would probably lose my mind in 2-3 years without intellectual stimulation.
    Apr 33
    • New / EngMS DOS💾
      OP
      Is work – the only intellectual stimulation?
      Apr 3
    • Uber ipojesus
      Installing MS DOS on floppy disks can be stimulating as well.
      Apr 3
    • Amazon LoanerBadg
      Or frustrating. Maybe OP just need to switch to using CDs and he will enjoy life and lit more.
      Apr 3
  • LinkedIn KIOX76
    I feel like you aren't getting good advice on what you are asking, and it's just a bunch of workaholics answering that they will be bored. Just because their life revolves around work doesn't mean yours is. I have friends who's taken 6 months to 1 year off to travel, to chill, pursue different hobbies and they've had 0 issues finding a job. One works at Google now and another one at an unicorn startup.
    Companies understand burnout and you wanting to take a break. As long as you leetcode and crush your interview on the way back I see 0 issues
    Apr 31
    • Fully agree. Do it, take some time off during your good years to do what you like. It will not change anything in your career in the end.
      Apr 3
  • Google Mark985
    I think about doing the same half of my work day. I've works for 19 years and I don't want to wait to until retirement with all sorts illments like arthritis to enjoy life.

    If you have the courtage to swim against what society deemands of us all the power to you!
    Apr 32
    • Google TensorCow
      Do it. I did it. You won’t regret it!
      Apr 3
    • Google hahaha!
      Let’s all do it and make it normal! 🙌
      Apr 3
  • Amazon rumpNoT
    I just finished my parental leave, almost 3 months. It's awesome. Haven't take that long vacation for 15+ years. I just don't want to be back for work.
    Apr 38
    • Amazon / Engdynamodebe
      I just came back from a 5 months parental leave. It has been great, I now value a lot the time with my kid. I came back full of energy, because I really enjoy what I do. You just need to find a balance and spend your time wisely.
      Apr 3
    • Amazon 19AD2
      Likening parental leave to vacation? You two must be dudes.
      Apr 3
    • Sure, and if the tasks are well divided how would it be different for the women (except the obvious physical trauma)
      Apr 3
    • Tableau devy
      Physical trauma? Are you serious? How do you know giving birth is a trauma?
      Apr 3
    • Uber Ken Doll
      🍿 🍿
      Apr 3
    • @devy, what are you saying, that it's easy to give birth?
      Apr 3
    • eBay / IT
      manorama

      eBayIT

      BIO
      Coder
      manoramamore
      @amazon parental leave at Amazon is just 6 weeks , right ? Did you take non paid leaves to make it 3 months ?
      Apr 4
    • Amazon / Engdynamodebe
      other countries do have longer parental leaves, lower paid, but longer ;-)
      Apr 4
  • I am off on sabbatical right now. I hit FI before quitting, told my work that I was taking an extended leave and told my very close friends that I’m debating retiring.

    It’s been AWESOME. For the first time in years I feel refreshed. I thought I was ready to flip the whole industry the finger and go back to the motherland but now I am thinking of going back in the most chill position I can find.
    Apr 313
    • Blueriver nailed it. I quit with a little less than 3MM net worth. About 900k of that home equity.
      Apr 4
    • Also I’m one year out. Bought a new car, took the family on two Europe vacations, going to Hawaii next month, and my net worth is up about 100k from my last paycheck.
      Apr 4
    • Cisco / Engmakaveli
      Where did you work? How much money you accumulated before deciding to do this?
      Apr 4
    • Microsoft then Google. Already answered your other question.
      Apr 4
    • Cisco / Engmakaveli
      Missed it, my bad. 👍
      Apr 5
    • eBay martinw
      Could you share your TC when you worked at Google and Microsoft? Any tips for someone hoping to fire in 5 years?
      Apr 5
    • Don’t remember my MS numbers, was at about 330k at google.

