Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Sabbatical: What story to tell my employer?
Old 03-30-2017, 04:10 AM   #1
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 16
Sabbatical: What story to tell my employer?

I have been working for the government for 18 years but for the agency that currently employs me for only one year in June. My work conditions allow for a sabbatical after 7 years of government employment. However start and end dates are negotiable.
My plan is to take a one year sabbatical starting in July and not come back at the end. I have been mulling over what to tell my employer.

Option 1 : the truth: I want out but as I am still young (45), I want to make sure I am not making a mistake.

Option 2: my husband is taking a sabbatical and we would like to do this together (implying that I will come back, which might seem more acceptable).

Option 3: wait longer so that taking a sabbatical will be more acceptable after a longer period of employment for my current employer. However, I don't think that I would wait longer than December of this year.

Any advice?
__________________

freed2017 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-30-2017, 04:14 AM   #2
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 16
I should also have mentioned that my husband will actually Fire this summer.
__________________

freed2017 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 06:09 AM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Pinetops
Posts: 414
Quote:
Originally Posted by freed2017 View Post
I have been working for the government for 18 years but for the agency that currently employs me for only one year in June. My work conditions allow for a sabbatical after 7 years of government employment. However start and end dates are negotiable.
My plan is to take a one year sabbatical starting in July and not come back at the end. I have been mulling over what to tell my employer.

Option 1 : the truth: I want out but as I am still young (45), I want to make sure I am not making a mistake.

Option 2: my husband is taking a sabbatical and we would like to do this together (implying that I will come back, which might seem more acceptable).

Option 3: wait longer so that taking a sabbatical will be more acceptable after a longer period of employment for my current employer. However, I don't think that I would wait longer than December of this year.

Any advice?
First, you have two separate decisions to make.

1. Do you want to take a sabbatical, and
2. Assuming that you took the sabbatical, at the end of the approved leave - do you want to return to work. You do not have to answer this question until after you have taken the sabbatical.

If it were me, I'd submit my paperwork for the dates that you would like to take the sabbatical and if you have to state a reason I'd say something like - to take advantage of personal opportunities that I am still healthy enough to take advantage of. No more/No less.

Many moons ago, I worked for an International Non Profit and had the opportunity to travel to Tanzania on multiple occasions. On one of the flights I spoke with a gentleman who was travelling ot Arusha in order to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Anyway, it sounded fascinating and I had set myself a goal that one day that I would do the same.

Five years later I experienced a severe health problem (severe arthritis) whereby I was not able to live out that dream. In retrospect, I wish I made the trek when I was fit and able because little did I know what life had in store.

Years later, I'm pleased to say that medical advances have treated the severe arthritis, but I am much older now and do not have the same energies that I had 20 years ago.

Bottom line: Just Do It!

Michael
IMATERP is offline   Reply With Quote
What a tangled web we weave...
Old 03-30-2017, 06:54 AM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Mdlerth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: The Shire
Posts: 1,112
What a tangled web we weave...

Is this sabbatical paid, or just a promise that you can return to work when it ends? Is there some expectation that you will be accomplishing some professional objective which justifies the time off, like taking courses or executing a research project?

If there is compensation involved, I consider this an ethics question that nobody can answer for you. Would you be taking money under false pretenses?

If there aren't any commitments either way, and you truly want to make sure you are "not making a mistake", then why not just tell them you want to exercise your option to take an unstructured sabbatical per the employee policy? There should be no need to make up stories involving your husband. Just go. Test drive early retirement, and if it works out well, then tell them you won't be able to come back.

