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  1. #1
    Registered User Jack89's Avatar
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    Default Gave Notice and Recieved a Surprising Response

    I work as project manager for a large contract security company and have worked with the same client for about 8 years now. I gave my notice on Monday and told both my boss and our client that I was quitting and going on a thru-hike of the AT starting in April.

    They were both surprised at first and thanked me for the six week notice. They were cool with me working until I left for the hike.

    Then yesterday our client told me that he was going to try and work it so I could return to my job after the hike, and my boss said the same. I told them I was flattered, but wasn't sure that I wanted to put them out like that, and to be honest, wasn't sure if I wanted to come back to my job.

    I was called down to my bosses office again this morning and wondered what else there was to talk about. He asked me if I would be willing to wear the company brand and take a GoPro with me to record my trip. He said the company would also want to take a few interviews while I was on trail. I politely told him that this was more of a personal thing and I didn't want to go that route, but appreciated the offer. He asked if I would just be willing to do a before, middle and after interview for the company, and before I could answer he told me to think about it for a few days.

    This is not what I was expecting. I suppose it's a good opportunity for some folks, but I personally think it would just cheapen the experience.

    I'm considering the interviews, but probably will tell him no.

    Has anyone else done something like this? I would really like to hear what y'all think.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    From the company's point of view, it's good public relations -- "hey, one of our employees is doing this cool thing" -- and it makes them look like a decent, caring employer (which they may well be ).

    Your boss has provided some very useful information about your perceived value to the company. If you think you'd like to go back, or even just keep your options open, the interviews might be a good idea (can't really hurt), and there is no requirement that you return at the end.

    Conversely, if you break an ankle on the fourth day out, it might be nice to have a welcoming employer when you get home, ya know?
    Ken B
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    From the company's point of view, it's good public relations -- "hey, one of our employees is doing this cool thing" -- and it makes them look like a decent, caring employer (which they may well be ).

    Your boss has provided some very useful information about your perceived value to the company. If you think you'd like to go back, or even just keep your options open, the interviews might be a good idea (can't really hurt), and there is no requirement that you return at the end.

    Conversely, if you break an ankle on the fourth day out, it might be nice to have a welcoming employer when you get home, ya know?
    also makes for a great resume should you not return to your place of employment , but decide to make a lateral move...no one could argue that employment history. From a human resource point of view, what's good for one company is good for another.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    From the company's point of view, it's good public relations -- "hey, one of our employees is doing this cool thing" -- and it makes them look like a decent, caring employer (which they may well be ).

    Your boss has provided some very useful information about your perceived value to the company. If you think you'd like to go back, or even just keep your options open, the interviews might be a good idea (can't really hurt), and there is no requirement that you return at the end.

    Conversely, if you break an ankle on the fourth day out, it might be nice to have a welcoming employer when you get home, ya know?
    absolutely agree with this. Your story should also be shared on future threads on whether and how to give notice for a thru. You may discover that you have a lot less stress on your thru knowing you have options. Every person I hiked with on my thru had the cloud hanging over their head on finding a job on their return.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    From the company's point of view, it's good public relations -- "hey, one of our employees is doing this cool thing" -- and it makes them look like a decent, caring employer (which they may well be ).

    Your boss has provided some very useful information about your perceived value to the company. If you think you'd like to go back, or even just keep your options open, the interviews might be a good idea (can't really hurt), and there is no requirement that you return at the end.

    Conversely, if you break an ankle on the fourth day out, it might be nice to have a welcoming employer when you get home, ya know?
    I agree with this,

    From the OP I would believe that you do not enjoy your job. Otherwise it would sound like the perfect situation to be able to come back to a job after a 6 month vacation.
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
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  6. #6
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    yeah...

    i agree with cranky..........


    however, i think you should ask them to up the ante and kick in some money.................

    cant hurt to ask and all that..............

  7. #7
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    You don't want to burn any bridges. As bigcranky mentioned you may encounter a situation that forces you off the trail early and you it would be good to have a potential job to go back to until you can do the hike again later. If you really don't want that job back again then that is also a consideration.

