What did your bosses say?

For those who don’t know us very well, we’re in our early 40s and have been working in our careers for around 20 years. Rachel is a physical therapist and Peter works in public relations and communications. As part of a “life reset”, we are taking a year off to travel “Round the World” (RTW). A major component of this is the question – when should we resign from our jobs?

It would be easier if you hate your job or boss.

Realistically, we can’t complain about our jobs. We like our directors, our co-workers, and (most of) what our jobs entail. The pay is good, we both work for organizations that positively impact people, and the hours are reasonable. Funny enough, this is the best type of situation to be in because we know we are doing this RTW life reset for the right reasons. Neither one of us is running away from a job we hate.

4 Months Notice

Ultimately, we decided to give our employers 4 months notice. We don’t want them to feel surprised and want to ensure that there is ample transition time. Also, we work with a lot of great people who we think will enjoy hearing about our RTW adventure and will have some great suggestions for us! Having some time with them to enjoy the final stages of planning will be a lot of fun.

Also, we really like where we live and anticipate moving back. It would be ideal if we could continue working with our current companies once we return, which is another good reason to leave on good terms!

So what happened when you resigned?!

Peter’s Story

We didn’t have a definite date in mind – we had a two week window. The reason for this is that it gave us the flexibility to resign when the time felt right. I was in my weekly meeting with my boss, discussions on projects wrapped up early, and I knew the upcoming few weeks were going to get busier and busier. No time is a good time to quit your job so I thought to myself – let’s get this over with.

I never actually said “I quit” or anything dramatic like that. What I said was something like this, “I have some exciting news. Exciting for me and Rachel at least. It will affect things here. Rachel and I are leaving this July to go on a backpacking trip around the world.”

I have one word to describe my director’s reaction – supportive. Her immediate response was how excited she was for us and asked about our plans. She said multiple times how appreciative she was that I was giving 4 months notice. That way they had ample time to make staffing decisions and transition projects. I agreed to hold off on telling my co-workers for a bit to give my director enough time to let her leadership know, and so that they could start evaluating how to handle the transition. I am 100% confident that my co-workers will be thrilled for us. 

Here was the nice thing about this conversation with my boss. It’s not like I was resigning to go work for another company or because I had issues with my director or co-workers. I truly work with an amazing group of people who I really enjoy and am quite fond of. In fact, I made it clear that I would be interested in coming back to work for the company once we return. This is very different from people who might be quitting a job because they don’t like their boss or where they work. I’m glad I wasn’t in that situation because it would have been a far more challenging conversation. 

I immediately texted Rachel that I resigned and that it went well.

Rachel’s Story

As soon as I got the text from Peter I was determined to get my end-of-the-day paperwork done as quickly as possible so I could go find my director and tell him the exciting news. I had been feeling so guilty not telling my boss since over the past few months one of our therapists retired, a potential replacement fell through, and we were struggling to find another therapist. Needless to say, I wanted to let them know as soon as possible so they knew they were not only going to be looking for one therapist, but possibly two!

When I found my director I pretty much said the same thing Peter did, “I wanted to let you know about some exciting news for Peter and me. No, I’m not pregnant! Peter and I are taking a year off to travel the world!”

With all the stress that I know my director was going through, he handled this extremely well and immediately said, “wow, that is exciting”! Quickly I tried to ease his concerns and told him that the plan right now is to come back. We quickly started strategizing how to get coverage while I am away. Once the “work talk” was done, we both started talking about the trip itself and the exciting adventures we hope to have. As was the case with Peter’s director, my director was nothing but supportive and enthusiastic.

I was actually more nervous about telling my co-workers. We have had so much change lately that part of me was feeling guilty about leaving them, and I was concerned about their reactions. My worries were quickly extinguished when I received the most fantastic exclamations of “that is so awesome” and “you must be so excited” with huge smiles on their faces. All I want to say is, you guys rock and I am so thankful for your enthusiasm and support.

What a Relief

Now that our employers know we are leaving, it is a huge weight of our shoulders. While both of our bosses responded as we expected (positive and supportive), you just never know in situations like this. Once all of our co-workers and colleagues know and “word gets out”, it will be nice being able to share our plans since planning for our RTW life reset takes up 99% of our non-work time. We didn’t realize how bottled up we were feeling. 

One step closer!
Do you have any thoughts to share about hitting the life reset button? Please post below or contact us directly!


Linda · March 24, 2018 at 7:26 am

I am excited for both of you!! I have a friend here in NC whose son and daughter in law went on a similar venture a short while ago and loved it. And, they arrived back home safely!!. Looking forward to following your adventure:). I will of course be praying for your safety!

    Peter · March 24, 2018 at 8:04 am

    Thank you – we’re quite excited! We’ve been (virtually) meeting a lot of other couples and individuals who have done similar trips. They have been tremendous resources for us!

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