at what point in my job search should I resign my current job?

A reader writes:

I am a graduate student and have a part-time position where my masters is mostly covered and I receive an additional stipend. Yes, it’s pretty nice. However, I can’t stand the job! It is so repetitious and because of that is just boring. I am going into a higher education program, so I want a job that I will be able to relate to my classes and relate what I am learning in my classes to as well.

I have applied for a full-time advisor position, not at the same school where I am obtaining my masters. However, this is more of what I am passionate about in higher education. I also have friends who know the hiring manager and executive dean of the campus who have put in good words for me.

Do I wait until I hear something promising (interview, etc…) from the full-time position before I resign from my current position? Also, do you think connections in the workplace are an advantage for applicants, to at least get an interview?

Oh dear.

I know the answer to this question will seem obvious to regular readers, but I get asked versions of it so often that there’s clearly a lot of confusion about it out there.

You resign your current job only after you have received and accepted a job offer.

You do not resign when you get an interview, because you might not be hired. An interview is not a promise to hire you. It is a conversation, nothing more, and it’s a conversation that they are probably having with other candidates as well.

You don’t even resign once you get an offer, because you might not be able to come to terms with the employer (on salary, hours, start date, or other factors).

You resign only once you have an official offer that you’ve accepted. Preferably in writing.

As for your other question, yes, connections are a plus. Having people who can vouch for your work ethic, sanity, intelligence, and general fit is a good thing. Not a promise though — so very much not a promise.

Don’t do any resigning until you’ve received and accepted a formal job offer.

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