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I'm currently two years out of undergrad. I will be laid off soon as a result of my previous employer being acquired. Really unfortunate timing as I had already been planning to apply for Fall 2020 masters programs this year before knowing about the layoff.

Now, I plan to look for temporary employment that will last me until Fall 2020 masters programs begin, in addition to continuing my grad school applications. I was wondering what people's opinions were on whether I should be upfront with recruiters and companies with my timeline and possibly look for contracting work or an extended internship, or whether I should apply for full time positions without letting possible employers know that I plan to leave in under a year.

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    Would you still have left for grad school if you had not been laid off? – sf02 Sep 26 '19 at 18:11
  • To clarify, you have not as of yet been accepted into a specific Master's program, is that right? – Upper_Case Sep 26 '19 at 20:21
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    @sf02 Yes, the plan was originally to apply to grad school this cycle and leave next fall until the unexpected layoffs – user6253673 Sep 26 '19 at 22:23
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    @Upper_Case I have not been accepted into a master's program yet, I am currently applying – user6253673 Sep 26 '19 at 22:24
  • How long do you have until the masters program begins? Almost a year? – Robin Bennett Sep 27 '19 at 8:36
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Your plan is to leave for graduate school next year. But what you don't know is if you will be accepted, and if you will be accepted to a particular program. I had a coworker who had to delay med school for a year because of a difficulty passing the MCAT.

You have no obligation to work forever for your employer. So unless the required training for the position is so long that you will not be a productive employee long enough to justify the time and money spent on training, then the non-guarantee of grad school means you have no requirement to tell them about your plans.

Unless you know that you are leaving in August 2020, then looking for a job that will expire around the same time may lead to having to deal with unemployment next summer if the grad school plans change.

Being upfront with the recruiters and companies is great when you are 100% certain, but when there is significant uncertainty narrowing your options just makes it hard to find a job. And finding a job when you are facing unemployment is your main concern.

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If you're sure you'd leave a job after a short period, then only applying for temporary or contract work would be appropriate. You could leave without feeling that you've upset anyone and done the right thing.

OTOH, I think it's nearly a year, and new graduates often get better offers once they've got a year of experience.

If you did leave a permanent job, the worst that's likely to happen is that you'll have to explain it in future job interviews, which might make you look unprofessional.

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You can start working full time and IF you will be accepted for a master degree program, you have at least two ways:

  1. quit your current job
  2. work parallel part-time
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