      Biggest advice I can give is to really scrutinize your spending. It is way easier to shave 5 years off your time to FI by spending smarter than it is to do so by earning more. When you are deciding if you want to buy X or Y don’t just look at the cost of the product, think about how much you spend per year on that recurring purchase, multiply it by 25 and that’s it’s true cost to your ability to retire. Organic chicken vs non organic doesn’t seem as appealing when you realize that it adds $7000 to your cost of retirement. Same for your morning coffee, your car insurance, the shampoo you buy, etc etc.
      Apr 5
    • AIG / Product
      Raging

      AIGProduct

      PRE
      Deloitte Digital
      BIO
      Counseling CxOs for AI-first strategy !
      Ragingmore
      @blueriver 25x is over-provisioning just for a sabbatical.
      Apr 5
    • Facebook blueriver
      25x is for FI (Financial Independence). You can absolutely take a sabbatical before FI, but the OP was talking about taking a sabbatical after they hit FI.
      Apr 5
    • blueriver nails it again. I wasn’t planning on sabbatical, I was planning on retirement.

      After a year-ish away I am missing it and debating trying to find a gig that’s minimal stress.
      Apr 5
  • Hyperconnect EFpW72
    I've done it recently. In my case, it wasn't hard to get next job, but having trouble in doing my work well.
    Apr 34
    • New / EngMS DOS💾
      OP
      Interesting... Did you have trouble adjusting back to working life?
      Apr 3
    • Amazon 63784747
      What kind of troubles? Concentrating?
      Apr 3
    • Hyperconnect EFpW72
      Oh my comment was not clear.
      My skill is not as good as it was. Before having the break, I was good at my work and confident, but now I feel like being trash sometimes.
      Apr 3
    • LinkedIn nckshwdbr
      Are you having trouble because after seeing the world out there you are finding it hard to care about work?
      Apr 3
  • Salesforce alphab
    Hit me up if you need a buddy on your journey! Pretty much the same age, the same career boat and I am planning on doing that myself.
    For all that I can earn, I don’t wanna die knowing there was a world I didn’t explore like the way it was meant to be seen.
    Apr 32
    • EA / Engactivision
      pathetic
      Apr 3
    • Microsoft UDrN11
      What's pathetic? Your greedy money hunting ass is pathetic. No one is going to.give a shit if you're rich when you're married, 50, and have 2 kids and the only satisfaction you get from your hard work is passively bragging around people with less money than you. Be honest with yourself.
      Apr 3
  • New / MgmtVSwf01
    It's stupid. I did so for 9 years. Blew my savings and wasn't earning. Don't waste the best times your life.
    Apr 36
    • New / EngMS DOS💾
      OP
      How did you spend those 9 years?
      Apr 3
    • Amazon yWsJ24
      Did the 9 years suck? Could they not have been awesome if well planned?
      Apr 3
    • Google / Engyogi bear
      The heck 9 years?! You could travel around the world with half of that time
      Apr 3
    • LinkedIn ex-fb
      PhD?
      Apr 3
    • C.H. Robinson Merp0
      What does that mean? Are you saying that traveling would be a waste of your best years? That would be a first.
      Apr 3
    • Walmart.com Qbis80
      It took 9 years to realize?
      Apr 3
  • Microsoft speechless
    Stop asking the group and follow your heart. Life is short, if you can afford to take time off and enjoy life then why work? Just enjoy life.
    Apr 30
  • Amazon / Othery2dry3
    I'd imagine those 2-3 years will change you completely. Don't bother about getting back to work. I bet you will never return to what you are doing now after that sabbatical. Perhaps you will live in a completely different place and become a beekeeper instead. I've seen only few guys who did it for 1.5 years and they were totally changed. Let it happen!
    Apr 30
  • Intuit Heyyyyyy
    You should definitely do it. I’m starting my trip in a couple of months. I have been planing it for a while to figure out the high level plan. I’m going to to 13 different countries for couple years. I have talked to couple of people who have done this and they had no problem of getting back to work. Once you come back, you will just need a couple months to adjust. The world is so much bigger than all these things happing at work. Work is not your life, it’s only part of life. Many of my coworkers wish they could do what I do. They all have commitments or other attachments. If you have the opportunity to do it. Do it. You many not have that chance again. “It will change your life,” said by multiple people I have talked to. There are documentaries of people who have done this online. You can watch them on Netflix.
    Apr 32
    • Facebook blueriver
      interesting, i always heard that a resume gap is really bad. they still got interviews after a multi year resume gap? did they have to explain the gap in their interviews as well?
      Apr 4
    • Apple / HRSnVL04
      You got some Netflix titles you are referring to?
      Apr 4
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Facebook ibeethat
      For a lot of us even these fancy jobs in tech are just a means to an end. What we truly love is to pursue our own projects and to exist outside of schedules and clock-time. Sometimes the 'deeper problem' is that we have to work at all. PS I'm envious of those who can really say they love their jobs (my wife is one)... That's a great place to be!
      Apr 3
    • LinkedIn ex-fb
      Unless you invented self driving cars, you seriously couldn’t find something more fun than a mundane google swe job?
      Apr 3
    • Amazon anonts
      Lol.. you high?
      Apr 3
    • New / EngMS DOS💾
      OP
      I loved programming since I was a teenager. And still love it but it's not as fun when you are doing it for 💰.
      Apr 3
  • Apple
    Spraynard

