The Day I Told Work I Was Leaving

The Day I Told Work I Was Leaving

Ever since I made the decision to travel I’ve been dreading the day I had to tell work I was leaving. Perhaps if this had not been my one and only full time job since shrugging off my student lifestyle and budget, it would have been different. All I knew, I was as nervous about this day as I had been when I was sitting in the back seat of my old car trying to unfasten her… oh you get point.

Now most people would stroll to the managers office shut the door and speak their peace… not for me. Had I known what was going to unveil itself today I would have given notice last week hell I’d have done it last year.

You see it just so happened that the particular day I chose to give my notice at work was the very same day the owner had decided to come in for a meeting. Not just any meeting, a meeting that is to guide the business for the foreseeable future with new goals and financial incentives for everyone.

Somewhere around the “I’ve got a great team to help me achieve this” and “if things go well I want to make you all partners” that I really really wished I wasn’t there. I wished that when he stopped speaking I didn’t have to throw a monkey wrench into the most well thought out and inspiring meeting I’ve had there for the last 6 years.

Alas if I didn’t grow a pair and speak now when was I going too? next week, next month? So after the discussion stopped and the manager asked me what I was thinking, I broke the news they didn’t want to hear… I’m leaving.

The owner looked at me, the manager was surprised but knew it was coming as I’ve been eluding to leaving and traveling for awhile and my other work mate, well he was slowly burning a hole in my head with his eyes from the other side of the office. So it went well your thinking.

I explained my reasons for leaving (not that I really needed too) and we moved onto discussing what sort of replacement we would hire and the role changes that would need to happen. I had finally taken a major step forward in my travel plans and I walked out of work at knock off time with a smile from ear to ear, finally having conquered my fear of telling my work mates.

Now as I sit here writing this post at 2am (who sleeps after defining that your trip is really happening) thinking over today’s proceedings I know I’m going to miss my work and my clients. Working for such a small company allowed me to make my work colleagues into friends.

In saying that I also know that I’m turning a page in my life book and that an even better paragraph is waiting to be written.

So stay tuned folks this little Aussie is really going to travel the world. / CC BY 2.0

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45 Responses to The Day I Told Work I Was Leaving

  1. JOHNNY VAGABOND February 1, 2010 at 1:34 AM #

    congrats, mate! no turning back now.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 1, 2010 at 7:53 PM #

      Thanks Wes, While my work would love me to change my mind its not going to happen I’m way to excited to let this slip away

  2. CANDICE February 1, 2010 at 5:37 AM #

    YAAAY! Not gonna lie, doing this is my biggest dread ever. But I’m glad it went well, sounds like you work with a very understanding team.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 1, 2010 at 7:57 PM #

      Hey Candice. There is only 3 of us in the office and we are all pretty close. I’ve been there 6 years and the others about 10 or more.

      Its nice to have such a close group but it made telling them harder.

  3. CORNELIUS AESOP February 1, 2010 at 8:10 AM #

    Congrats! That took a hefty pair of marbles I’m sure, especially after the boss spoke and everything. I am sure that it will be difficult for me as well, it’s hard to leave any job you like, but my coworkers already know I’m in a temporary position. My job is one of those stepping stone type placements and once I finish my Masters in Ed. degree I’m pretty sure they realize I’ll be off, but even then it would be difficult.

    Looking forward to the build up till take off, and future posts from there.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 1, 2010 at 8:05 PM #

      Had it been a normal work day it would have been a breeze, well at least not as hard 🙂

      Having a temporary job has its bonus’s when your wanting to travel eh. Work has known for a couple of years I was intending to leave, but i still caught them off guard.

  4. JOYA February 1, 2010 at 12:26 PM #

    Congratulations! I can understand how hard it must have been to do this. I think it about myself sometimes but good luck on your trip and can’t wait to read about it.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 1, 2010 at 8:08 PM #

      Hey Joya, yes it certainly wasn’t the easiest thing I done in my life. Only a couple of months till I set off and its dawning on me there is lots to do, but its way exciting.

