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Should I request a voluntary layoff to my manager?

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Senior Software Engineer [L5] at Googlea year ago

I am currently burnt out and looking for ways to take a break.

Looking at Google's generous severance benefits, I had thoughts to inform my manager that I am up for the chopping block if there are any foresight of next round of layoffs. Which I think should be good for the company since I am also helping one motivated Googler to not be laid off in the future.

But then, I am afraid it might get rejected and my manager's relationship with me get strained.

Are there any suggestions on getting severance package while indicating my intent to resign?

Additional context

I am currently not on PIP and is considered excellent performer. I was promoted to L5 in mid 2021

Michael Lin's blog discussed on the "preemptive severance package" which is relevant to what I am hoping to do

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Discussion

(2 comments)
  • 6
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    a year ago

    I strongly believe you should not pursue ask for a voluntary layoff, unless you have an example of someone doing this successfully at Google.

    More likely than not, your manager won't be able to offer you a voluntary layoff, and the cost of getting this wrong is that you are "tainted" -- as a manager, I wouldn't want to give you a high impact/high visibility project since you'd be a flight risk.

    In addition, since the Google layoffs just happened, I don't have faith that Google would have the infrastructure in place to do this kind of thing. Remember that Netflix is a very unique culture where they explicitly say "adequate performance gets a generous severance package".

  • 8
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    Ex-Netflix • Engineering Consultant for Early-Stage Startups
    a year ago

    Author here - one other option you have is if they ask you to go back to the office, say that "I've relocated during the pandemic and I'm not coming back to [X location] and would like to discuss a severance agreement instead."

    Someone told me they used that line, and got a yes right away.

Google is an American multinational technology company that focuses on search engine technology, online advertising, cloud computing, and much more. It is considered one of the Big Five technology companies.
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