What if you decide that you need to go get a new job, but you’re in the process of applying to business school? How do you handle the situation of interviewing for a new position if there’s a chance you would be leaving next summer?
We covered this in a three-part series back in 2012 – “Is it okay to switch jobs now, while i’m applying to bschool?” (part 1) – and this question posed to a work advice counselor in the newspaper made us revisit . Here’s what a manager had to say:
We hired an associate who, after only two months, informed me that she would be leaving in another three months for graduate school. I appreciate her informing me now so we can prepare a transition plan.
That said, as her manager, I believe she interviewed under false pretenses. Though we did not explicitly ask if she was applying for grad schools, we did ask about her future plans, and she never mentioned grad school during multiple rounds of interviews. We’ve invested significant time and resources in her, and she’ll depart just when we most need an associate in place. I wish her the best, but I think she’s fallen short as a professional.
What should I make of her decision, and how can I mitigate the possibility of this happening again?[emphasis added]
This person feels duped.
After all, how would YOU feel if you went to all that trouble, and put your faith in this new hire, who then turns around and says, “Buh-bye!”
Actually, that’s not the main issue. The main issue is that the manager feels that the employee was dishonest. Withholding information during the hiring process was completely self-serving.
Here’s what the advice counselor said, in part: “Had the associate asked me, I would have advised her to say nothing of her alternative plans during the interview, in case they didn’t pan out.”
Wow. EssaySnark totally disagrees with that.
Why not tell the manager that you’re in the midst of applying to school?
There is a chance that the company will still hire you – because nobody can predict whether you’re getting in or not, and if you’re a good-enough candidate then it may still be worthwhile for the company, either knowing it’s a short-term situation, or because they’re the ones who benefit if you end up not making it in.
We can see why people might not want to do this, but it truly feels like the right thing to do.
No, you’re not legally bound to disclose this, and yes, it puts you at a disadvantage in the hiring process. But it’s the right thing to do!
It totally depends on the timeframe we’re talking about. We cover different scenarios in this older post.
There are also some very significant issues on impact to your MBA applications, which certainly should be evaluated as well. One is the question of recommendations in the case of a recent job-switch.
The most important factor to evaluate whenever changing anything significant about your profile in the lead-up to your apps is, how will the adcoms interpret it, does it further you towards your post-MBA goals, and what type of explanation is required. If you’re being laid off, then that’s one thing; if you’re seeking out something new just because you’re frustrated and impatient and sick of your current situation, well, that needs to be handled carefully.
You can check out our archive of posts on this subject of switching jobs during the MBA application process here (Pro Tip: It’s in the Planning Your Strategy category – you can find all categories in the dropdown box at the top right of the first page of essaysnark.com).
There’s another case, of course: What do you need to tell the adcom about, if your employment situation changes when they’re considering your app? We’ll circle back to that question soon.
If you’re simply feeling optimistic and want to know when you could quit your current job once you’ve been accepted, then this post helps you plan out your year.