Maybe the best and simplest advice is, "Be careful, but not dishonest."
__________________
Paying it forward is the best investment.
Mdlerth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 07:00 AM   #5
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 10,028
I took a 12 week unpaid sabbatical a few months after I got married. I was honest about my intentions (to travel with my husband who was also taking a sabbatical). My boss, a workaholic, did not understand but *his* boss did. Best decision I made. Had a great series of trips.
__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 07:01 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Car-Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Citizen of Texas
Posts: 3,239
Do you really know what the truth is (or will be in a year)? Plans can and often do change! If you want it, take it saying you just want a break or whatever makes you feel good. Leave your options open, the government and/or any private company would.
Car-Guy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 07:13 AM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
CaliKid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Cali
Posts: 898
I would keep your options most open as you do not know what you will want at the end of that year. Good luck and have fun!
__________________
______________________
Hoping to get out around September 1, 2022... I hope, I hope, I hope. Until then off to work I go....
CaliKid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 03:01 PM   #8
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdlerth View Post
Is this sabbatical paid, or just a promise that you can return to work when it ends? Is there some expectation that you will be accomplishing some professional objective which justifies the time off, like taking courses or executing a research project?



If there is compensation involved, I consider this an ethics question that nobody can answer for you. Would you be taking money under false pretenses?



If there aren't any commitments either way, and you truly want to make sure you are "not making a mistake", then why not just tell them you want to exercise your option to take an unstructured sabbatical per the employee policy? There should be no need to make up stories involving your husband. Just go. Test drive early retirement, and if it works out well, then tell them you won't be able to come back.



Maybe the best and simplest advice is, "Be careful, but not dishonest."


The sabbatical is unpaid with no strings attached on my part. My employer, on the other hand, guarantees that I will reintegrate my position, or an equivalent one, at the end.
freed2017 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 03:04 PM   #9
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 16
Thanks to you all for your encouragements and for sharing your personal stories. My resolve is already stronger...I plan to give three months notice at the end of April/beginning of May.
freed2017 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 03:44 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 21,799
The truth is that you probably won't know whether you want to return to work until after you have taken the sabbatical... since it is unpaid, I wouldn't lose much sleep about taking it and then deciding towards the end of the sabbatical.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Retired Jan 2012 at age 56...60/35/5 AA
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 08:14 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,751
Take the sabbatical. They are offering you a free option to come back in a year. Take advantage of it.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 08:50 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,401
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Take the sabbatical. They are offering you a free option to come back in a year. Take advantage of it.
+1

As a university faculty member, I once had an unpaid sabbatical for one year. I had to wait a year because a more senior colleague had requested one. I had to make an application justifying the activities I planned, and how they would benefit my department on my return. I had to commit to returning to my job and staying for at least one year after the end of the sabbatical. had to increase my on call time before and after, so that my colleagues would not be inconvenienced. I had to submit a comprehensive report to the university bigwigs detailing what I had learnt and how it would be used.

Compared to that, you have it easy. Just take it and keep your options open.
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2017, 02:23 AM   #13
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 16
The consensus is to go for it. However, I see no mention of the fact that I am essentially letting down my team/boss who will have to compensate for my absence while I am out there having fun. It is much harder to replace someone leaving temporarily. And having held my position for only a year makes it worse. I think that what is holding me back is guilt. But I guess that you can't have your cake and eat it too. Any thoughts on how to deal with guilt?
freed2017 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2017, 02:34 AM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Country
Posts: 125
So many people on this site have made statements of how they thought megcorp couldn't survive without them. We all find out sooner than later this isn't the case most of the time. Go have some fun!!
tps7742 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2017, 07:51 AM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Pinetops
Posts: 414
Quote:
Originally Posted by freed2017 View Post
The consensus is to go for it. However, I see no mention of the fact that I am essentially letting down my team/boss who will have to compensate for my absence while I am out there having fun. It is much harder to replace someone leaving temporarily. And having held my position for only a year makes it worse. I think that what is holding me back is guilt. But I guess that you can't have your cake and eat it too. Any thoughts on how to deal with guilt?
1. You could pay $150 an hour to a Counselor who will try to help you quash your guilt, or

2. You could just recognize the fact that people come and go every day in all walks of life and that it is important to keep the mindset that you are more important than your j*b.

