So how do you quit your job to travel the world? The simple answer is you resign. It feels awesome! In reality there are more things to consider. When to tell your boss? What impact will resigning have on your career? Will they take me back? Does the company have sabbatical schemes? If your mind is made up, don't overthink things too much (she says totally overthinking the whole process!).
Here is the disclaimer : I am writing this post having recently quit my job to travel the world so I am still on a high. In reality we are still in London as D-day is in four months time (yikes!). I am basing my post on my current experience and advice I have been given since I quit.
When to tell your boss?
I booked the tickets for our world trip end of January and I told my boss shortly after. I could have waited until the legal three month notice period kicked in, in my case early June, but giving your company plenty of time to digest the information and plan for your replacement shows good intent. I am currently working on a critical project for the company with sizeable investment behind it. But leaving a role gives other employees opportunities to grow. In my case, my boss embraced he news. He was genuinely happy for me and encouraged me to take full advantage of my year away to regroup and prioritise.
What impact will it have on my career?
Leaving your job behind takes courage and don't forget that. It shows confidence, commitment and initiative. Even though it might feel like the scariest thing (which it definitely does!) take a step back and look at ways your adventure will add to your CV. Careers are being redefined. There is no longer one template of work satisfaction and success. The lines between work and home life are blurred. There is so much planning involved and therefore a number of skills you will demonstrate before and during such a trip, whether it is a year or 6 weeks away from the daily grind. Social media is supporting the rise of a new tribe of digital nomads who are rewriting the rule book of what is a job. Since we started this blog and our associated Instagram account we have discovered hundreds of couples, families, singletons travelling the world and living of their adventures. There is some serious hard work involved and we are still figuring our how we might monetise our year away but the possibilities are out there so watch this space...
Whilst you will no doubt need a settling-in period on your return, don't let anyone tell you that you will need another year to achieve your next career goal. It is all about the story, as my boss always says, you need to come back and clearly position yourself for your next move if that is your goal. I have been on two maternity leaves (9 months the first time and 11 months the second time) during my time with my current company and you do not come back brain dead (although for those of you who have taken time off to look after kids it might have sometimes felt that way!).
Will they take me back?
If you have a good relationship with your company and are valued there is no reason why they will not take you back. It is hard to recruit good people and if you have a solid track-record it will be an easy choice for your employer to take you back. Depending on your company you might have a sabbatical or career break schemes you can take advantage of. More and more companies are offering this possibility to employees as they embrace a more holistic approach to careers. But if your company doesn't offer such schemes it is still worth knocking back at their door when you are back.
I have been with the same company for over 8 years and it is scary as hell thinking about having to find a new job when I come back if I decided not to return to my current company or if they decided not to take me back. But I am telling myself to take things one thing at a time.
Have you thought about quitting the day job to take some time out? What is holding you back? Would love to hear your thoughts and comments.