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I have recently been given a mid-cycle raise by my boss (also one of the co-founders of the company). I also got a substantial raise in January.

I have already decided to pursue a Masters degree and was about to hand in my resignation within the next 3-4 weeks. I will serve a notice period of 2 months.

How should I approach this situation now? Should I just accept this raise pretending that everything is normal and then later quit, or let them know about it now? I really enjoy working with the team here and do not want to mess up my working relationships by doing something inappropriate.

The overall salary raise I have got here is almost unprecedented in the company and I certainly do not want to appear ungrateful.

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    Accept the raise. It's not like they're giving you a lump sum payment all at once. Also, when you apply for a new job after your graduate studies, and they ask how much you were making before you started your studies, it will raise the bar for them. – Stephan Branczyk Apr 16 '18 at 20:35
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    I would accept the raise and negotiate part time shifts to study for the masters. – Sandra K Apr 16 '18 at 20:54
  • Do you have any interest in coming back to this particular company after you get your degree or in potentially pursuing your degree part-time while you continue to work? – Justin Cave Apr 17 '18 at 1:40
  • @JustinCave I normally would but part time is not an option here since I am going to another country for my Masters. Returning might be, but not for the next few years after my Masters. – Akash Yadav Apr 17 '18 at 2:29
  • @SandraK nice suggestion, although I can't use it unfortunately. Please check my last comment. – Akash Yadav Apr 17 '18 at 2:30
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Yeh, you should tell them.

They've given you a raise with the expectation of keeping you, and want to keep you. The normal answer you'll get here is "you should only announce you're leaving when you have a job and at the end of your contract". While I agree with the "get a signed contract first" part, I've never found an averse reaction telling people early.

I've given much more notice than required to pursue a masters, or to travel to a new country, or to start a new venture. Actually, after the masters, the same company invited me to return. Playing people square is never really a bad way to go about things.

So, your company like you and want you to stay. You, however, want to pursue a masters - fair enough - I'd just let them know in advance to help them with their transition. They'll obviously be disappointed, but will respect your actions in giving them more notice.

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    Awful advice. If they want advance notice, that’s what your contractual notice period is for. – gnasher729 Apr 17 '18 at 9:02
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    @gnasher729 i get what you're saying, but when a company - really just a group of people - likes someone, they want to keep working with them. the best people are, by definition, hard to find - OP is by their own account one of the best. there's no reason to play hardball or "against the man" in this case. – bharal Apr 17 '18 at 15:14
  • Didn't realize that I never accepted this answer, so doing it now. 9 times out of 10, I wouldn't have gone ahead with this approach, however, due to the circumstances, I did, and didn't regret it. – Akash Yadav May 14 '18 at 18:33
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I hate to be that guy, but here we go.

Re-evaluate your plans in light of the raise. If it still makes sense for you to pursue your Masters, then accept the raise, hand in your notice as planned, serve the notice period as planned, and as always, remain professional.

The raise is a signal on their end that your value to the company is enough that they want to incentivize you to stay. By putting in your resignation to pursue higher levels of education (or really for any reason), you're not acting ungrateful, or unprofessionally. In fact, due to the nature of your resignation, I would not be surprised if they attempted to offer you either a deal where you drop to part-time and focus on education, or where you re-interview and rejoin the company after your degree is complete.

It sounds like they truly value you and the work you do, they are more than likely to be willing to work around your life goals insofar as HR/corporate allows(since the boss is also a cofounder, this is likely in their purview). I would remain open and honest, but take a strict approach to serving notice (as they retain the right in some countries to terminate when notice is served).

Oh, and congratulations on a job well done!

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