BTW - I have had a couple of BAD J*BS in my life and after the last dysfunctional one, I changed my mindset to view myself as a Temporary Employee no matter where I w*rk or what I did. This has been really helpful for me as I do not get personally attached to w*rk anymore.

Have FUN!

Michael
IMATERP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2017, 07:56 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ivinsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,141
Quote:
Originally Posted by freed2017 View Post
The consensus is to go for it. However, I see no mention of the fact that I am essentially letting down my team/boss who will have to compensate for my absence while I am out there having fun. It is much harder to replace someone leaving temporarily. And having held my position for only a year makes it worse. I think that what is holding me back is guilt. But I guess that you can't have your cake and eat it too. Any thoughts on how to deal with guilt?
It's possible they may hire a permanent worker for your job and just slot you into another position when/if you return. Is this a fair tradeoff for you? If you like your exact position and think you might end up working a few more years, this is a possible downside. Also, if you want to keep working and the office has to do too much extra work when you are gone, your co-workers might harbor some lingering hard feelings when you come back.

It kind of seems like you want to have your cake and eat it too, which is understandable but might leave some hard feelings in your workplace. Only you can decide what is most important to you
ivinsfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2017, 10:11 AM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,751
Quote:
Originally Posted by freed2017 View Post
The consensus is to go for it. However, I see no mention of the fact that I am essentially letting down my team/boss who will have to compensate for my absence while I am out there having fun. It is much harder to replace someone leaving temporarily. And having held my position for only a year makes it worse. I think that what is holding me back is guilt. But I guess that you can't have your cake and eat it too. Any thoughts on how to deal with guilt?
Two easy ways, short term and long term:

- In the short term, recognize that if they found you surplus to current requirements you would be lucky to get so much as a nice goodbye. Employers can and do chuck people out on a moment's notice and you are no different.

- In the long term, you will be easily replaced. Sorry to say, but we are just cogs in the machine and for the vast majority of workers there are plenty of replacement cogs out there.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2017, 10:17 AM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 21,799
Quote:
Originally Posted by freed2017 View Post
The consensus is to go for it. However, I see no mention of the fact that I am essentially letting down my team/boss who will have to compensate for my absence while I am out there having fun. It is much harder to replace someone leaving temporarily. And having held my position for only a year makes it worse. I think that what is holding me back is guilt. But I guess that you can't have your cake and eat it too. Any thoughts on how to deal with guilt?
That's your boss' problem to deal with... that is part of s/he gets paid for. No need for any guilt... they will adapt... no one is indispensable.

Do you think they would have similar trepidation if the situation were reversed and they had to RIF you? Probably not.. like you they would not ba happy about it but would deal with it.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Retired Jan 2012 at age 56...60/35/5 AA
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2017, 02:46 PM   #19
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaela View Post
1. You could pay $150 an hour to a Counselor who will try to help you quash your guilt, or



2. You could just recognize the fact that people come and go every day in all walks of life and that it is important to keep the mindset that you are more important than your j*b.



BTW - I have had a couple of BAD J*BS in my life and after the last dysfunctional one, I changed my mindset to view myself as a Temporary Employee no matter where I w*rk or what I did. This has been really helpful for me as I do not get personally attached to w*rk anymore.



Have FUN!



Michael


I choose 2 ... AND I intend to use this forum as an affordable alternative to 1.

Thanks for the advice, I'm sure I wouldn't be better off with a pricey counselor!
freed2017 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2017, 04:20 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Fedup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Southern Cal
Posts: 4,032
Do you get free healthcare while you are on sabbatical.
__________________

Fedup is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
20 Months to go - When do I tell my employer? cat wrangler Hi, I am... 44 05-04-2016 05:39 PM
Tell your LBYM 'conversion' story here jon-nyc FIRE and Money 89 01-21-2013 08:57 AM
Tell me everything or tell me nothing Rich_by_the_Bay Health and Early Retirement 60 07-21-2009 11:11 PM
tell a funny story about yourself simple girl Other topics 40 01-22-2009 03:54 AM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:32 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.