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SamBrooks_01
03-13-2016, 12:31
I know this is pretty broad and will be very different for everybody, but I'm looking for opinions-

Planning to thru hike in 2017 so I still have a while. But how do yall deal with jobs and everything?
Anybody ever just say, "Hey, boss man, I need to take 6 months off for the AT!"? That actually work for you? Do people generally just quit their current job and come back to find something new?

If I was planning to find a new job it wouldn't be an issue, but I'm actually starting a good new job tomorrow, haha... I would be at it for almost exactly a year (if all goes as planned) before I start my trek. When it gets a little closer (probably like Nov/Oct at the latest) I'll probably just mention it to the boss and see what they have to say about it.

Yall just let me know what YOU did or plan on doing.

Thanks

jj dont play
03-13-2016, 13:27
I do contract work so it's a tad different. Been on a large project for several months .Talked to client, told them I'd wrap up all current work then going do the AT, if there's still work when I return I should be able to get back on it. Went thru all the proper steps though, talked to him first, gave the official letter then went to lunch to talk about it more and future plans


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heatherfeather
03-13-2016, 13:43
In my particular job as a pharmacist with a national chain, I would be taking a leave of absence. They would probably need to fill my position, but I could take an open position once done. So it really just depends.


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soumodeler
03-13-2016, 14:57
I walked into my boss's office and told him I was going to hike the AT and would be gone for 6 months starting on x date, and I would like to keep my job but I'm going regardless. He said ok, we'll see you when you get back, and that was about the end of it. That attempt didn't work and I went back to work, just showed back up on the next Monday and everything went back to normal.

Every now and then he will ask me if I'm going hiking again. I haven't told him about 2017 yet...

colorado_rob
03-13-2016, 15:08
What I did is not applicable, as I simply retired.

But if I hadn't retired, and I thought about not doing so, and had a great job for only a year, I'd simply try to work my butt off and prove my worth and ask for that leave of absence with plenty of notice. It depends a lot, of course, on your particular profession and demand for your talents.

You're 23! Perfect time to stretch your legs, so to speak.

We currently live in a modestly thriving economic climate, at least for now. Maybe that will be a factor: if unemployment is still low in a year or not.

SamBrooks_01
03-13-2016, 15:11
Yeah, I used to do contract work so that would sure be an easier situation, haha. Unfortunately we just couldn't get enough work and down time doesn't pay.

SamBrooks_01
03-13-2016, 15:15
And, colorado_rob, right now that looks like the plan. I work hard and plan on working hard. Show up early, go home late, put in every step to the best of my ability and hope they see that. I plan on bringing it up around October, that way I've been at it for a little while but still have plenty of time to plan for it.

Without giving too much info, my job will be something that , theoretically, I can come back to and won't really miss anything, even if they stick me in a different area.

PennyPincher
03-13-2016, 19:20
of course every job will be different. You might try asking for a "sabbatical." really depends on the size of the company and the type of job you have.

admirald7s
03-14-2016, 01:40
My situation isn't unique in spirit, but probably in degree. I will carry over 6 weeks of annual leave into Jan 2017 (max I can keep without "use or lose"). I plan to finish my NOBO at the end of July, so I will accrue an addition 2 weeks of annual leave. I will also have 3 days of credit time (overtime). There are 3 paid holidays in there. I will then have 2-3 weeks' travel comp (another form of overtime). That's 11 weeks so far. Then I'll have 4 weeks' of advanced leave I can take (will have to pay it all back in 2018). I will also use a few days of legitimate sick leave, but will have to discuss with my boss about whether physical recuperations via zeros/neros is kosher. If so, probably add in 2-3 weeks of additional sick leave. Once that's done, I'm down to leave without pay, which I can take indefinitely.

So, 16-19 weeks of paid time total. I'll mix in my LWOP throughout (probably 2-4 hours every pay period) to keep from having a "missing" paycheck.

So, I'll keep my job, but not take any vacation this year outside of existing "overtime" that would expire before my hike anyway, and I'll burn all my accrued leave.

The cherry on top is my middle-aged boss is very jealous and wishes he had done it before he had kids.


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KDogg
03-14-2016, 04:19
In the end I decided to resign...however, they tried to get me to take a leave and it was discussed at length. I didn't really want to do that as I liked the idea of transitioning out of my current position. It will really depend on your job. If I had taken a leave the max would have been five months including vacation which I would have had to take first. I work in academia and they had very clear and distinct policies governing this.

jbmundy87
03-14-2016, 08:37
My situation was a little different than yours but also similar. I had 2 years to work. I decided to hike in 2014 giving myself 2 years to save up the money. Well I managed to get a new job in August of 2014, just a few months after making that plan. Well here we are 2 years later, I gave my boss 6 months notice. They were not happy with the idea but also understood the whole "chasing a dream" aspect. They told me they couldn't promise me a position when I return but if one is open it is mine. This is a small company and they will have to replace me somehow for the 5 or 6 months I plan to hike. But the closer the day comes to me leaving the more they have been hinting at "when" I come back rather than "if".

