If I get in, I'll know by April at the latest, but I want to continue working through early August, or until about 2 weeks before the program starts. I need the money. How will I dodge long-term projects without making my co-workers suspicious? ...
And how do I deal with long-term projects NOW? I don't want to turn them down, since I may not get in anywhere, and in that case, I'll want to stay where I am (I love the job.)
Hey, Dinosaur --
How 'bout telling them now? it worked for me; I was offered a teaching gig in April that started the following August, and I had the same debate with myself as you are having now re long-term projects, promotions, job I loved, etc. Finally, I decided to just tell them so that they could plan ahead and I wouldn't hose them by walking out on big projects with just two weeks' notice. Not only did it feel right -- they were very gracious, inviting me to interview potential replacements, and *really* appreciated that I didn't leave them in the lurch -- but I was able to augment my income later by picking up freelance assignments from this company. (I still do projects for them.) Co-workers were congratulating me for six months. They even gave me a going-away party (a real one, with booze!).
If you love your job, think about how you'd like to be treated if you were your manager (two weeks or four months notice? no contest) -- if nothing else you'll be in good graces when it comes time to -- ugh -- re-enter the atmosphere.