We’ve seen this come up on a forum before and it’s come up with our clients.
And the temptation is strong, for sure.
Your job sucks. It’s boring. It’s one of the reasons you want to go get your MBA. And you’re definitely going to back to school next fall (right?). Why not quit the job, get that nasty GMAT out of the way, wizz through the applications, and then bam – you’re a free man! It’s travel and fun and one big partay for many months until bschool rolls around. Sounds perfectly fab, no?
Sure, it sounds good. But don’t do it.
Did you hear that?
EssaySnark will say it again: *Do not quit your job.* It is easier to get into bschool while you’re employed. If your current job is heinous and you have another job lined up, fine — or if you want to go get another job, that would be OK. But having a job while you’re applying to bschool is a big advantage — or more accurately stated, NOT having a job could be a serious disadvantage. You’d have all sorts of scrambling to do, to explain what you’re doing unemployed. If you go get a new job now, fine, just make sure you will be able to talk about how that new job is preparing you for your future goals. And, some might say that it’s unethical to start a new gig if you know you’ll be leaving in a short time. (EssaySnark is on the fence about that one.) You have a year before you’d start at bschool, and it’s important that you FILL THIS TIME WISELY.
EssaySnark has seen people quit their job because they assume they’ll get into bschool, and not only can this be perceived as presumptuous (even arrogant) by the adcom, but it puts you at risk for ending up next year without school and without a job. It doesn’t make you look like a good planner.
If you quit now, you just need to come up with a good reason for why, and you’ll need to find challenging projects that are giving you skills to enhance your profile.
It’s not technically necessary to have a job while you go through the admissions process. But you’ll be asked about your employment situation during the interview process, and you don’t want to sound flaky. Also, we assume that you’ll need to get letters of rec from your current employer, and those will likely be easier to obtain if you’re actually still working there. 🙂
Maybe you can talk to your manager and find more exciting projects, or come up with your own initiatives to propose? That would make for good essay material potentially too.
The other thing is, damn there’s a lot of people unemployed right now. You have a job — and you’re willing to ditch it?!? Because you’re BORED??? Hmmmm.
Now for anyone who’s been laid off or let go or in any other way unwillingly found themselves without a job — take heart. There’s no problem with that in the context of your bschool apps. That type of situation certainly needs to be handled carefully, and almost definitely an optional essay will be needed for this. But being laid off — or even being fired outright because you royally muffed something up — will not result in an automatic rejection.
We can understand the temptation if you’re feeling stuck and anxious and generally impatient with where you’re at in life. However, sticking with the current job, and ideally even finding a way to turn it around, is usually the best way to go, to smooth your route into an MBA program the soonest.
One goal with your apps is to minimize the things you have to explain. Quitting a job prematurely adds to the list of things to explain. That’s not ideal. Mitigate the risk. Don’t do anything rash.
If you do decide that you absolutely must leave this job now, then find something appropriate to transition to, and check out our many posts on how to handle things as part of the app and your overall career.