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What about work!

Getting the time off

There is a massive difference between booking a couple of weeks leave and being able to get away for over four months. Our work situations are very different and therefore so was our approach to getting time off. For Nigel this meant approaching his line manager and formally applying for unpaid leave. He had to fill in a form saying why he wanted the time off, what the impact might be and how thus could be managed organisationally. The biggest issue was probably the time it took to get the agreement. Responding to this request was understandably not top of their list of priorities given their busy working lives and they had to discuss with him the possible pension implications before granting the leave. It probably took a couple of months to get the agreement and given that you can't really start booking anything until you have this, I guess the moral of the story is put your request in plenty of time. In the end they were very supportive of his plans.

It is very different in terms of my work as I am self employed and in the process of building up my business as a qualified counsellor. Part of the reason that we are taking this once in a lifetime trip now, before my work is fully established, is to minimise the impact of taking so much time out. Part of my budgeting needed to take into account not just my lack of earnings whilst we are away, but also the inevitable wind down time before we go, and to allow for building up the business when I get back. We have timed the trip to coincide with when I am able to start claiming an occupational pension which means that I will have a small income whilst we are away. Although I am self employed I do work for/ out of several organisations so had to at least discuss my plans with them. As a counsellor I have had to explain to clients my timescale for working with them, and naturally this raises some questions and curiosity, which I needed to be prepared for.

Everyone's circumstances will be different and have varying implications for taking time off (unless you are fully retired and in receipt of enough pension to fund the trip). This will determine how easy it will be to get away and for how long. I guess it is a matter of working through these implications and coming up with solutions that work for both you and your employer/ clients.

Once all of this was sorted we could turn our attention to exactly where we were going to go, and enjoying the planning and the anticipation!

Posted by Gill's Travels 01:15 Archived in United Kingdom

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