    However, I do agree with your decision about the interview's and GoPro, etc. It is an invasion on something that is fairly personal for some of us.
    Remote for detachment, narrow for chosen company, winding for leisure, lonely for contemplation, the Trail beckons not merely north and south, but upward to the body, mind, and soul of man.


  8. #8
    Registered User Walkintom's Avatar
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    When I left my job prior to hiking the AT, I had no intent of returning to it. In fact, we were moving 1500 miles away after finishing the hike and we already owned the new place. I KNEW I wasn't returning to the job. However, I was part of a close knit team and really cared about the success of that team. I gave my boss several months notice, had the line of succession all trained to step up and take new positions of responsibility and participated in the interview process for places where no one could step up - I'd been wearing several hats and it just wasn't going to be that simple to transition seamlessly.

    I keep in touch with lots of folks from my previous life but I don't want to go back to it. It sounds like your boss believes that you are valuable enough to do things to try to retain you after your hike. And that your company is proud to have you associated with it.

    If you know for a fact that you simply aren't going to go back to that no matter what then you should decline to be a brand ambassador for them if you don't feel comfortable doing it.

    If you have nothing lined up and you might want or need that job then it's worth considering.

    If my circumstances had been different and I'd have possibly been back in the market for my old job then I would have considered such an offer - many people find this sort of adventure unattainable because they're too rooted down and really enjoy hearing about the experiences of people who go do it. Sharing the experience has not cheapened it one bit for me. I've spoken to several groups about our hiking experience and found the process to be fulfilling. YMMV.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Ender's Avatar
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    Honestly, I agree with Cranky as well. And I'd personally say it won't cheapen anything... it's just interviews, video, photos, etc etc etc... it can be as fun as you make it. I say go for it.
    Don't take anything I say seriously... I certainly don't.

  10. #10
    2000 miler Doc's Avatar
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    First off, do what you think is best for you. That said, I can't imagine that anyone would turn down such an offer to keep on good terms with an employer. Where's the harm? If a local reporter caught up to you in Harpers Ferry and asked to interview you about your experiences would you feel like you were selling out? I would be glad to spread the word about the beauty and magical qualities about the trail. Who knows what will happen. You might suffer an injury at some point and need to leave the trail. You might decide to do the PCT next but need to work for a year somewhere to get cash for your hike. Again, only you know what's best but it sure seems like can only benefit by accepting the graciousness of your boss.

  11. #11

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    Lot of good advice here.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
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  12. #12
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    Never burn your bridges, you never know, consider that with no fault of your own you have a injury that puts you off the trail. The extra time spent with an interview or two would we worth its weight if you need a job.

  13. #13
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    If you like and respect your employer, you should consider their offer. Rather than cheapen the experience there is a potential that the interview experience could enrich both your hiking experience and future career options.

    Good Luck with the hike.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by OCDave View Post
    If you like and respect your employer, you should consider their offer. Rather than cheapen the experience there is a potential that the interview experience could enrich both your hiking experience and future career options.

    Good Luck with the hike.
    this was exactly my thought.

  15. #15
    Registered User Jack89's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the very good advice. It does makes sense to do a few interviews for the sake of keeping options open and spreading a little inspiration. I have some thinking to do on this. Thanks again.

  16. #16
    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCDave View Post
    If you like and respect your employer, you should consider their offer. Rather than cheapen the experience there is a potential that the interview experience could enrich both your hiking experience and future career options.

    Good Luck with the hike.
    Agree...I'd be grateful to work for these guys.

  17. #17

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    People take videos, do interviews, post blogs and journals on line for the whole world to see and read. What your boss is asking isn't much different and your co-workers will likely enjoy following your progress, hearing your stories and supporting you along the way. It could be a win-win situation.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  18. #18
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    An interview before, in the middle and after is pretty painless and does not, at least IMO, cheapen the experience. At most, 3 hrs of your time total to have a steady job when you come back from a thru-hike seems a really good trade-off. It is not like you are trying to makes sales arrangements while hiking. On the positive side, you may inspire others in your company to explore their own passions and that is a wonderful gift to give.
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    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  19. #19

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    Make your decision with the knowledge that over 80% never finish their thru hikes.

  20. #20
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    This might help keep u on trail....make u feel accountable for completing your hike...keep u from quiting when things get tough!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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