  5. SOFIA February 1, 2010 at 8:30 PM #

    Good on ya!! Now after having quit your job on the worst day possible, you can handle anything! 😉

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 1, 2010 at 8:54 PM #

      Haha I hope so Sofia. It is dawning on me how much I need to now do over the next couple of months though. I think I’ll be visiting melbourne this weekend for a little shopping reconnaissance.

  6. ANIL February 1, 2010 at 11:20 PM #

    It’s a moment that will resonate but fade quickly as your travels begin. I still remember when I completely left the world of working for someone else but know that I wouldn’t want to go back, as difficult as it was to leave initially.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 1, 2010 at 11:58 PM #

      Hey Anil, that’s very true. How can you think of your old job when your exploring Venice or riding the train to Prague. My only concern will be when the money runs out and I have to go home 🙁

  7. ANDY HAYES | SHARING TRAVEL EXPERIENCES February 2, 2010 at 5:59 AM #

    Congrats! Here’s to putting your best foot forward.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 2, 2010 at 9:42 PM #

      Thanks Andy. I will imagine it will be many foots forward wandering around Europe.

  8. NOMADIC CHICK February 2, 2010 at 6:38 AM #

    You did it! Pat on the backs, and all that. It’s always hard leaving the familiar, but what you crave is newness, adventure and even the hum drum days on the road. Perhaps your co-workers will now read your travels like we do!

    PS: If you’ve been working there since uni, that always looks great on a resume. You’ll have no trouble getting work in the UK.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 2, 2010 at 9:44 PM #

      haha thanks heaps I’m really glad that bit is over. I think I’ll leave work to follow me on facebook and with emails. They are great and all but I don’t know would be weird them reading what I write. They may well be honest and tell me I suck 🙂

  9. LINDSAY February 2, 2010 at 9:29 AM #

    Oh my! I let the information trickle a little too slowly and it totally backfired. I booked my RTW ticket in August, and a week later my boss mentioned that the project I was leading would go well into February (I’m set to leave tomorrow!). I told him about the trip and he said that I could take a leave of absence. A leave? Hell no. I needed out by November and I wasn’t going to take this trip just to come back to the same job!

    When I finally let him know 6 weeks before my last day, he gave me the silent treatment for 3 full weeks. It wasn’t until 2 days before my last day did he take me up on my offer to work contract for several more weeks after I departed full time. Nuts.

  10. NANCY February 2, 2010 at 2:47 AM #

    Wow! Congrats!! Such a huge step. It takes balls to quit a job and even bigger balls to do it to travel. Totally the right decision. I’m so happy for you!!! Hope you’re beginning to celebrate righteously. 🙂

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 2, 2010 at 9:41 PM #

      Thanks Nancy. Yes once I told work there was no turning back and while we are a really close bunch I did expect some fallout, so far nothing.

      Since I told them I’ve been frantic with, damn how am I going to get all this organized in the next 2 months. So I’m super excited and spending every waking minute ensuring I know I’m ready.

  11. THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 2, 2010 at 9:47 PM #

    Hey Lindsay. Oh mate that’s terrible. As I work in an office of 3 I couldn’t imagine my boss giving me the silent treatment especially since she palms half her work off to me 🙂

    Good luck on your trip I’ll be sure to check out your blog and see where you are off too. Perhaps we will catch up for a beer somewhere along the way.

  12. GOURMANTIC February 3, 2010 at 5:11 PM #

    Congrats on taking the difficult step. Sounds like the timing was the best all round. No need to let your employer plan ahead then hit them with the news of your departure.

    I look forward to your adventures 🙂
    .-= Gourmantic´s last blog ..How Your Blog Can Turn Your Holiday into Work =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 3, 2010 at 8:22 PM #

      Yeah that’s exactly what I was thinking when I told them. If it was me in their place I’d want to be told. Also they knew i was leaving at some point it was just the when that wasn’t filled in.

