Monday, April 25, 2005

Why I'm not taking 3 months off 

As it's aroused some curiosity, I thought I'd comment on why I'm working right through to July. Like lots of other people, I've heard the 'take as much time off as you can' line, but I've decided it's not for me. Maybe this is a good sign that I'll be able to avoid the herd menatality during school, maybe I really am missing a huge oportunity - who know's? But for anyone who's interested, these are some of the reasons behind the decisions.

As with so many things in life, one major issue is money. I'm not in the situation where working for another three months just means adding to the savings in the bank. Working for the next three months means that I'll have money to live on for those three months and, hopefully, have the wherewithall to cover the 10% contribution I have to make to my student budget this next year. I'm pretty confident that I've got myself to a position where needs and means will match, but there isn't sufficient slack to stop earning for three months.

There's also the issue of my responsibilities to work. I officially have a six-month notice period, although I'm sure I could have negotiated that down if I'd wanted to. But I work for a small organisation that's going through a big period of change at the moment. Staying means that I can continue some work that will stop once I leave, put somethings in place for once I'm gone and take a bit of weight off my colleagues' shoulders. I've had a huge amount of support from my boss and colleagues throughout the apploication process and it would seem rather unfair to dump them in it now that I've got in.

Then there are other responsibilities. I'm currently flat-sitting for a friend, and disappearing off travelling would cause him problems. My sister's wedding in mid-July limits when I can head to Philly, and the need to have dress fittings etc, not to mention being there on the day without sunburn, insect bites or tropical diseases, also somewhat restricts heading off for any length of time beforehand.

Maybe most importantly though, I think my biggest priority for the next few weeks is spending time with people that I won't see a whole lot of for the next two years. I've seen a chunk of the world and I know it will still be there to see, realtively unchanged, in the future. But come 2007, who knows where I'll be heading or where other people will have gone. So right now, staying here and enjoying friends is a higher priority than spending more time on aeroplanes. And as I can do that while continuing to do useful things at work and earn money, why not?


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