Here’s a personal / professional update - I’m going on a sabbatical starting tomorrow (May 20, 2023) 🎉
Why? There’s a bunch of reasons. It’s been more than 14 years since I started my career and I felt it’s time to take a proper, long enough (how long is long enough is a different discussion!) break. I truly believe that this break will help me get enough energy to go for the next ~10 years. I’m planning to take this break for at least 6 months.
I’d been thinking about taking a break for a while now. This was obviously not an easy decision. If there’s one person who played a significant role in me taking this decision, it’s Sid Sharma (aka svs). He has been a major proponent of sabbatical for as long as I remember. This is a life changing tweet:
I reached out to him on Twitter after reading this tweet and he immediately shared his phone number to talk. The moment I hung up the call with him, I decided that I am doing this 😀. I just can’t thank him enough for being so very kind talking to a random stranger (we didn’t know each other before!) for almost an hour, patiently listening to all my ramblings and answering the ton of questions I had. He’s currently writing The Sabbatical Handbook, and you should definitely check it out. Thank you so much sir 🙏
There are a few other folks that I should thank who helped in validating this decision. I spoke with Cécile (thanks to the above tweet from svs) to understand how she took the decision to go on a sabbatical and her experience going through a year long sabbatical. I also spoke with Sidu (aka ponnappa) - we had a call (I was nervous and had my fanboy moment ngl :)) for a different reason but ended up talking about sabbatical for quite a bit. I also spoke with my first manager - who is the first person I know who took a sabbatical about a decade ago. There are many others who’ve supported me on this and I’m very grateful to everyone.
So what am I planning to do during this break? I don’t have any major plans. No, really. A few things I’m hoping to do include getting myself in a better shape, spending mindful time with family and friends, reading more, writing more (on this blog as well as on twitter), cooking more, eating right, putting the camera that I bought last year to proper use. I’d also try to spend some time contributing to open source projects.
I’m so thankful for all the kindness and generosity I’ve received and I promise to pay it forward. If you think I can help you or someone you know with something — about sabbatical, career advice, resume review, mock interviews, any discussion around tech, OSS, etc., please feel free reach out to me on twitter or block some time on my calendar via cal.com/tsriram. If you’re in Chennai, I’d love to catch up in person.
Wish me the best :)