  13. ALY February 3, 2010 at 12:46 PM #

    Congrats!! You won’t be looking back after about a week out. I had to laugh reading your blog because when I quit my first “real” job after college it went about almost just like your day! The economy crashed here last year and I had only told one close co-worker, but before my set day to tell them they went and fired a bunch of people and “re-organized”. Leaving me with alot more responsibility (no increase in pay mind you)…boy did I have mixed feelings walking into the president’s office…Hope to see some posts from the world soon!
    .-= Aly´s last blog ..LIFE ABOARD & ABROAD =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 3, 2010 at 2:06 PM #

      Thanks Aly. I had always decided to tell work at the end of January and I couldn’t believe what was happening the day I decided to tell them. I’m glad I did because letting it go would have made me into a bit of an asshole. Things are ok now work is just like normal except for the fact I’m more and more excited to travel now that I know I’m leaving.

  14. ALYSSA February 3, 2010 at 3:38 PM #

    Congrats! and good luck to you – I’m sure you made the (difficult but) right decision!! 🙂
    .-= Alyssa´s last blog ..Why our word choice matters…in a big way =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 3, 2010 at 8:20 PM #

      Thanks heaps Alyssa. Yes its most definitely the right decision for me. Work is great but but its time to see something new.

  15. CARRIE February 5, 2010 at 12:26 AM #

    Congratulations! The day I told work I was leaving was one of the most liberating moment of my life. Even eight years later, I remember being scared and totally exhilarated by the thought of being on my own for the first time ever. This is a great moment. Savor it!
    .-= Carrie´s last blog ..SITEMAP =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 6, 2010 at 2:28 PM #

      Thanks Carrie. Ever since having told them I have been so excited about leaving. All I need to do now is sell my vehicle and I won’t have anything holding me back.

  16. GARRETT February 5, 2010 at 11:54 AM #

    Yikes! If only they had laid you off with a nice little severance package. On my last big trip, I took a hike about a month before grad school started, so the pain was less intense.

    Good luck on the planning man. See you on Twitter!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 6, 2010 at 2:29 PM #

      Hey mate. Yes a nice severance package would be even better but they do owe me approx 7-8 weeks holiday pay so that’s not too bad. Will come in mighty useful when I find myself running low on cash.

  17. SUZY February 9, 2010 at 3:39 AM #

    I hate how this is looked down upon, leaving the 9 to 5 to go do what you love. I have a friend who just “tried” to quit his job because he was so unhappy and wants to start a career as a travel photographer. His employer said it would haunt him for the rest of his life if he quit! So ridiculous…I’m glad your work was pretty supportive but that initial “I have to go tell someone I’m not coming back” is very hard to do. I’ve been there before. It takes a very courageous person to know they can be more content doing something else. I see it as more of a success. Way to go!
    .-= Suzy´s last blog ..I’m Hungry for Travel and Food =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 9, 2010 at 6:10 PM #

      It must be an American thing because a lot of people in Australia leave their jobs for a career break. My mum was a bit like that but isn’t that what mums do, worry for you? I hate telling any place I’m leaving or breaking up with someone that parts always going to be difficult.

      While I will go back to my career (hopefully when I move to the UK) I think breaks are a great way to keep you happy and enjoying life. The whole idea of working for 40 years with 4 weeks holiday per year is no way to live.

  18. AYNGELINA February 9, 2010 at 2:31 AM #

    I had a somewhat similar experience in that my group was changing and they were looking to build it around me. I’ve known for a year that I would leave before April 1st and every time we had the conversations about long terms plans for my group it was really hard not to tell them.

    However, the day I returned from Christmas vacation I couldn’t wait any longer. I felt nausous and just needed to get it off my chest. They were incredibly supportive and understanding.
    .-= ayngelina´s last blog ..The 8 Weeks and Counting List =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 9, 2010 at 6:02 PM #

      I always went really quiet whenever anything long term was discussed, sort of played along but didn’t commit to anything. It was hard to not tell them earlier but I didn’t want to tell them before Christmas knowing my boss would stress about it. They are happy with what I want to do but also (while not trying to sound up myself) know they have a lot of work to train my replacement as I have been running a great deal of work solo.