    Apple

    BIO
    Call me Spray for short
    Spraynardmore
    I took 3 months off last year and traveled to 7 different countries. It was great! I think everyone should do it. I decided not to look for work right away when I got back, so all-in-all about 6 months off. I found 3 months traveling about my limit, although that was out of a suitcase and not an RV. But I have to echo some here, 2+ years at 34 might not be the best idea. If I had to give advice I’d say, transition to a contract role first. Establish a client or two and then take a year. It will be A LOT easier to come back from. 2+ years employers in the future will look at this as you lost your desire for the job and might not want to take a chance hiring you. If only a year they look at it as a sabbatical and not a mid life crisis. Plus after so long I imagine you’d have a hard time summoning the will to return. A year will probably scratch your itch and not shut all doors. Although on the flip side, after a couple years off you may find an entirely different (new found) hobby (that isn’t a video game) as something you’d like to pursue as a second career. ???

    But also consider this, starting about your age is the prime years that you start to compile wealth, and to take time off just to do it cuts into this time of wealth building and unless you really are a trustafarian you might shoot yourself in the long run by making it so that you have to work an extra 5-10 years on the backside for this little endeavor.

    My plan is to compile cash and try to find a nice cheap place to retire to that my coffers will last me until I die, like Thailand or some other cheap country that costs half as much as the US but isn’t a third world sHole.

    Overall I think it’s pretty risky move to do such a long time away. Just my two cents
    Apr 35
    • Uber d hu wiu
      Bs. Age is a number. He can compile wealth anytime. Health doesnt wait unfortunately. Enjoy life and adventure
      Apr 3
    • LinkedIn ex-fb
      @Uber
      You wouldn’t like it if at 60 your colleagues are wealthy enough to retire, and you still have to work!
      Memories of along times go vacation won’t help you then.

      It is easy to hide the sabbatical as a failed startup
      Apr 3
    • Amazon anonts
      Great advice 👍
      Apr 3
    • Oath vmg_oath
      It’s momentary world, what makes it to think that we will live tll 60 🐻
      Apr 6
    • Uber d hu wiu
      Nonsense. Work is quickly becoming a choice in today's world. If you want to have a simple life you dont need that much money. Plus it doesnt take a lot of effort to make decent money.
      Apr 6
  • Monster / Mgmt
    meddic

    MonsterMgmt

    PRE
    Monster
    meddicmore
    I would just do some social media documenting/content of your “journey” when you are in an interview you can point towards the industry specific things you experienced
    Apr 32
  • Facebook / Creative
    dapperdad

    FacebookCreative

    PRE
    LinkedIn
    BIO
    People, projects, pay, then place. In that order.
    dapperdadmore
    I took a bereavement leave and spent my time playing in a metal band for healing and now I’m back with my mojo back ready to rock it again in a startup.