I made the assumption I was going to have to find a new job when I returned and will most likely still look around and see what else is available. But it is also a little reassuring to know that 1 possibility might be there. Its a scary thing, but for the most part employers get it. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if most wished they could do something similar.

DuneElliot
03-14-2016, 09:07
I work seasonally, August thru May, so when I finally get around to doing my PCT thru-hike in 2018 I will already have been laid off work. I may or may not go back if or when I finish but those 4 months of summer are always filled with time in the mountains. It's an unusual set up but it works for me.

4eyedbuzzard
03-14-2016, 09:07
My situation isn't unique in spirit, but probably in degree. I will carry over 6 weeks of annual leave into Jan 2017 (max I can keep without "use or lose"). I plan to finish my NOBO at the end of July, so I will accrue an addition 2 weeks of annual leave. I will also have 3 days of credit time (overtime). There are 3 paid holidays in there. I will then have 2-3 weeks' travel comp (another form of overtime). That's 11 weeks so far. Then I'll have 4 weeks' of advanced leave I can take (will have to pay it all back in 2018). I will also use a few days of legitimate sick leave, but will have to discuss with my boss about whether physical recuperations via zeros/neros is kosher. If so, probably add in 2-3 weeks of additional sick leave. Once that's done, I'm down to leave without pay, which I can take indefinitely.

So, 16-19 weeks of paid time total. I'll mix in my LWOP throughout (probably 2-4 hours every pay period) to keep from having a "missing" paycheck.

So, I'll keep my job, but not take any vacation this year outside of existing "overtime" that would expire before my hike anyway, and I'll burn all my accrued leave.

The cherry on top is my middle-aged boss is very jealous and wishes he had done it before he had kids.


Sent from my iPhone using TapatalkSounds like we work for the same "company" ;) Just to add for any other Fed employees with similar hiking plans, when you accumulate 80 hours of LWOP (leave without pay) in the current leave year, you lose the annual and sick leave that would be earned for the pay period in which the 80th LWOP hour occurs. It then starts a new 80 hr LWOP cycle, when you reach 160 hrs LWOP for the year, you would again lose the AL and SL normally earned during that pay period. Comp time must generally be taken within 26 pay periods of when it is earned, so it is usually better to use it up first, e.g. comp time earned in PP 6 of 2015 MUST be used by PP 5 in 2016. So if you can mix in small amounts of LWOP each PP and only accumulate lets say 159 hrs total, you wouldn't lose the AL and SL for the second cycle. You also have to remember to be in "pay status" either directly before or after a holiday to get paid for it. A bit of a balancing act is required when it comes to managing leave, comp time, LWOP, etc. to achieve the best possible result.

EDIT: Taking SL for hiking purposes, even zeros, is a tough call. Perhaps recuperating from the physical fatigue after seeing and on advice of your doctor ;) around when you finish might be a better plan. Maybe you have a doctor in Gorham or thereabouts . . . Just a thought.

admirald7s
03-14-2016, 11:32
Good to know about the loss of AL/SL for every 80 hours of LWOP! That may change how I plan things slightly. The comp/credit time I have right now will be used for a short vacation in the fall, and all the new stuff will be burned at the start of my trip next year.


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saltysack
03-14-2016, 20:54
My situation isn't unique in spirit, but probably in degree. I will carry over 6 weeks of annual leave into Jan 2017 (max I can keep without "use or lose"). I plan to finish my NOBO at the end of July, so I will accrue an addition 2 weeks of annual leave. I will also have 3 days of credit time (overtime). There are 3 paid holidays in there. I will then have 2-3 weeks' travel comp (another form of overtime). That's 11 weeks so far. Then I'll have 4 weeks' of advanced leave I can take (will have to pay it all back in 2018). I will also use a few days of legitimate sick leave, but will have to discuss with my boss about whether physical recuperations via zeros/neros is kosher. If so, probably add in 2-3 weeks of additional sick leave. Once that's done, I'm down to leave without pay, which I can take indefinitely.

So, 16-19 weeks of paid time total. I'll mix in my LWOP throughout (probably 2-4 hours every pay period) to keep from having a "missing" paycheck.

So, I'll keep my job, but not take any vacation this year outside of existing "overtime" that would expire before my hike anyway, and I'll burn all my accrued leave.

The cherry on top is my middle-aged boss is very jealous and wishes he had done it before he had kids.


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Sounds like you got it figured out! Go while you can I'm jealous....


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bstiffler
03-16-2016, 07:15
still trying to figure out how I'm going to work things out in 2017 or 18. In similar situation to amirald so if I can't work something out may have to see if I can work out some kind of leave of absence. people I work with have left to work at facilities in Colorado and Alaska for a year and then came back. so Ill probably try something like that or if things don't get any better at work, transfer to another facility and try to hike it out in between