I am sort of in the same boat as you. I have been working at the same place for six years now, and I recently got a working holiday visa and booked my plane ticket for the end of December. Now I have to figure out if I want to quit and give my two weeks notice at the end of the summer, since I have school in September. Or if I just wait and continue working until December and ask them for a leave of absence for a year. Either way I have to make up my mind because I am for sure going travelling at the end of the year.
It depends on the job of course, but I imagine that six years of experience is not something your company will be wanting to lose just like that, so if they have to decide between being without it for a year, or losing it altogether, they should go for the former. Don't leave it till the last moment to bring it up, though, otherwise they might feel 'betrayed'. ("You've been planning this for so long, and are only telling us now? This is the busiest time of the year!")
So probably see if you can have the discussion at the end of the summer: "I'm planning this and that; would probably leave in December, but also really working here, so could we discuss options for me coming back after." Worst case (unlikely in my mind, but what do I know) they're the kind of company you hear about in horror stories about American retail and will fire you on the spot; but it seems like you'd be okay with giving your notice at that point anyway...
I say go for it, best to do whilst you have no commitments etc. Im 25 and was lucky enough (at the time) to get a 6 month sabbatical leave whilst I travelled round SEA and Oz. Iv now been back at work for 4 months and currently planning my next trip, but this time I would just quit my job. In some ways I wish I had have done that on my first trip as I felt tied down and came home when I didnt actually want to. You never know what can happen I suppose. Go for it! Amy
Give it all up mate and get travelling !!!!!
Hi Stan - my motto is that 'I'd rather regret things I have done than things I have not'.
In 25 and with work experience you are still young enough for this not to be a problem. Year is now widely accepted as not too long time for people to have a career break, although if you want to do two years, you might want to do some temping in different places so that your CV is not a one big gap.
Having said that, I am 32 and my partner is 44 and we are planning to leave everything behind and go off for a year to explore the world. Whilst we both try to take an unpaid leave from our current work to have some kind of a security when we come back, it is a question of 'when if not now'. We actually even started writting a blog, even though the estimated departure is spring/summer next year but we cannot wait :-). Check it out if you want www.roughingit.travellerspoint.com
There is a risk that a) we won't feel like coming back and become professional travellers and b) we come back and our job will be gone. But it is a risk we are willing to take and I think so should you. With work experience and the right motivation and attitude, you can always get yourself a job, even though it might not be starting at the same level you have left off.
So plan it right, see if you can come to some kind of an agreement at work and go for it!
I've just got back from 18 months away. I left a job I enjoyed, with people I liked, that was local and quite well paid to go away. I did ask whether they could keep my job open, but they said unfortunately it wasn't possible.
In hindsight I'm glad that happened, as I hadn't intended to be away for 18 months. If my job had been kept open I would have had to be back much sooner. And I also would have been straight back in the old routine, which I wanted to get away from.
When I look back at my time away, I think about the fantastic people I met, the special places I visited, all I saw and did. But more than any of that it is the moments that are ingrained on my mind - dancing all night at a beach party in Vietnam with people I had just met, lying in a hammock on a deserted tropical island in Fiji looking at the most beautiful night sky I have ever seen, seeing the amazing temples in Cambodia, sitting up and watching the sunrise in Indonesia, and much much more.
I know that when I am on my death bed and looking back at my life it is these moments I will remember. Not when I did something well at work, or my career, but those little snapshots in time.
Just get out there and do it. You won't regret it.
Steve you are always so inspiring, I think you should be my personal travel planner lol.
Haha thanks Martin! Maybe I could look at that as a new career path!
Just gave notice at my work today it was like a weight was lifted of my shoulders and makes me even more excited for my trip!
I am more leaning towards asking for the leave of absence. I don't work in retail, I however work in a machine shop. There always looking for workers because not everyone can work in oil all day and stand the smell and heat. So I will most likely have a job when I come back or maybe if not i will try for a job in the field I went to school for.