    My mom always repeated Twain and added her own, “never let school get in the way of your education...and never let a job get in the way of your career.”
    Apr 30
  • Nokia FXBj20
    May want to read the Filling The Void chapter in 4 Hour Work Week, check out Your Money or Your Life, Mr. Money Mustache blog, and other FIRE sites.
    Apr 30
  • Western Digital SanDisk
    Don't, this is the prime years of your career. Take a few months between jobs but don't just quit to travel.
    Apr 47
    • Oracle 5’2 indian
      So when will they travel? When they are 60 and retired?
      Apr 4
    • Salesforce Zed12
      When they're FIRE in their mid-30s.
      Apr 4
    • Facebook blueriver
      Not if you have kids though! At least it’ll be much harder to travel for the first 5-10 years, plus you can’t really do trips longer than a month. (That said my interests lean towards other things than serious travel so I’m doing exactly what you say — trying to reach FIRE before taking a long time off to find myself)
      Apr 4
    • Salesforce Zed12
      Once my kids are in elementary school, I plan on travelling overseas for 2-3 months during their summer break. Each year I would stay in a different country. It would be cool to get to know the culture of each country. I might also rent out my house during that time to offset the travel costs. I could also combine it with serving at a nonprofit overseas if I get bored.
      Apr 4
    • Facebook blueriver
      Interesting! Just thinking back from when I was a kid, I really relished the summer time for hanging out with my friends. But I guess that was less a concern in elementary school, more middle and high school
      Apr 4
    • Amazon toutd
      What is FIRE
      Apr 9
    • Salesforce Zed12
      Financial Independence, Retire Early
      Apr 10
  • Microsoft hotsteppa
    My buddy did it for 3 years and loved every second of his time off. We will be jealous of your experiences and want to do the same when we retire, but we will be sitting in hot tubs while our grandchildren run around us. That's when we realize we failed in life while worrying about our careers, and remember you.
    Apr 45
    • Okta doll$h
      That’s a very narrow perspective. “ Failed because one just focused on careers”. People are ambitious, thrive in their careers, and still travel to 5-6 countries for leisure with a month off all round the year. It’s all about priorities.
      Apr 4
    • Bloomberg / Engthe1
      I disagree. I've taken extensive time off and a few weeks off here and there doesn't compare to completely shifting your focus away from work.
      Apr 4
    • Okta doll$h
      I don’t think I can call people who didn’t take an “adventurous time off” aka living a hippie life for years as utter failures.
      Apr 4
    • Microsoft hotsteppa
      Doesn't have to be a hippie life. If you have enough dough, you can live like a baller in a lot of the countries, where your daily spenditure is around $5-$10. If lounging an ass on some typical resort is your thing, then god speed. You don't know what you haven't experienced.
      Apr 4
    • LinkedIn ex-fb
      A mundane even if high TC 9-5 job, come home TV with wife and put kids to bed isn’t very successful either.
      Apr 5
  • Uber d hu wiu
    How about the girls department? When are you going to get married
    Apr 34
    • Salesforce CloudSurfr
      Then it won't be as easy to take that sabbatical, he'll have to plan around someone else. People that want to travel longterm aren't interested in it because they don't have a partner, not seeing the relationship here
      Apr 3
    • New / EngMS DOS💾
      OP
      Where did I say I was a man?
      Apr 3
    • Microsoft jrex
      Non-binary?
      Apr 3
    • Salesforce CloudSurfr
      Oh my bad, just went with the assumption of the previous poster.
      Apr 4
  • Google / R&Dclay
    I took four years, during which I opened a non-tech business. When I wanted to come back, it took me half a year to find a job - it was extremely hard just to get an interview. When I did find a job, within weeks I was flooded with better offers, and within a few months I was back to my old self career-wise, except I was no longer burnt-out.
    Apr 43
    • New / EngMS DOS💾
      OP
      What kind of non-tech business did you run?
      Apr 4
    • Google / R&Dclay
      A restaurant
      Apr 4
    • Google 46fXhGu
      I feel like this is an ideal scenario. How many years did you spend in the industry before taking the break?
      Apr 4
  • VMware / Eng
    ?’h2!,

    VMwareEng

    PRE
    Veritas Software, Symantec, Dell
    BIO
    Nope!!
    ?’h2!,more
    I think it is smart to take time off if you can. 3 months, 6 months or even a year sure but 2 to 3 years that’s a lifetime in this business. If you are going to take that much time off, make it a point to do things to keep your skills sharp. Have some pet projects to keep you busy on long flights. Code up some BS app just for shits and grins.