  19. GRRRL TRAVELER February 11, 2010 at 10:10 AM #

    I think its funny and ironic how timing of your boss’s good news made it potentially harder for you to quit. Almost like a test of courage. For some reason, those weird synchronicities happen a lot- almost like the situation senses the change and acts against it. Congrats to you for sticking to your guns!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 11, 2010 at 7:43 PM #

      Thx for the comment Christine. It was so a test of my will to break away and travel without a doubt. I was originally going to tell them I was leaving 2 days before but first the manager was away sick then I got held up the day after.

      I am so happy to be doing this. I may be gone 3 months or 3 years no matter it will be a life altering journey that I will never forget.

  20. MARTA February 11, 2010 at 6:54 PM #

    well done! i think that’s really one of the biggest and hardest step to make this kind of trip happening. no you are left with all the excitement of planning

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 11, 2010 at 7:48 PM #

      Hey Marta, excitement is one word for it. Since deciding I’ve been shopping for a backpack which was so excitement overload. Spent many a night up till 2am talking to other travellers and still its nothing compared to how I will feel when the plane lands in Paris and I begin. hehe I’m not excited at all eh 🙂

  21. CORBIN February 12, 2010 at 4:36 AM #

    Good work amigo! I know how difficult it is to quit a job for a risky adventure. It’s one thing to quit a job you hate, but when it’s with a company you respect and a job you enjoy it’s a completely different ball game.

    It’ll all be worth it in the end. Like you said in one of the previous comments, I think America, along with Canada, frowns down upon GAP years and any sort of travel that lasts longer than 2 weeks. If only they knew what they were missing.
    .-= Corbin´s last blog ..6 Canadian Travel Bloggers you should be Following =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 14, 2010 at 9:09 PM #

      Thanks mate. That’s so true, if I didn’t like where I worked the decision would have been so much easier and I would never have given them as much notice.

      I just don’t understand the whole mentality of america etc not wanting to travel or at least have time off. Perhaps its just because I’ve never lived over there but seriously holidays all the time how can anybody not want that.

  22. ANNATROUBLE February 13, 2010 at 4:03 PM #

    I am thinking when would be a good time to tell my boss that sometime this year we’ll be leaving Japan (moving either to France or to Israel – not decided yet). Probably I’ll just give her a week’s notice…

    PS. I’m not saying anything on my blog yet, because my coworkers read it too. LOL.
    .-= AnnaTrouble´s last blog ..My Phobia of Onsens and Japanese-style Baths =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 14, 2010 at 9:12 PM #

      Hey Anna. My work still don’t read my blog which I like. Call me vain but I’m much happier having people I don’t know so well read it rather than people that know me very well.

      haha I could never give my work a weeks notice as I could be back here in 6 months looking for work or need a good reference given this is my only long term job I have had.

  23. RACHEL February 14, 2010 at 5:05 PM #

    I’ve been in your shoes before, but I didn’t grow a pair (kind of a good thing, I guess) and waited 2 months before finally telling my boss that I needed to leave. I knew in December 09 that I had wanted to leave, but I felt like I owed something to the company, and every time I thought “this is the day I give notice,” something would come up at work. I finally gave my notice in March of 09 and stayed for a month (an extended 2 weeks notice), but I’ve been happy ever since. Best of luck!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Valentine’s Day Cocktails: The Roundup =-.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 14, 2010 at 9:16 PM #

      Hey Rachel. I felt exactly the same way. I don’t know why I felt like I owed work anything after all I’d been there for 6 years now and more than worked off their commitment to hire me.

      I was very close to putting off telling work the day that I did but I knew if I didn’t do it then when would I do it. Overly happy that I have told them now and have found myself counting down the weeks till I leave.

      There is only about 6 weeks maybe 7 left if my replacement needs more training. Knowing that though I have started to panic everything won’t be organised in time 🙂



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