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    Default Leave of Absence

    i am typing up my Leave of absence request for work. regardless of if i get it or not my 2013 thru hike is still set in stone. has anybody here had to request one and got it, or was rejected? was there anything you threw in there that made you feel it helped your chances?

  2. #2

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    I asked for a LOA and was denied as I was "too important" to lose. I alerted my boss a month or so earlier that I "might" request a LOA so that she could have plenty of time to consider my request before it was actually submitted. I quit, and when I returned I was offered my old job back. I turned down the offer as I realized how much I hated that place while I was gone.

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    Registered User DLANOIE's Avatar
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    Once had a job interview for a sawmill I had been trying to get into. Told the boss I was leaving in two years to hike the AT. I got the job and worked there the full two years before leaving for my thru. Never had a problem. I hope your experience goes as easy as mine did.
    skinny d

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    In my experience dealing with various companies, they really seriously do not want personal details about your life. That said, I did not ask for a LOA I simply quit and was offered a LOA. I turned it down because I really did not want to come back.
    Some knew me as Piper, others as just Diane.
    I hiked the PCT: Mexico to Mt. Shasta, 2008. Santa Barbara to Canada, 2009.

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    if you really want to keep this job and get the loa instead of having to quit i would suggest not telling them that you are taking it to go for a hike. I'm not sure what else you would tell them but my guess is you would be more likely to get it if you told them you had something important to do rather than stumble around in the woods for four to six months.

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    Keep me posted. going through something similar here, been here 2 months, but after 4 years of looking i have finally found my PERFECT job. Still planning on a 2013 thru hike, but man this will be the hardest decision ive had.

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    Last year I got a LOA from my office to hike the trail. It depends of course on your manager and company culture. I work in advertising and it seems like there's more of this type of thing getting approved than in a say, accounting department. I just gave plenty of notice (which I see your doing) and kept them updating on departure dates etc. I was just 100% honest, that it was a dream of mine, life was currently very simple, and the timing was right to follow my dream. My bosses initial reaction was "As a boss, I don't like this, but as a human, this sounds amazing. Let's make it happen."

    Good luck and enjoy your hike!

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    Super Moderator Ender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATMountainTime View Post
    Keep me posted. going through something similar here, been here 2 months, but after 4 years of looking i have finally found my PERFECT job. Still planning on a 2013 thru hike, but man this will be the hardest decision ive had.
    If you've found your perfect job... honestly I'd suggesting keeping the job and delaying the hike. The trail isn't going anywhere, and perfect jobs are rarer than red diamonds. If you truly love the job, it's not worth leaving. That's just my opinion though.
    Don't take anything I say seriously... I certainly don't.

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    I get extended leave all the time, but I don't live in the United States anymore, partly for this exact reason. There are a few common things that 'may' help with your application.

    1. Frame it well, if you ask for a 6 month vacation, it's going to sound like you are asking for a 6 month vacation. You need to frame it in another way, link it to your hard work ethic, ambition to succeed, and be revitalised to go hard out on the job when you get back.

    2. Understand your political capital = do they NEED you? And more importantly...do the think they need you? If you undestand exactly where you stand in their eyes, and write the application from that perspective, as opposed to yours, you are more likely to gain ground. The bottom line is that while you may be great at what you do, and the company may lose out if you go...if they don't think that way, then it's not a relevant point.

    3. Be confident in your approach. Make it clear that you have ambitions and dreams and you are not afraid to go for them. Make it clear (with tone, not words) there will be consequences to this application being denied, I'm not talking about ultimatums, but send the message that if they turn you down THEY will force you to take action that you don't want to necessarily take, etc.. I always say 'I'm not available during this time' as opposed to asking 'can I take 3 months off', etc...Sounds like you are going anyway so you should be OK with this part.

    4. Make it easy for them to say YES! This is different for each company, but it does not mean kissing A$$, it means having the consequences of you quitting simply be far worse than giving you 6 months off. This means working hard, being successful, and most importantly building relationships with decision makers. Your work alone won't achieve this, it's not what you know...it's who you know.

    Good luck!

