To Work or Not to Work
If you’re a typical graduate business school candidate, you already have a job.
Deciding whether or not to work during your MBA is another big decision you have to make. As you prepare to enroll, think about your current job and ask yourself:
- If I stayed in my current job and didn’t get an MBA, what would my career path look like?
- Would I stay with the same company or look for a new job?
- If I continue to work during school, will I have enough time to study, especially during exam time, and participate in group work?
- Will work-related travel conflict with my school schedule?
If you decide to leave your job and become a full-time student, be sure your decision is the right one for you. Once you are confident in your decision, you can start discussing your b-school plans at work and give an official resignation notice.
How to Quit Your Job (yes, there’s a right way to do it!)
- Check the company’s policy on giving notice; 2 weeks of advance notice is the standard.
- Make an effort to leave on good terms with your employer; offer to train your replacement if feasible.
- Organize your projects and files so your replacement can transition easily into the job. Leave instructions on how to accomplish certain tasks effectively and efficiently.
- Stay in touch with your employer and coworkers as you build your professional network.
Timing Is Everything
You have probably asked yourself, “Is leaving the job market for school even a good idea?” It’s a common question, and while there is no right answer, there are two ways to consider it:
- If the economy is booming and jobs are plentiful: Your company might be willing to support your decision by reimbursing you for tuition, fees, and other expenses and keeping a job open for you when you graduate.
- If the economy is down and jobs are scarce: Attending graduate business school will allow you to retool your skill set and be ready when the economy rebounds. Even if the economy doesn’t improve during your tenure at school, companies might be more eager to hire well-trained and accomplished MBA graduates.
Either way, an MBA will make you more marketable and valuable for companies, because you will have specialized training that your colleagues might not.
Ultimately, you need to make the decision that is best for you and your career.