Episode 306: Sabbaticals and betray my team


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. Listener Þór asks,

    Dear fellow binary smiths!

    I’m a Nordic software developer with about a decade in the industry under my belt who has recently returned back to the office, following a half a year long medical absence during which I helped my partner get through her second tough cancer treatment in as many years.

    I am now contemplating taking a sabbatical for some months to reset myself, as the ordeal has had a big impact on me in many ways.

    As sabbaticals are not a common occurrence in my parts of the world, I worry about what impact taking one could have on my future prospects once I start looking around for employment again.

    How does one frame having a “mental health” gap in the career when interviewing? Are they considered a “bad” signal by hiring managers?

  2. For the first time in my career, I’ve been given the opportunity to lead a project at work. This was something I really wanted and my teammates supported me. We agreed on the technical design and I recently started implementing it.

    However, I’ve been thinking about finding another job for a long time. I’m demotivated. Each week, I feel bad about how little I get done at work. It negatively impacts my self esteem, a lot. I never acted upon the desire to find another job because I have a great manager and skip level. Recently, my manager and skip level both announced they’re leaving the company.

    I’d like to pursue an opportunity at another company that seems to be a great fit for me but I don’t want to leave my teammates holding the bag for the project I’ve been working on. I’m the only backend developer working on it and my teammates trusted me to take ownership of it. It doesn’t feel fair for me to complete the more glamorous responsibility of coming up with the technical design and then leave when it’s time to do the “grunt work”. On the other hand, there’s probably at least six months left of work on this project and the company I’m interested in joining may very well not be hiring in six months. What steps should I take to not betray my teammates or myself, taking into account that my manager and skip level leave within a month and probably won’t be replaced by then?

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