How we Quit our Jobs

How can you just quit your job? Kind of a tough question really. The decision to go on long-term travel requires a change of your vocation. However, there are many options when thinking about quitting your job that should be considered. For example, one could take a sabbatical, request a leave of absence, completely quit, accept another job with a later start date, do consulting work while on the move, get different jobs in each country of travel, and the list goes on. The point is that everyone has options and can work towards making those options a reality.

So what did we do? Well Katie was pretty easy. She is a nurse and can really get a job anywhere, even traveling around from place to place. She recently went to school for her Nurse Practitioner degree and after she graduated we decided that would be the best time to go. Because she was in school and working part-time it was easy for her to quit. For me it was a little different. I work in an industry that has its ups and downs so it is a little more risky for me to quit. Like I already said I had to play out my options and see what would work best and what wouldn’t. I approached my boss about six months prior to leaving and asked about taking a sabbatical (taking 6ish months off to travel then returning to work). They were open to the idea but didn’t have a sabbatical program in place, so it was all a bit too soon to be implemented right away. After about a month of talking that through it seemed it wasn’t going to happen. So I decided I was going to quit. Before I told my managers at work about my decision I asked them IF I quit, what the options would be for me coming back with a job. They said it was a good possibility to come back with the hopes of getting re-hired. This along with another opportunity have given us a few options of employment if we come back. Katie has also made some good relationships with people at her work and other nurse practitioners so she has the option of pursuing those options when we come back as well.

Work

So what does it take to get to that point? I think the most important advice I would give is to make a big impact with the group and company you are working with. Some just work enough to keep the job because they know they have to work another 35 years before they retire…thats a long time! But what if everyone thought of it differently. If we worked hard to come up with good innovative ideas we would probably be welcomed back after leaving. Dig in at work, get the information correct to come up with great ideas, then execute those ideas, and take charge while doing so. Your value has just shot up and you are now in demand because of the quality of your work. Working towards having a break every 5 years means I had to make an impact, and it was so worth working hard and coming up with those innovative ideas to do so. This all led to being in good standing and valued within the company which easily led to being welcomed back by my bosses. It is a hard decision to quit if you are already in great standing with your bosses and company. At that point you are deciding whether to pursue your career or take a step back. I could have easily fallen into the working world of moving up the chain and getting promotions, but in the end I didn’t want others (or a company) dictate how my life ended up. This is all pertinent of course if you want to have a back up plan for coming back and want to stay in the same industry. I am sure the people who have quit their jobs before without a back up plan have landed somewhere with a job on their way back or even found something better on the way. 

Taking the step of quitting is something that seems pretty hard to do, but it all depends on what we wanted to do in life. There are many options out there for long-term travel like I stated at the top of this page. Working or volunteering in other countries is definitely a strong possibility for others and might be an option for us too. Like most change in life, the hardest thing about it, is in everyones minds. Once I actually did it, I realized that I can achieve whatever I want to in life. I just had to go for it. If I can do it you can do it too, if you knew me in college you would without a doubt agree with that statement.  

– W