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    When hubby and I decided to attempt a thru-hike in 2007 he turned in his resignation to his company - one he'd been with for 25 years. They said there was no reason to resign, just take a LOA for 6 or 7 months. So he took it. The thru-hike ended in just 2 weeks but since we had the time, had sold the house and had nowhere else to go we took a 3 month road trip and he went back to work when it was over. Worked out very well. The only hitch was that we'd been told his medical insurance would continue while he was away.....it didn't. We got a letter saying we could keep it for the duration of the LOA....for $1000 mo for 7 months, all payable in advance. We said no and got a cheap catastrophic policy on-line for $700 total for the whole 7 months.
    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Calhoun View Post
    i am typing up my Leave of absence request for work. regardless of if i get it or not my 2013 thru hike is still set in stone. has anybody here had to request one and got it, or was rejected? was there anything you threw in there that made you feel it helped your chances?
    I think it depends on what industry your in and what your job in it is. Can someone seemlessly do your job while your gone? Are you in a union? Does the company pay your insurance? etc. etc. For instance I'm a service rep. for a computer company and have a territory of about 500 sq miles to myself. If I leave, the company has to pay for someone else to come into my territory and do my job. If I ask to leave for 6 months thats a financial burden that they will not accept. I think if your leaving for 6 months you can never be absolutely guaranteed to have a job when you return.
    KK4VKZ -SOTA-SUMMITS ON THE AIR-
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    I have taken a 2 month LOA x2, a 5 week LOA, a 6 month LOA x2 and a 14 month LOA all in the past 23 years with 4 different employers and always kept my jobs with them. I usually turn in a resignation letter and they just don't accept it and give me a LOA. I still work for 3 of them.

    geek

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Adams View Post
    I have taken a 2 month LOA x2, a 5 week LOA, a 6 month LOA x2 and a 14 month LOA all in the past 23 years with 4 different employers and always kept my jobs with them. I usually turn in a resignation letter and they just don't accept it and give me a LOA. I still work for 3 of them.

    geek
    Some people just got it like that!.......awesome Jim

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    If asked for a reason for LOA, list 'sabbatical'

    I used to be in retail, and the only way LOAs were approved was if someone was going on maternity/medical leave or school.
    ''Tennessee Viking'
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee Viking View Post
    If asked for a reason for LOA, list 'sabbatical'

    I used to be in retail, and the only way LOAs were approved was if someone was going on maternity/medical leave or school.
    It's not that simple...obtaining leave is more about how you frame the request, the benefit/disadvantage to the company or institution, your political capital (influence), your industry, gender, country, etc.... Simply writing 'sabbitical' is being disingenious, therefore would likely get rejeted in my view.

    I also worked in retail (11 years) in the States...it's a rough industy and a huge one at that. One of the reasons why it's hard to get leave in retail is due to the low skill nature of the job, so it makes little sense for employers to grant long periods of leave to staff when new staff can come on and work cheaper and wont' make difficult leave requests. Plus retail is an industry that profits from turnover, it's easier and more profitable to replace people than to keep them long term, and the skill level (while relevant and important) is not significant enough for 'most' employers to recognise. Sadly.

  16. #16

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    I was supposed to do a thru hike this year. I am a contractor supporting the Army. I told my government supervisor at the end of January that I had something I wanted to do, it would take six months and I understood that he might replace me and I was prepared that I might not have a job to come back to. To my surprise he told me that he would leave my psition open and I would have a job to come back to. I then told my employer and she said that it was inline with company policy for employees to follow their dreams.
    Unfortunately, two weeks before my start, my stepson fell and sustained a traumatic brain injury. Both my employer and government supervisor took me back part time working at home so I could be with the family.

    The good news is my stepson is getting better and I am scheduled to start my hike March 15, 2013. i am blessed to have so many people in my life supporting my dream.

    Tumbleweed

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    I took a leave of absence to do my thru hike last year. For me it was a pretty simple process. I started a year and a half in advance getting them prepared. Only when I was 100% sure that it was a go, six months out did I officially pull the trigger. Couple things that helped me was that I had a plan to cover my position when I was gone and also there was a storage of qualified managers at the company. Since my trip there have been others that have done the same thing, I suspect this is happening more these days as it can be a very inexpensive way for companies to retain employees. Of course, every situation is different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gg-man View Post
    I took a leave of absence to do my thru hike last year. For me it was a pretty simple process. I started a year and a half in advance getting them prepared. Only when I was 100% sure that it was a go, six months out did I officially pull the trigger. Couple things that helped me was that I had a plan to cover my position when I was gone and also there was a storage of qualified managers at the company. Since my trip there have been others that have done the same thing, I suspect this is happening more these days as it can be a very inexpensive way for companies to retain employees. Of course, every situation is different.
    Exactly...while every situation is different, the easier you make it for the company, the more likely they are to grant the leave. Planning is the key.

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    Registered User Pumba's Avatar
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    Do those of you that take these LOA's have mortgages? How do you take care of monthly financial committments during this time? I've thought about doing this, but I'd have no way to pay for my house and other expenses. I suppose I could have the water and power turned off and cancel my car insurance, but I'd still have a mortgage to pay.
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    I don't have a mortgage but pay more in rent than most. Sydney is one of the most expensive places to live in the world...my rent alone is $2400/month, but wages are much higher as well compared to the states, so it's manageable.

    You could always rent out the place for 6-12 months while you are away.

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