How to Navigate the End of One Job and the Start of Grad School




Dear 40-somethings:

I just found out I’ve gotten into a master’s program starting in fall 2013. I currently work full time. My job is pretty good and I’ve been working here a year. However, I’m starting to lose steam with it, and I don’t feel there are many growth opportunities. I really want to continue working up until the point I start my master’s, but I have two questions about it:


1) How do I keep enthusiasm for my job when I know I’ll be leaving?

2) At what point is it appropriate to tell my boss and co-workers?


Many thanks for any advice you can offer! — signed, working girl




Dear 20-something:
On enthusiasm when leaving: Your professional life will always depend on – to some degree – the network that you have and continue to build. With that said, use the time to connect with and build relationships with professionals in your firm with whom you currently do not have much contact. Explore other areas and connect with as many people as possible.
When to tell boss and co-workers? I would share it by month’s end; firms tend to be very understanding if you are moving on to pursue a higher education vs. if you were leaving for a competitor. As such, honesty and being forthright is the best bet. – 40-something, financial advisor, former marketing communications exec and partner in agency, NYC

Dear 20-something:
Congrats on grad school! I would let your boss know 1 month prior to leaving for school. 2 weeks is standard, but since you have been there a year, it is nice to give the extra time for them to look for a replacement. No growth opportunities seem a non issue if you are leaving for school; however your company may want to keep you on through school in exchange for a better position. Some companies offer incentives for higher education. Would think that 3 – 4 months of pay would be worth staying enthusiastic. – 40-something, fashion executive, worked both corporate and smaller designers and on own, NYC

Dear 20-Something:
Take advantage of the time you have left to build your future network! Spend time making good contacts and investing in relationships with people you want to stay in contact with. You never know when your connections from this job will come back to add to your life. Make it fun by setting up meetings with people you want to know better. People love talking about how they go to where they are and what they have learned. See how many people you can talk to before you leave. Once you have told your boss and colleagues, this can become even easier. You can also volunteer to work on something out of your area of work that interests you if you think it will keep you enthusiastic and you are willing to put in the extra time. If people / human resources interests you at all you can offer to help find your replacement, perhaps easing the stress of your leaving. – 40-something, marketing, Columbus, OH

Good luck! Also here is a post from a woman on how to make the most out of a job that you don’t like that offers some great suggestions on focusing on the good things! “How to Get Un-Stuck in Your Job


on Twitter

on Facebook

on Google+