Posts Tagged ‘quitting’

Fear of Quitting
Monday, February 27th, 2012

In our 2011 post event survey, the number one reason people were afraid of contemplating a career break was the fear that they wouldn’t be able to save enough money. No surprise there. But what was surprising was that a fear of quitting their job was second. Besides being afraid of not finding work post-break, what is so scary about the actual act of giving notice?

Lori Sussle, a member of our Basic Training community, was terrified to give notice. But the positive reactions she received from colleagues and friends took her by surprise.

Giving my notice and making it ‘really’ official was a lot more nerve-racking than I had originally thought it would be. I was nervous to give my notice for several reasons, one of which was that there was no going back after that!

My boss was unbelievably supportive, which was great, since he is based across the country and I have never given my notice on the phone before. I was shaking before I told him, after I told him and still shaking once our conversation ended.

Once I gave my notice, I felt comfortable officially announcing it. Well, a day later. I was still trembling as I prepared to hit send on an email I had prepared a week prior. Close friends and family had known of my plans, but those that I did not see as frequently were not as in the loop on my process, so I am pretty sure I threw some people for a loop.

As you can imagine the response to my announcement was overwhelming. There were three emails from friends that stood out to me.

Two of the three I had not seen in some time and therefore knew nothing of my plans. Neither of the two know each other but at the times in our lives when we were the closest, I considered them like an older brother, and I am pretty sure they felt like I was their younger sister.

The third just had a life change herself and did know of my plans, just not how far they had progressed. Here is an abbreviated version but you can get the point, and the support!

Wow. You once pointed out to me a saying “Leap …. and the net will appear.” Worked for me, will work for you. This is awesome. I will follow you along the way. Safe travels and keep me updated!
Once again, I am completely in awe of your youthful enthusiasm and adventurous spirit… have fun kid! I’m going to try to come [to my going away party] – figure it’s the least I can do for one of the ballsiest people I’ve ever known!!!
I AM SO FREAKING PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!!!I know the feeling of shaking, crying, fear and exhilaration all too well, and the funny thing is, it will only last until you leave. Once you’re gone, you’ll be swept-up in the sheer excitement of being in new places, seeing jaw-dropping beauty that the US simply does not possess, and feeling so completely FREE and independent.
YOU. GO. GIRL. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!! You’ve just taken the first (HUGE) step to changing your life and fully following the mantra, “if not now, when??” Love it.

What reactions have you received when sharing your career break news?

Photo Friday: Goodbye to the Cubicle
Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Congratulations to Devon Mills who said goodbye to this cubicle on Wednesday. “Today I said goodbye to this cubicle, and I now look forward to planning the round-the-world trip I’ll embark on in Feb. 2012! First stop: Chiang Mai, Thailand.”

Devon shares more about why “Someday is Today“. Fittingly, her blog is entitled “Answering Oliver” – inspired by Mary Oliver’s quote “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”. We know that Devon is going to have many exciting answers to that question.

What do you plan to do?

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Leaving Your Job Gracefully
Monday, October 31st, 2011

There was nothing scarier for me after the decision to travel around the world than the aspect of leaving my career.

For 20 years I had identified myself by my career and the idea of leaving terrified me. I’ve written a lot about this internal turmoil and the resulting feelings a year later.

Warren & Betsy Talbot

One of the many aspects I had to confront, and I am sure you are wrestling with as well, is how do I leave my job gracefully and when do I tell them. There have been jobs in my past where I wanted just to light a match, set it to the kindling, and burn the bridge in spectacular fashion. Trust me when I tell you that the corresponding elated and satisfied feeling will die away quickly when you see the impact in has on your career prospects.

Assuming you are looking for a less incendiary departure, here are a few suggestions:

When do I tell my employer?

This is one of the most challenging questions facing us all and there is no right answer. In my case I gave 15 months notice that I would be leaving my career to travel (yes, this is a LOT of time). I had spent almost a year thinking about when would be the right time and debating the benefits and many of the concerns of telling them too early.

For me the decision came down to wanting to talk about my plans with people around me. Also, I just wanted to be honest with everyone and not have to feel like I was hiding the single biggest thing that was happening in my life. So, I made a leap and announced my plan one morning about what I was doing and the why this was so big for me.

The result: In those 15 months after giving notice I was promoted twice, was given my dream project to drive an effort and acquisition I felt was key for the company, and received a wonderful bonus for the hard work. The company was able to let me run with projects because they wanted to keep me motivated and I certainly was. It was a great 15 months of fun work, new challenges, and a result I am very proud of today.

Key things to consider:

  • When you give notice, provide your boss with recommendations for how you will spend your remaining time. Let them know you will remain motivated to work hard. Talk about helping to recruit your replacement and get them trained and up to speed before you leave.
  • Make sure to focus the discussion about your desire to explore the world. Do not turn this into your opportunity to explain all the ways they have disappointed you in your career. Remember, you may want to get back together with this partner.
  • Read your situation – every scenario is different so be sure to have an idea at how your boss will take the news. Be prepared for the worst case scenario (walked to the parking lot and start your trip earlier than expected) but plan for the best. Provide you employer with reasons why keeping you on is going to be good for them.
  • Always keep the door open to the future. For most people, this is a “career break” and as such there is at least a “plan” to return to the corporate world. Keeping your options open and remaining flexible is generally a good strategy. Make sure that you could return to the company if possible.
  • Not everyone will understand – this is something I faced immediately after giving notice. People simply could not grasp why I would even consider doing “something this stupid”. It is inevitable you will come across this at work and will spend many hours trying to explain. This is normal. What you are doing is odd (sadly) but you are following your dream and your heart. Explain why you came to the decision and remember why it is so important to you. Your career will likely be there if/when you return.

Warren & Betsy Talbot

Leaving my career remains one of the hardest, and best, things I have ever done. I am still happy that I gave so much notice and was then able to tell all my friends at work about my adventure. It created a new way to open discussions and to share the idea of career breaks with others.

When are you telling your employer? What concerns do you have?

About the author:
Warren Talbot and his wife Betsy quit their jobs and sold everything they owned to travel the world in 2010. You can learn more about how to Live the Good Life at their blog, Married with Luggage. In addition, their new digital guide Dream Save Do: The Step-by-Step Blueprint for Amassing the Cash to Live Your Dream provides you with the inspiration and process to save for your dream.

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