Lyft News

From Mexico to Iceland: How this team member spent her Lyft sabbatical

Jul 10, 2024

Meet Elizabeth Trujillo (she/her), Program Manager, Talent Operations at Lyft who recently celebrated her 5 year work anniversary by traveling around the world, thanks to Lyft’s sabbatical benefit.

At Lyft, full-time team members who have had 5 years of continuous service are rewarded with 6 paid weeks away from work. This benefit is called Recharge, and gives team members a chance to do just that … to take time off to relax, travel, or do whatever they please.

Liz did a perfect combination of all three! Read more below.

What was your path to Lyft?

I’m currently a Program Manager on the Talent Operations team at Lyft and have been here for 5+ years.

Prior to Lyft, I worked in student leadership development, event planning, and customer service, which had transferable skills that connected into Talent Acquisition. After working at a small genetics startup, I wanted to support People teams behind the scenes and experience people management at a larger scale. Luckily for me, a friend I worked with in college reached out to refer me to Lyft’s growing Talent team. I greatly respected her, so knowing that she chose Lyft, it was a no-brainer for me to apply! I joined as a Recruiting Coordination Lead and eventually moved into my current role as a Talent Operations Program Manager.

Can you share how you spent your recharge / sabbatical time off? 

I intentionally spent a few weeks doing nothing but slowing down, staying put (which I learned is way easier said than done!), and spending as many days as possible with friends and family.

After that restful time period, I dived into spending time traveling for several weeks. I traveled to the Yucatán Peninsula to scuba dive, Iceland to complete the Ring Road, and the East Coast to feed my AP US History heart and get my fill of Broadway shows.

Out of your experience, what was your favorite place to visit or part of your recharge?

My favorite part of my recharge was spending time with the many wonderful people in my life! I’m quite introverted, but quality time with family, friends, and strangers who quickly became friends, really re-energized me.

My favorite place to visit was Iceland. I traveled around the entire island and learned so much about Iceland's history and unique geography. I have never been so cold in my life, but I loved every minute! Being on the go every day with my tour-mates, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, was a very special experience.

How did you plan and prepare your team for your absence?

I tried to choose the least disruptive time period possible and had a lot of support from my team. Leading up to my absence, I created a detailed plan that contained all of my context, actions, contacts, and resources. I also refreshed trainings and resources that my team could reference and rely on. My team also took this as an opportunity to centralize our documents, projects, etc. so that we had singular sources of truth that were easy to find and use.

What are the benefits of a company offering a “recharge” period for employees?

The Recharge period is an amazing benefit for employees at Lyft. It provides a low-stress opportunity to reset and refocus on wellness, goals, and balance, both personally and professionally. It helps people to return refreshed and ready to tackle the work ahead.

A recharge benefit also creates a positive culture among teams. I felt supported by all of my teammates when I left, and even more so when I returned. Likewise, I am always excited for others when they reach their recharge milestone. It shows that we value and care for the individuals here, and it is a strong, formalized recognition of the time and hard work that they have dedicated to Lyft.

How did the recharge positively impact your return back to work?

Leading up to the recharge, I was motivated to get all my ducks in a row for the sake of my team and my return. It’s easy to deprioritize maintenance and cleaning house, so that really helped me simply get organized and return to a clean slate. But more than that, the recharge let me personally reset in many ways after 5 years.

Taking time away helped me refill my cup, reevaluate my personal priorities, enjoy uninterrupted time away, and reflect. Coming back, I have more energy and capacity to help, more patience, and fresh eyes to view challenges and the work to be done.

Last question, dead or alive, who would you like to share a Lyft with?

My mom’s mom. From what I’ve heard, she was tough, astute and sneakily funny, and would have been the best grandma. I’d love to say hello and hear more of her story.

Interested in joining Lyft? Check out our current open roles!