Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Plan - Jobs, House, Trip

I mentioned last time that I was waiting to hear what was going to happen with my job when the hubby and I leave for our Round the World Adventure.
Last week Friday I got my answer.

While I am out, they are going to hire a new employee to take my place.  This person will be hired as a temporary employee with the possibility of full-time hire.  Basically, if the newly hired person turns out to be more amazing than me or is set in their role by the time I return, I will have to find a new job.  However, there is the possibility that I will be able to return to my job, depending on the outcome.

The hubby and I have been analyzing a lot of things, reviewing our options, our budget, and different scenarios.

This is where we stand today:
  • We will be gone for approximately four months
    • Upside:  This allows us enough wiggle room in our budget to keep our house without renting it out, preventing the headache and work of packing up all of our stuff, finding a renter, and paying all the fees of property management. If we can find someone we know who needs a place to stay for a few months, we would happily rent it out to them, but we don't want to have to worry about moving all of our stuff out.
    • This also, in theory, might increase the chance of me returning to my job.  The less time the new person has to get comfortable and get into the job, the better the chance that my employers will welcome me back.
    • Downside:  This will cause us to have to eliminate some of our destinations in order to get the free-flowing aspect out of our trip.  Which leads me to the next point.
  • We are going to focus our attention on some key destinations in South America, and spend the majority of our time exploring Southern and Eastern Europe.
    • A key component of this trip is that we have the ability to "not plan" every day, every destination or every experience.  We want to experience more of our world organically, allowing our whims and interactions with other people to guide us along our journey.  By reducing our footprint a bit, we help to ensure that this will be possible.
    • The first month or so, in South America, will be a little more planned down to the date and location, simply because of what we want to see and the amount of time we want to see it in.  But once we arrive in (tentatively) Italy, things can start to flow naturally.
  • We will leave in February.
    • Due to some constraints of our destinations in South America, specifically Machu Picchu, we have pushed back our departure date by a couple weeks.  We really want to hike the Inca trail, but January is, on average, a very rainy month and not the most pleasant time to do it.  The trail is closed in February, but reopens in March.  If we start elsewhere in South America and make our way to that area in the beginning of March, we are *hoping* it will work out that we can hike the trail (weather dependent).  Plus, it's not high season, so we have a much better chance of getting into a hike with the "play it by ear" attitude that we are adopting if the weather isn't cooperating.  (We will still visit Machu Picchu either way, but if it's gross weather we would just take the train...the easy way).
So, that's where things stand now.  It's exciting because we are starting to finalize some  plans and make real decisions.  I am currently working with to figure out our flights, and we hope to book at least our flight out soon!  THEN it will be officially official! ;-)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Waiting Game

Currently I am in limbo, waiting for some kind of answer from my superiors regarding last week's request and proposal.  The hubby and I decided to propose a leave of four months for us to embark on our round-the-world adventure.
We felt that this was a good compromise, cutting our leave request by 1/3. It would reduce our time abroad, of course, but we're trying to find that balance of dreams - our travel dreams vs. career dreams.  So, four months is what I proposed and what I am waiting to hear back on.

Each day since this proposal, at least one of my managers has approached me and assured me that they "are working on it" and "talking about it" and it's "not a no" yet.  Yesterday I was feeling very optimistic about everything feeling like I might receive a response and it might be in my favor.  That did not happen.

As much as I'm trying not to stress because it isn't in my hands right now, it's difficult, because it is causing me anxiety no matter how hard I try to pretend it's not.  I am impatient to begin with...and this is a pretty big thing to be waiting on.  However, I keep trying to remind myself that the longer it takes, probably the better the outcome will be because it means they are working on it and trying to come up with a solution.  They aren't just saying "no."

Either way, we have a lot of work to do and heaps of decisions to make.  For now, I'm just trying to remain optimistic and put my trust in my belief that whatever is best for us will be.

Tick. Tock.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cat's Out of the Bag

Tuesday I had the conversation that I have been planning for, rehearsing, dreading, and anticipating:  I spoke with my managers about our trip plans and what they mean for my position at the organization.

A lot has happened over the past couple months, personally and at work, causing me to feel a little less comfortable with just saying "goodbye," and wanting to do everything I can to secure my job as a place to come back to after the adventure is complete.  Things have been moving forward for me, I'm accomplishing a lot, and the organization's leadership has changed, culminating in a different type of culture at the top - the one I've been pushing for and wanting since I began working here.  I'm happy at work, happier than I've been, and I see myself moving into the future with this company.  Because of all of that, I decided I needed to tell my bosses as soon as possible about our plans in hopes that we can work something out so that I can "have my cake and eat it too."

The conversations were difficult. The first one went surprisingly well.  The second did not go as well, but I believe that shock and surprise were the culprits of a less-than-favorable, yet not completely surprising reaction.  24 hours later it is already clear that things are on a better path.

At this point, I have been tasked with basically talking with the hub and deciding exactly what we are asking for.  Then, the company will convene and decide if it's something they can give me or not.  It's scary not to be in control, but then again, I know that the true power is in our hands because we know what we want and I am willing to walk away from my job if it means sacrifing my dream.

It's unfortunate and I hope it doesn't have to come to that, but that's not up to me anymore.  I'm feeling relief, although my part is not yet over.  I have a feeling the next few weeks are going to be very intense.

Stay tuned, and wish me luck!