Imagine being in the middle of a demanding executive MBA and your boss says you are being promoted which means more work and added responsibility. Or maybe you are so tired of your current job that you are considering a new one altogether. The obvious question that may come in your mind is: How I can balance a promotion or changing jobs in the middle of an MBA? Should I? Can I?
I write this blog after completing the first two terms in the Weekend Executive MBA program, having relocated from Connecticut to Arkansas, being promoted in the job a few months ago, and as of just a few weeks ago, starting a new role in the company after being in my prior role for 18 months. I’m getting through it all seamlessly, courtesy of the continued support from my family, friends, and managers at work.
Obviously do what is right for you, but I personally view that changing jobs during an MBA or getting promoted is a natural thing that can happen and there is no point worrying about having to lose or sacrifice anything. Here is some advice on how to navigate this change smoothly.
1. The Right Mindset
I can’t stress enough the importance of having the right mindset around considering a job change during an MBA. It honestly changes how you think. I have spoken to many students who want to stay in their current job (even though some say they don’t like it) until they finish their MBA just because they are skeptical of the impact the change would have on them successfully completing the program. However, changing a job for any reason is a normal thing and should be looked at in that way. An average person changes jobs every 24 months so don’t hold yourself back from exploring options because you are in the middle of a demanding MBA. Look at this potential change in your life as normal and navigate it as you would any other important life event.
Communication is key to navigating any important change in your personal and professional life. In case of a promotion or a new job update, be sure to let the MBA program team know so they can help you get updated classroom name tents as well as announce your news to the cohort. If you are considering a job change in the future, be sure to communicate with the career services team and the program team so they know your situation and can help direct the best possible resources in their capacity to help you.
A job change (a promotion or a new job altogether) can come with a lot, such as a job relocation, pay changes, new managers and job expectations, work content changes, added responsibility, etc., so start making lists right away to keep a track of everything. I find making lists extremely useful and it allows me to stay organized and not forget a thing. Most importantly, it helps me prioritize everything within the confines of my bandwidth and not sacrifice anything when it comes to successfully navigating my MBA.
4. Program Expectations
Know that the program is designed for all students to succeed and everyone from admissions, program operations, academic deans, professors, and your classmates are there to make sure that happens. The program does require good academic standing and expects that you will be employed for most of the program since the Weekend and the Global Executive MBA programs are designed for working professionals. Know these expectations and take them as a given as you figure out how to navigate a job change.
5. Have Fun
Change can be exhausting, but it can also be exciting. Stay energized and have fun as the whole process unfolds. Be positive and let life take its course in its natural way. Don’t fret about the stresses of a job change, but instead, think about what opportunities it brings in the future.
As a final word, changing jobs, relocating, and receiving a promotion can be hard, undoubtedly. But commit yourself all the way, trust yourself, and go along for the ride. Follow the advice above and hopefully, you’ll be able to navigate through it easily while understanding and believing that any type of job change is totally normal and can 100% be handled and navigated in the middle of an MBA that’s in full swing.