Within the next week, I'm expecting to hear back regarding two offers: one for further education in another country in about 4-5 months' time, and another for a part-time job beginning in the next month or so.

If I receive the offer from the university, then I will accept. If I also receive an offer for the job, then I'm not sure how I should go about accepting the job without being dishonest. I figure that if I tell my employer I'll be leaving in a few months, they'll cut me off right there and hire someone else.

What is the most professional/ethical way to handle this situation, assuming I receive both offers? I don't wish to deceive my employer, but neither do I feel I should be denied a job I need and am passionate about because of my future plans.

When should I notify my employer? A month or so before I intend to leave, or immediately (i.e. as soon as I receive the university offer)? Is it considered unprofessional to hide my future plans from the employer for fear of being discriminated against, or is this kind of discrimination considered ethical and appropriate in the work place?

This question is similar in title only: How can one resign from a new job gracefully?

My question is about an entirely different circumstance.

  • Why the downvote? If you don't like the question, please tell me why. – user1840025 Apr 8 '17 at 10:44
  • @JoeStrazzere - my question is whether this is considered unprofessional and will damage relations/burn bridges. This is considering that I would have known for months that I was going to leave. – user1840025 Apr 8 '17 at 10:53
  • I am surprised by the number of downvotes. Does this question not belong on this stack exchange? Is it illegible? What exactly is the objection people have to this question? – user1840025 Apr 8 '17 at 11:27
  • @JimG. that question is about an entirely different circumstance. – user1840025 Apr 8 '17 at 23:26

I know lot of students in this situation every year and lot of them would just join the company knowing they will leave soon and just leave when they are ready to leave. However, that is never my suggestion and I do think it is unprofessional.

When should I notify my employer? A month or so before I intend to leave, or immediately (i.e. as soon as I recieve the university offer)?

If you receive and accept the university offer before you receive the job offer and you are certain you will relocate overseas for higher education, then best is to be honest on the job offer. They may cut you off right there at that point but they may also convert it into 3-6 month internship which would be ideal for you. Even if they are not able to offer you a temp role, you have a chance to maintain long term relationship with them and you can seek a position with them in future. Burning bridges with potential future employer just for 4-5 months of pay does not make sense.

On the other hand if you are genuinely deciding between studying further or directly jump into industry and you would like to get a taste of corporate career before you accept the university offer, I think it is okay to accept and join the job and notify the employer whenever you made your decision. You may actually decide to work at that place for couple of years instead of few months because you really liked it and defer/re-apply to university again if you feel the need for higher education at that point of time.

Anyway you look at it, be honest to the company and the university and more importantly to yourself.

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  • 1
    The job is worth much more than the pay. It would be my first work experience since high school, and in a sector I would like to get a foot into. One outside my area of study. The job itself I think will be very rewarding and excellent experience. I think I will wait until everything is in order (i.e. visa processed) and confirmed before I say anything, as I don't want to end up with neither the job or university offer. – user1840025 Apr 8 '17 at 11:21

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