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Going back to academia

  1. Oct 13, 2012 #1
    Hi all,

    I am currently in Electronics Design workforce and thinking about going back to academia for future prospect. i would like to gain some knowledge about the following:

    1) Is any kind of reference or contact is needed from the previous employer when applying for grad school. If possible I want to avoid that?

    2) What is the minimum years of work to do before leaving company, so that my employer does not feel bad or cheated by my decision to quit early?

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2012 #2


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    Hey KholdStare.

    I don't know about 1 (this will depend on the school) but for 2) you should be aware that your employment is a mutual agreement between you and your employer.

    You have options just as they do and if act in a professional way (what I call 'professional' is basically saying that you act and do business in a way to not only do the best job you can, but also, and this is important, to be aware of all the pitfalls and consequences of dealing with other people in a variety of situations that are involving in your endeavor (i.e. your job)), then you should be in good terms (even when you leave) with another professional (if they are indeed one).

    Your goal is not to be their chum or buddy: you have a mutual agreement with them both on paper (contract, written documents) and off paper and understanding that boundary and what that means is a big part of the thing people call "professionalism".

    If you've done a good job in your work and you need to move on, then give them notice tell them what you're doing, and wrap up what you need to wrap up.

    If you for example have done a lot of stuff yourself and you need to pass on information, take care of legal issues (which can happen in many jobs), finish out a project, do a little bit of training for a new guy, or anything else then do it but get everything out there on the table and make sure the other party has everything out on the table as well because the last thing you want is either you or the other party (or both) to be holding back critical information or issues only for it to explode in someone's faces later on.
  4. Oct 13, 2012 #3
    Well, I maintain my professionalism in my job. However, even it was unwritten at the time of employment, they expect long term commitment from me. My wish is to leave after 2 or 3 years of course without leaving any work midway or holding back any information.
  5. Oct 13, 2012 #4


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    Knowing the kind of work environment will be useful in giving advice.

    If your job is based for example on a project life-cycle, then one piece of advice I would give is to prepare some kind of communication towards the end of the project cycle and then slowly wind down your role so that you finish out the project, give the required notice, do the required wind-down stuff and then leave on the end of a project rather than on the start of a project or half-way through it.

    Is your role and your work (or the work of your employer) based on a project life-cycle or a similar model?
  6. Oct 13, 2012 #5
    Yeah I have exactly project life-cycle based job (about 1 project per year). However, my company believes in long time engagement and wants to keep me as long as possible. So, I am planning for a polite way to part when the time comes.
  7. Oct 13, 2012 #6

    Every company "believes" in long term engagement. No company wants to hire someone, train them, get them to know the ins and outs of everything, then lose that employee and start with another employee from scratch.

    What I am trying to say is don't feel too guilty about that. Of course your company will tell you that they expect you to stay with them long term. All companies do. But in real life, that does not happen. Employees join a company, advance or leave. Also, many employees advance at a much further rate than what the company can provide. So they move on.

    If you think about it the other way around: if your company decided they no longer needed you, do you think they'll hesitate about laying you off? No! And this happens thousands of times each year.

    Your company is making tons of $$$$ off of you, so of course they want to keep you. Do what is best for you. They'll survive :)
  8. Oct 13, 2012 #7


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    If you give them 2 or 3 years notice that you plan to leave, don't expect to get any good projects (let alone any promotions or pay rises) in the meantime. And once you have given the notice, it's in the public domain, so expect your co-workers to react to it as well (and not necessarily in a good way!)

    Your contract should have a notice period written down and agreed. If it doesn't, presumably your country's employment laws include a minimum notice period. That's the amount of notice you should give your employer - plus couple of days at most.

    Your employer might even decide to cut their losses, fire you, and hire somebody else for the long term. If you have already told them you plan to leave, you probably wouldn't have much of a legal case against uinfair dismissal!
  9. Oct 14, 2012 #8
    LOL, AlephZero, No. I'm not that stupid to tell on their face. I've carefully gathered their thought about this. However, notice period is 2 months. So, I guess I should act professionally and leave professionally, rather than sticking around forever.
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