Well, I put in my leave request

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Can I get a yes?

When’s a good time to ask your new manager if you can peace out?

My manager only joined my team in October so I didn’t want to ambush them too quickly with my request to take a 6-month unpaid leave next winter. For the whole winter. (I do wish, of course, that I’d asked my previous manager and secured their approval, to theoretically have that grandfathered over.) There also never seemed to be a natural time to ask about it, since every time I found myself in their office it was to discuss pressing files.

Well, last week, early in the day I walked into their office and closed the door, saying I wanted to have “a quick chat about time off”. I got right to it: after four years on back-to-back contracts for progressively senior roles with this employer, one of the reasons I accepted a new ‘regular service’ position last spring (the position I’m in now) was so I’d be eligible to take an unpaid or self-funded leave of absence. 

I wanted to know if, one year from now, I could take 6-months’ unpaid leave. I also mentioned that my busiest file would be largely resolved by then.

What do people even do on leave?

Years ago when I first heard about the ability for ‘regular service’ staff to take leave, I think I had a vague idea that I’d take a year off and go backpacking in southeast Asia, like some colleagues had done. But upon reflection, I realized I didn’t want to get away for that long. I just wanted to not be here for the godawful winter months. And ideally not just next winter, but every winter. Anyway, baby steps.

It’s a maybe

My manager responded pretty neutrally that they’d look into my request — determine the approvals process, etc. It would require senior management sign off. So it wasn’t a yes, but it also wasn’t a no. I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait for a firm answer.

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