where are they now: update #11 – ethics of taking an internship on top of a job

Remember the woman who wondered if it was ethical to take an internship on top of her full-time job without telling her manager? She was worried that they’d assume she was thinking about leaving and would frown on it.

Here’s her update (and why are almost all of these from women?):

I wrote back in September asking about leaving 15 minutes early from work for an internship. You advised me to speak frankly to my manager about my need to leave and accept the decision she made.

I ended up communicating some more with the small company that offered me the intern position. By offering to do some work from home over the weekends, I was able to swing a later start date, so I don’t have to leave the office early in order to make my internship.

However—I still haven’t spoken to my manager very explicitly about my internship, because although I initially assumed that they weren’t expecting me to stay on as an admin forever, I soon found out that, aside from myself, everyone has been working in their current positions for almost (or over) 20 years, and that my predecessor had my job for 10 years. The amount of discussion about my (now retired) predecessor has made me nervous to share that I’m exploring different industries, so my manager only knows about my internship in the vaguest sense. I’m not sure if that’s the best course of action or if I should discuss it with her more fully, but at the moment my internship is not interfering with my work at all, so it hasn’t come up.

I’m working 50 hour weeks with the extra time at the internship, but I am learning a lot. Thanks so much for your advice, and the advice of the commenters.