    - I have a buddy who took off a year got a job as online professor and drove around the Country in an RV giving the lecture online from different places.
    Apr 31
    • Uber vgghhh
      One option is to just contribute to open source for fun to keep skills sharp.
      Apr 3
  • Microsoft Dxog01
    Take a year off and travel the world. See how it goes and then make a decision. Just don’t return with no cash in the bank. Waiting to travel when your old is a big mistake. Do it young where you can walk 20-30 miles a day.
    Apr 31
    • Facebook blueriver
      I’m young and I can’t walk 30 miles a day lol
      Apr 4
  • Google Juergen
    Go do it. What’s the big deal. You can always find a minimum wage job if nothing works out
    Apr 31
    • Google / Engyogi bear
      dude this advice is not helpful at all
      Apr 3
  • LinkedIn ex-fb
    What’s your opportunity cost? I.e how much your networth be if you don’t take the long sabbatical.

    Just replace your sabbatical by stealth mode startup if you have trouble getting back in!
    Apr 36
    • New / EngMS DOS💾
      OP
      Opportunity cost would be $200K or so depending on expenses and the length of sabbatical. My expenses will be lower than normal since I'm planning to live in an RV.
      Apr 3
    • Expedia hnAy18
      I'm gonna do it but for 3-6 months. I don't know honestly if i would like that long holiday
      Apr 3
    • Microsoft not-a-dev
      Opportunity cost isn’t just what it will cost you to support yourself, but also the missed paychecks. Say your expenses are $100k/year and your net salary is $200k/year, your opportunity cost is $300k/year
      Apr 3
    • New / EngMS DOS💾
      OP
      @not-a-dev Yes, but you also need to support yourself when you work. I calculated opportunity cost as missed paychecks + trip expenses - my regular expenses during that time if I kept working in high COL area. My expenses during sabbatical will be lower than normal expenses since I won't be paying rent and won't be eating out as much.
      Apr 3
    • Apple / EngYoyoboi
      Still only $200k for 2-3 years seems awfully low, especially if you live in a high COL area and I’m assuming make >200k/yr to be able to afford that (likely more?)
      Apr 3
    • Microsoft moxbill
      The biggest opportunity cost is the missing compound interest from 401k contributions and not salary alone. I'm 100% taking 2-3 years off several years from now. The truth is, the tech market isn't that complicated at all. Still reading tech news, and also tackling my big book of ideas and raising my kids will be my thing
      Apr 4
  • Amazon Stanley P
    I took a 6 months mental health sabbatical (aka rehab) and came back to my job and just feeling like going back to the rehab because work is no fun
    Apr 45
    • eBay / IT
      manorama

      eBayIT

      BIO
      Coder
      manoramamore
      @amazon Do you need a doctor certificate or so for mental health sabbatical ? Also is it unpaid or partially paid ? I plan to do same , but don’t have enough vacation left
      Apr 4
    • Amazon Stanley P
      I have a doctor's certificate yes and it's unpaid and I had to stay in a psychiatric hospital the whole time
      Apr 4
    • eBay / IT
      manorama

      eBayIT

      BIO
      Coder
      manoramamore
      Thanks 🙏🏼 for clarification . how was your time spent there? Did it helped you get rejuvenated? I m looking more of a mental break inclines towards vacation or travel
      Apr 4
    • Amazon Stanley P
      It was great experience actually. I met some really nice people in rehab. I read a lot when I was there and watched a lot of movies with the people there
      Apr 4
    • Google gliz
      Stanley what do you do at Amazon?
      Apr 15
  • EA / Engactivision
    Why not combine a good WLB
    Apr 31
    • Uber vgghhh
      Good work life balance for me would be 50/50, alternating 2-3 months of work with 2-3 months of vacation. I don’t know of any jobs that have that much balance.
      Apr 3
  • Microsoft cDGe05
    Do it, I'm super jealous
    Apr 30
  • Target Bp12xie
    Depends on if you’re a woman or a man
    Apr 35
    • Target Bp12xie
      Men, np do whatever. Women: You will be punished for it.
      Apr 3
    • New / Ops
      tooQ10

