I found myself actually googling the exact phrase “How to tell your boss you’re leaving to travel”. I personally felt a wave of fear, guilt, excitement, anxiety, before getting this weight off of my chest. It’s a fine balance between wanting what is best for the company and wanting what is best for yourself. But first I must say, don’t feel one bit guilty for wanting what is best for me. If you don’t invest in yourself, no one else will.
If you’re not a “just wing it” sort of person, don’t be afraid to write out what you want to say first. But even staring at that blank page can be intimidating. Here are 5 things that I would have liked to hear before I booked that quick meeting before heading to the airport.
1. Give plenty of notice.
I definitely respect my company and want to best for them in every way. I felt that it wouldn’t be fair for me to just peace out, with only two weeks notice. Also the team I work with is fairly small, so me leaving would be a pretty big impact on the team. I have a good relationship with my boss, he respects me and I respect him, so I gave 3 months notice of my departure. I felt the more notice the better with helping finding a replacement, and distributing my responsibilities. A fear of mine was that I would be treated differently if everyone knew I was leaving. I am lucky that everything went smoothly, but if you also have this fear, maybe 3 months is way too long and I’d suggest at least 3-4 weeks.
2. Offer to help with your transition.
Another way to show your respect (and hence get respect back), showing your willingness to help out your team. Ways you can do this can be offering to help find your replacement or referring contacts, training new team members, transferring your files, etc. A smooth transition will also ensure that old team members won’t be trying to hunt you down while you’re on the road in order to find a file that you were working on.
3. Don’t burn bridges.
No matter how much you hate your job, show some respect. We all dream of leaving a bad job with a big “screw you” while throwing your papers at your boss’s face. Find your self control and refrain. No good will come from severed connection in your job industry. You never know who you will work with, run into the future, and who they are connected to.
4. You don’t need to justify yourself.
You aren’t asking if you can leave to go travel, you can, and you are. You’re doing this for yourself, not anyone else and you don’t owe anyone anything for it. There is nothing wrong with simply doing something selfishly for yourself. Life is short and stop living it for others.
5. Be fearless and do it.
Too many people are filled with the word “but”, but I can save more money working, but what will my friends and family say, but I’m not old enough, but I’m too old… It is never the right time to go, tomorrow will not be the right time, next week won’t be the right time. It will never be a good time to leave your job, your friends, your family. If you keep waiting for the perfect timing, it won’t come. So take control and just go, find the courage to decide your own fate and live the life that you want to live.
I hope this helped and you now have the courage to tell your boss you’re leaving in search of a new adventure. I can successfully say that I haven’t looked back since. Now maybe it’s time to pack & get everything else in order!
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Let us know how your experience went with your boss! Happy Travels!