Etiquette of accepting a job when you may need to leave soon
May 30, 2012 3:19 PM Subscribe
Ethics and etiquette of accepting a job when you know you might need to resign soon?
posted by Kurichina to Work & Money (18 answers total)
So last summer, I applied to a few law schools and if successful, will become a student again in September. I was reasonably confident I'd get in because my LSAT and undergraduate and master's degree grades were around the median of what was accepted in 2009 at my first choice school. I figured, in the middle, plus an advance degree and several years' working experience - no problem. However, I've since been rejected from my second and fourth choices, and I'm still waiting to hear from my first and third choice. I'm less confident now as a result than I was when I applied.
In the meantime, I applied for a job that I think will be really interesting and demanding, as my current job is neither of those things lately and I feel like I'm stagnating and I'm not really jazzed about what my current organization does. New job would be very demanding, probably much better paying (obviously I'd need to negotiate), and definitely more relevant to my interests. The people struck me as engaged and into their work when I interviewed, but I know that the duties would probably have me working longer hours and have less vacation flexibility than I have now. Also, I got the impression that they may be somewhat desperate and was told that there will be major developments happening within the next six months that will require a lot of work and expertise. If I were to take the job and then leave in September, I'd likely be putting them in a real bind, as they'd then have to staff just at the peak of their project.
Additional complicating factor, if I'm accepted into school and remain in my current job, I may be able to receive a tuition bonus when I leave as part of the workforce adjustment program (some of our staff (but not me) are on lay off notice due to deficit reduction measures, and there's a process whereby an affected employee of similar skill profile could 'trade jobs' with me and then I'd have their layoff transition measures instead). These could easily pay for my first year's tuition and frugal living expenses, but it's contigent on finding someone on the right list with the necessary qualities to take over. I've indicated interest with HR on the proviso that I'm not fully committed until I say so.
If I stay at my current job and don't get into school, I don't think I'll get another chance to get into this field. On the other hand, it seems like a jerk move to accept if I may leave when they most need the position filled. Does this happen more than I think or would I truly be the jerk I think I might be if I were to accept?