      NewOps

      PRE
      Rakuten USA
      tooQ10more
      Swings and roundabouts, as they say. Women can still hope to get married and have children whether they have successful careers or not. Men don't have it that easy.
      Apr 3
    • Spotify Mukv38
      Yeah, I’ve seen women passed over for jobs for taking a year to take care of their baby, while no one blinked an eye about a man who took several months off on sabbatical traveling or whatever.
      Apr 4
    • Facebook blueriver
      Wow, that’s really sad. People are saying their multi year sabbatical was not held against them, but the same amount of time with a baby is held against you? What was the rationale?

      That’s backwards. It should at least be the same standard for both.
      Apr 4
    • Amazon toutd
      I am a 33 year old female, single and planning to do the same what OP is saying
      Apr 9
  • Microsoft zx48
    No matter who you are or what you do the chances are high that you'll wake up one day and realize that whatever you did job-related is not so valuable as you might think now. New life experiences, your love, true friends, your kids is what you're going to have bright recollections about. Maybe also your bravery when you decided to leave for-hire work and start your own business. So yeah, if you have that opportunity, seize it.
    Apr 101
  • MailChimp mPTJ54
    I am doing the same. Hopefully the open office trend will die while we're gone.
    Apr 40
  • New / SalesLadyCloser
    Take a 3-month mental heath sabbatical. Consult occasionally during the break and contribute to open source. Come back and decide if you want to quit for longer
    Apr 30
  • Pandora wiqQ03
    I did it for one year, was a bit harder to get the job when I came back just because tech changes so fast. But I still ended up getting an offer at a start-up, worked there for a year and now I'm back on top of my game.
    Apr 30
  • Amazon cPdR67
    millenial detected
    Apr 30
  • Google Fpvj53
    Hi OP, I have done this a couple times now: I would take a job, work for a few years and when I feel the learning slowed down and things start to get repetitive, I leave the job and go on the road, intending to spend all $ saved. Each time I run out of things to do in about 1 year, during which I would get inspired to get into a completely new career. Some findings are that it's actually quite hard to spend all the $ (given you work in tech or similar), and the experience is absolutely invaluable, more often than not they opened more doors for me. =) Really hope you'll get the courage to do this!
    Apr 133
    • Microsoft TheGreco
      If you don’t mind sharing, how old were you when you did this?
      Apr 13
    • Google Fpvj53
      I was 24 and 28, now I’m 30 and planning to continue this. Every time I come back deciding to re-learn a different trade from scratch and get into a different industry. On the road I met many, many people, young and old, with (really) not much $ but lived very happily. They travel and believe that when needed, they can always find a job and make a living. I think they are right, it’s not hard to survive or even live well in the world, people here are way too conservative when it comes to saving for long term travels.
      Apr 13
    • Microsoft TheGreco
      Thanks for sharing!
      Apr 13
  • Pinterest anon$
    I took just 1yr off after working straight for 8yrs In pretty intense jobs. Did lots of international traveling, read tons, picked up new hobbies; in short, was amazing but I got massively bored after around 8mo and decided to dive back into recruiting. Was not difficult to get reemployed (took ~4months from starting to interview to closing). Generally if you have a strong job history and career trajectory and a good reason for taking time off, no one will ding you for doing so. If anything it makes you a more well rounded person who better understands his/her own motivations, goals in life/work. I strongly encourage you to take the plunge :) you’ll discover a lot about yourself and what actually matters to you in the process
    Apr 32
    • Google 46fXhGu
      What is "a good reason for taking time off"? (From an employer's perspective)
      Apr 3
    • Pinterest anon$
      I was just honest...was a hard decision to leave my previous company, but worked my a## off for 8yrs straight without more than 1week vaca here and there, and it was prime to take a step back and recalibrate myself & my goals in life. Now I’m back/recharged and ready to go. No one even questioned that for a second, and if they do, you probably don’t want to work for them
      Apr 3
  • Capital One 94xz
    Interesting seeing so many negative comments and people questioning you. I say do it. If you can afford to take time off I see no problem doing it. As a hiring manager I would think that taking a couple of years of to do what you want is pretty cool and would have zero problems hiring you. As long as you pass the interview process, I could care less. Because of the break, you may come back being a better employee for all I know. If someone thinks negatively of the time off, you don’t want to work for them anyway.
    Apr 30
  • Nvidia HspY58
    I did it. My break was supposed to be permanent but the stock market crash screwed up that plan. It was tough going back, and I'm probably still not where I'd be if I hadn't done it. If you really plan to go back my advice would be to not do it.
    Apr 30
  • Cisco aleph00
    I am financially independent. I haven’t had to work for years. The reason I’ve never taken a sabbatical is that once you do your network of connections will start immediately going stale and you permanently reduce your trajectory.

