Anyone here take a 1yr hiatus from work?

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Submitted by kev374 on September 24, 2008 - 2:03pm

Anyone take an extended period off work to pursue other areas of personal growth? If so, what did you do and what was the experience like? In retrospect do you regret the decision and how did it affect you positively or negatively.

Submitted by barnaby33 on September 24, 2008 - 2:28pm.

I have a friend who has been living off his HELOC for over a year. He travels and enjoys life immensely. I'm only speculating, but I doubt he will regret it. However I regret it for him!
Josh

Submitted by stockstradr on September 24, 2008 - 3:50pm.

We did something kinda similar, but it was only two months, not a full year.

My wife and I backpacked through Western Europe for two months prior to our beginning to start having children (Now, a year later we just had our first child)

Back then we decided to just go foward with planning and force our employers to give us that two months off, no matter the career cost. We so DO NOT regret that.

Looking back there are so very few opportunities in our lives to take that dream adventure vacation involving several months or more. Often you just have to make the opportunity in your life to do it.

My only regret? We should have instead taken off SIX MONTHS traveling through Europe!

Our favorite memory of travling in Western Europe?

Hiking in the Swiss Alps!

Submitted by seattle-relo on September 24, 2008 - 3:52pm.

stockstradr wrote:
We did something kinda similar, but it was only two months, not a full year.

My wife and I backpacked through Western Europe for two months prior to our beginning to start having children (Now, a year later we just had our first child)

Back then we decided to just GO AHEAD and force our employers to give us that two months off, no matter the career cost. We so DO NOT regret that.

Looking back there are SO FEW opportunities in our lives to take that dream adventure vacation involving several months or more.

My only regret? We should have instead taken off SIX MONTHS traveling through Europe!

Our favorite memory of travling in Western Europe?

Hiking in the Swiss Alps!

You can still do it with a small baby! My good friend and her husband backbacked through Ireland with their 4 month old - he just slept in the sling the whole time and nursed when he needed. It was a dream vacation they will never forget!

BTW - Congratulations on being a first time dad! Isn't it incredible!

Submitted by svelte on September 24, 2008 - 4:16pm.

At my first employer, I knew a couple who did that. Rented out their house and took a year leave to explore Europe, with a verbal agreement they would return after one year.

At the end of that year, so much had changed at the company that it was doing horribly and couldn't hire them back.

It is hard to say whether they regretted their decision, it might have been just as well for them - being with a struggling employer is no fun.

Life is short, if the idea of taking a year off appeals to you (and you can afford it), go for it. Just don't expect things to be the same when you return.

Submitted by stockstradr on September 24, 2008 - 9:04pm.

Here's my funny story about asking for two months off.

My boss didn't much care for me. I worked for a global mobile phone handset provider with an R&D center in San Diego.

It was a slow time for engineering at our R&D center; i figured good time to ask for a sabatical. I was a principle staff engr so had earned it.

I asked my boss, "I would really like to take eight weeks off for a trip through Europe that my wife and I have been dreaming about for ten years. I'm giving you a couple months advance notice. You're such a great boss, I really do appreciate your consideration of this request" *SMOOCH* *SMOOCH* ...gratuitous ass kissing

He says, "NOPE! We are so busy. Sorry. We need you so much. We cannot afford to have you away for two full months"

Now, Piggington readers, are you ready for the ironic punch line that God bestowed upon this absurd scene?

A few weeks later the GM of that R&D center announces,

"All twelve hundred of you are laid off in ninety days. Now we cutting the center down to five hundred jobs, so this means we'll have a free-for-all where you all scramble and scrap by re-applying for those five hundred remaining jobs. Sounds like fun, eh? Ready, Set, Go!"

So I had three months left of work, and ZERO job security.

I walked in my boss' office and said, "You know that two month vacation request of mine you rejected? Well, I'm TAKING IT. All eight weeks."

He says, "It doesn't sound like you are ASKING my permission?"

I say, "I'm not."

He says, "Well, I guess that's OK for you to go for the two months! What am i gonna do after all, lay you off TWICE?"

(He had gotten his own walking papers himself, and in fact turned out did NOT get one of the five hundred remaining jobs.)

Now I am implying that I went ahead and enjoyed two months backpacking in Europe while I should have been searching for my next job, since I only had a few weeks remaining once back from vacation before getting laid off...ahh but I did have several months severance pay coming...it all worked out in the end. Found a job up in the Bay Area.

Submitted by peterb on September 24, 2008 - 9:01pm.

I did it three times in the last decade and now it's a way of life. But you need to be good with money. Spending and investing. I would not go back to a corporate life for any reason now.

You cant buy back time. And in the final analysis, it's all we really have. Dont squander it. Live it!

Submitted by patb on September 24, 2008 - 9:07pm.

i took a year travelled the world, kind of screwed up things
for a while but it was worth it.

Submitted by sdduuuude on September 24, 2008 - 10:13pm.

Shortly after my twins were born, a contract of mine was abruptly ended by an upheaval in the client company.

I didn't look for a job for two years.

I tinkered on my house and other crazy projects - one of which you may have seen on TV. Oh - and I flipped a house. Sold it in 2005.

Most importantly, I helped my wife raise baby twins, which was a treat. I really feel like a dad. I was there, man. In the trenches. For two years. When they hit the terrible twos, I was back to work and outta there !

I would like to do this again but in economic times like these, I feel I should be making hay while I still can so I'm keeping the nose to the grindstone. Perhaps when the music ends on this contract I will do some more tinkering - maybe on a web site.

Two years was the longest. I had three or four breaks of 3-to-6 months as well in the last 12 years of independent consulting. I live for them, frankly. I call it "practicing for retirement." I'm pretty good at it by now.

Submitted by nostradamus on September 24, 2008 - 10:16pm.

I take lots of time off and travel a lot. I have been doing this since high school (about 20 years ago). I do not regret it at all. I think the longest I took off was about 10 months. Twice. I usually take 3 to 6 months off whenever I can.

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