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I've been working at my current job for about 1.5 years and currently I've been thinking of quitting so that I can focus on finishing college and getting my degree. I explained my situation to my boss and he told me that I could go on a leave of absence for about 5 months, instead of quitting. I am inclined to go on this leave of absence since this way at least I get a safety net and I'll have a job to go back to right after I graduate.

I am bit dissatisfied with my current salary and with the projects that I have been assigned recently so even if I take up his offer, leaving the company relatively shortly (in about 2 months) after I return from this leave of absence looks like a distinct possibility.

Would doing this look bad on a resume or in an interview? Would this type of behavior be frowned upon?

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    If you are actively planning to quit upon return, I would say you were taking leave in bad faith and count that against you unless you discussed that with your manager now. If you just think you might want to look around and see whether the degree changed the options available to you... that's fuzzier. – keshlam Feb 21 '17 at 4:55
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I don't know where you are located, but in California, most employment situations are "at-will", which means that either party--employee or employer--can choose to end the relationship at any time for any reason. With that being said, I would seriously think twice before I made any long-term decisions regarding this particular job for one big reason: Your supervisor is demonstrating his willingness to work with you to improve yourself by allowing you to take a leave of absence rather than forcing you to make a decision about your job.

I don't know what industry you are in or what your job duties are, but what he is doing is literally holding your space for five months while you finish your studies. That's five months he is choosing to be shorthanded, while also forcing your coworkers to add on to their load to cover your productivity. I understand you may be unhappy with your current salary and responsibilities. After you are done with school and you return to the job, you may want to take some time to consider what sacrifices were made to allow you to finish, and, at the very least, sit down with your supervisor and have a meaningful discussion about your future growth with the company. You will have your degree, which automatically increases your marketability. What you also have is knowledge of the company, which has value in and of itself. Any new person coming in is going to have learn that which you already know, which has a cost to the company.

My suggestion: finish your program, get your degree, return to the job, and assess your options then. If you still want to leave after you've talked to your supervisor, your conscience will be clear and you will be able to tell any new potential employer that you are seeking challenges commensurate with your newly acquired education.

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My question is, would doing this look bad on a resume or in an interview? Would this type of behavior be frowned upon?

Nope. If your employer gives you a leave of absence nobody is going to blame you for taking advantage.

I am bit dissatisfied with my current salary and with the projects that I have been assigned [...]

Well, finishing college is a big deal from an earnings potential, so your current employer may be willing to up your salary. Then you can still earn while you look for a better job. There's really no downside to what they are offering you.

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