    If you’re FI, then go for it. If you’re not, I would suggest you plan to get yourself there and just be done at 40-something.
    Apr 45
    • New / EngMS DOS💾
      OP
      What kind of network? I never used my network to get jobs. It's always been just applying or recruiter contacting me.
      Apr 4
    • Amazon / Othery2dry3
      I guess Rotary, Lions or Freemasons will always stay loyal to their brothers or sisters. I imagine he is talking about a network like this. Otherwise don't see any issue. If you really want to return where you are at now, your colleagues won't forget you in 2-3 years....
      Apr 4
    • Cisco aleph00
      Your professional network (people who think “I would hire this guy at my next gig” about you) is probably the most valuable thing you build over a career. If you’re using recruiters instead of people pulling you in then you’ve fucked up and need to work on fixing that. I haven’t used a recruiter since I got out of college.
      Apr 5
    • Amazon / Othery2dry3
      I think that professional network rule helps you more getting into startups and smaller companies. In FAANGs you get no extra credit by being a good dude of someone working there. It might get you an on-site easier, but won't help you much in terms of doing well.
      Apr 5
    • Cisco aleph00
      This is absolutely untrue which is why Cisco tumors have successfully formed at Uber, VMware, google (esp gcp), Aws (too close to home to name the groups but yeah), Apple and Facebook. Only Netflix hasn’t had that happen.
      Apr 6
  • Credit Karma yoyock
    I took a year off and it was great. There are parts of the world you just can't experience in an American length vacation. The only caveat is that it eventually looses it's luster. The peak excitement was the around 3 or 4 months in. I plan to take more breaks in my career, but shorter than a year. Safe travels!
    Apr 31
    • Amazon AJpY03
      Yeah that is true. It’s like seeing a temple in the east started to get boring because it looks like every other temple. What was more interesting was learning the way of life of the people instead of “touring”
      Apr 7
  • Amazon / Eng🦎 gecko
    My dad did. 3 years off and it took 8 months to get a part time job even tho he had 25 YOE. Ageism is a thing.
    Apr 31
    • Amazon toutd
      At what age did he take a break?
      Apr 9
  • New / Eng
    IMlP16

    NewEng

    PRE
    Amazon
    BIO
    Huh
    IMlP16more
    Please take a sabbatical for 1 month first and see if you more work.
    Apr 30
  • Amazon seek full
    I wish I could afford to take that long of a sabbatical. Do it!
    Apr 31
    • LinkedIn ex-fb
      Amazon stocks been doing well! I’m sure you can afford it
      Apr 5
  • Microsoft Iztq08
    Part ways with the company/team/manager on good terms. In my case this helped me in getting back (after 2 years) to old team with token interviews..
    Apr 30
  • Intuit Heyyyyyy
    Like someone said above, don’t worry about getting a job once you are done since the experience will change you and your perspective in a good way.
    Apr 30
  • AT&T / Datafresh&calm
    You never know. You can find something more meaningful along your way. Nas Daily is my biggest inspiration.
    Apr 33
    • eBay / IT
      manorama

      eBayIT

      BIO
      Coder
      manoramamore
      Nas Daily ??
      Apr 4
    • AT&T / Datafresh&calm
      Yes. He travelled for 1000 days and made a 1 minute video each day. He is an internet sensation.
      Apr 4
    • eBay / IT
      manorama

      eBayIT

      BIO
      Coder
      manoramamore
      Yes just saw it , very inspiring 👍🏼
      Apr 4

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