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Here is the situation.

I was hired in my current position about 9 months ago, they have agreed to pay part of the cost of my Master's, which I start in less than a month. Also my entire family is on their health insurance. I am learning a lot where I am, the work is enjoyable, and everyone in the local group is friendly and helpful.

I went to a tech conference over the weekend, I started talking with the people hosting and really love their mission. The environment and culture is amazing as well. They indicated that they are hiring, and one of the employees (not a hiring manager) urged me to come in and apply. I would need to catch up a little with the technology stack used, but my background with science makes me stand out against other software developer hires.

I really want to jump in, if only to work part time and get my foot in the door. I don't think I can leave my current job because

  1. Moving to a startup I'd be taking a risk by leaving a bigger and more stable company.
  2. My company is helping out substantially with school, and I would need to stay at least two years before being able to leave without breaking contract.
  3. I have only been here 9 months, I am worried that leaving would give me a bad reputation for job hopping.

Likewise, since I will be starting my Master's soon I do not think I will have the time to work part time for them.

The general question is how would I communicate that I would be more than willing to do part time work in a year after I have finished my Master's. If anyone has advice specific to the situation, please label it as such and I would be happy to consider it.

Thank you,

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    Patience--sounds like you're early in your career. Finding a job that's willing to pay any portion of your schooling costs is becoming ever more rare. – Garrison Neely Apr 29 '14 at 18:54
  • That is a big reason I felt it is necessary to not jump right over (and I am glad you seem to be backing up my decision not to move), but half the reason I was at the tech conference was to network. I would like to keep in touch with a possible friend (the employee), and I have been invited over for one of the company lunches. I would like being kept on mind later if possible, if only by the people. Is there a way to not waste anyone's time but also express my interest down the road? – kleineg Apr 29 '14 at 19:28
  • Also, yes. I am early in my software development career. I have been working for about three years out of college. I went to school late, I supervised at a college library a year before starting my B.S. and through school (I was a staff member not hired as a student). – kleineg Apr 29 '14 at 19:34
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In this case you have to make a decision. If you want to stick with your current gig, finish your masters and stay the required two years, than that's the way it's going to be.

You can let the other company know that you are interested but it won't make much of a difference. Either you are in the market or you are not. Hiring is (almost always) based in current needs and current circumstances. There may be an opportunity right now but in two years down it may look completely differently.

You can certainly express interested but you should make crystal clear that you are not available for a certain amount of time. If you are not upfront about this you run this risk that they spend time and effort on vetting on you and that they will be mad if you turn them down.

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What's wrong with the words you've already used?

I would be more than willing to do part time work in a year after I have finished my Master's [but for now my degree is the priority].

Don't overthink it.

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