How do I tell my boss that I'm going to grad school this fall?
April 12, 2017 4:57 PM   Subscribe

So, I got into grad school (hooray!), but now I need to tell my boss that. I'd like to still work at my job part-time (which should be doable), but I just can't figure out the best way to present this. Any advice?

I work at an elementary school and the program I'm going into is related to the job I do at the school. Ideally, I'd like to do the grad program part-time and work at the school part-time. This should be doable, as the schedule at the elementary school is pretty flexible. There are 3 classes I want to take in the fall and they shouldn't interrupt the flow of the day.

I just can't figure what I should say to my boss tomorrow about this and I'm getting so anxious! I've been assured from a handful of coworkers that he'd probably be flexible and would be open to doing this, but I'm still nervous. What's the best way to break the news and ask to work there part-time?
posted by modesty.blaise to Work & Money (4 answers total)
No sweat--really!
You can have an honest and pleasant discussion with him.

Let him know about this incredible opportunity and how [you see] it benefiting your career and development. Reassure him that you are gaining great experience at his school and that you'd like to continue this experience.
Ask him to please consider how you might be able to continue in your role as ______ while you are in school.

Continue the discussion and see what questions he has for you.
Work together to identify any missing information that you might need to gather from your upcoming program.

He may want to think about this for a few days or so--offer to meet with him again in a few days to explore possibilities and to bring back your info.
posted by calgirl at 5:16 PM on April 12, 2017 [6 favorites]

When I was accepted into a graduate program, I approached my boss about how to continue working while attending school. Since I was working as an admin at a university, I was able to job share during the fall & spring semesters with a doctoral student in the program. Since this is related to your job (& you don't see any logistical issues), I think they will be supportive. Be willing to consider untraditional arrangements (such as job sharing). Most importantly, I would present this to your boss as an opportunity that benefits your school as much as you. For example, "I have great news! I've been excepted to *insert school*'s graduate program, and, while I'm really excited about this opportunity for professional development, I still want to continue working here while I pursue my degree. Can you please help me figure out how to continue in my position here while I pursue my advanced degree? I am open to any and all suggestions." The wording can be a bit more elegant (apologies, the old noggin is a bit tired), but you get the idea. Even though you are asking your boss to take the lead, have some suggestions and ideas about ogistics ready so you can tackle this together and s/he won't have to do too much heavy lifting. I see no reason why this can't and won't work out for everyone. Congratulations and good luck!!!
posted by katemcd at 6:38 PM on April 12, 2017

Not only would I frame this as a win-win, I would ask for some tuition reimbursement.
posted by AugustWest at 7:02 PM on April 12, 2017 [5 favorites]

Yes! See above, but I strongly encourage phrasing it like "I have an opportunity to..."
posted by Duffington at 11:39 PM on April 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

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