Education

7 Steps to Tell Your Boss You’re Going Back to School

tell your boss you're going back to school

Thinking about telling your boss you’re going back to school?

Well, not so fast. 

There’s a lot to think about before having that conversation. 

Especially if your workplace is toxic. 

If you wanna have the talk without burning bridges, keep reading. 

We’ll talk about how to go it step by step. When to do it.

And whether it’s okay to quit your job for school.  Let’s jump right in!

Should I tell my boss I am going back to school?

Yes, you should tell your boss you’re going back to school if it will affect your job. But how you do it matters. 

Your employers need to know about your plans to return to school if they’ll need to replace you or if your availability will change. 

If you’re planning to keep your job while going to school.

And won’t require any accommodations. Telling your employer may not be necessary.

When should I tell my employer I’m going back to school?

You should tell your employer you’re going back to school only once you’ve received your school acceptance letter.

And confirmed your plans to finance your education.

Is it okay to quit your job to go back to school?

Yes, it’s okay to quit your job to go back to school. But think carefully about it. Make sure you have a plan to fund your education

And if your job is relevant to your field of study, consider the pros and cons of working while in grad school

Remember no degree can guarantee you a job. 

How to tell your boss you are going back to school

Step 1: Reflect on your company culture 

First, take a moment to think about your company culture. 

Does it promote higher education? Have other coworkers quit to go back to school? How did that work out?

Evaluating your company culture will let you know how to approach your boss.

If your workplace is toxic, be sure to document all your communications.  

If you don’t have the best relationship with your boss. Get support from others like HR, your department head, or your sponsor

This is to protect you in case your boss decides to retaliate against you. 

Believe me, it happens. 

Step 2: Decide how much notice to give

While it may sound thoughtful to give a long notice. You’re only typically required to give 2 weeks’ notice.

But be mindful of your team to avoid burning bridges.  

How much notice you give should depend on many factors. 

Here’s how to decide how much notice to give your employer when you quit:

  • How good your company was to you 
  • Your relationship with your boss and colleagues 
  • Whether you plan to work for the company in the future 
  • Your outstanding projects and whether they can help boost your career 
 
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Step 3: See if your company offers tuition assistance

Before you give up on your job. Find out if your company has a tuition assistance program

Tuition assistance programs are an employee benefit where your employer helps cover the cost of your continuing education.

If your company offers this, see if the amount is enough for you to reconsider quitting.  

Tuition assistance could be a huge help. And reduce the financial burden of going back to school.

Step 4: Set up a meeting 

Send your boss an email asking to put time on their calendar to speak privately. 

Be prepared to chat if your boss is available sooner than expected.

However, don’t have the conversation until you’re prepared. 

Most importantly, this conversation shouldn’t come as a surprise to your boss.

Step 5: Prepare a meeting agenda

Prepare talking points to have a smooth meeting with your boss.

Here’s a sample meeting agenda you can use to tell your boss you’re going back to school:

  1. Opening – Thank your boss for their time 
  1. Share that you’re returning to school and the timelines 
  1. Present the benefits of your continuing education to your company 
  1. Assure your boss that you’ll complete any open projects before you leave 
  1. Closing – Thank them for their support. Ask if there’s anything else you can do to make the transition smooth for your team. 

Remember a conversation is a two-way street. So come prepared to answer their questions. 

But you’re not obligated to share any details about your school or program.

Step 6: Be on your best behavior until your exit 

Be on your best behavior between your conversation with your boss and your last day.

Everything you do will be under a microscope once you’ve put in your 2 weeks notice. So now’s not the time to slack off. 

Do what you promised during the meeting with your boss. And then a little extra. This will help you leave on a positive note.

You don’t wanna burn any bridges on your way out. Because you never know where the future will take you.  

Step 7: Send out a resignation email

The last step is to send out your final goodbye email. A resignation email is used to announce your exit from the company. 

It’s also a good way to grow your network by letting coworkers know how to keep in touch with you.

Check out these sample resignation emails.  

Now What?

Now that you know the steps to tell your boss you’re going back to school. 

It’s time to take action. Start by blocking out time on your calendar to map out your next moves. 

Once that’s done, everything else will come together.

If you’re new here, join our community with thousands of babes learning worldwide. It’s free! 

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The career center has 100% free educational templates, workbooks, and guides to help you on your level up journey!

Over to You

Is your workplace supportive of continuing education? Let us know in the comments on social @netwerkmovement. 

Share this with someone looking to go back to school!

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