Algebra of need

My calculator has broken. It’s a sign.

So, accepted the offer, and we start software development next Monday at 6pm. Work knows about my decision to leave, but I have not yet put in official notice. I’ve asked for a career break of 1 year, and they’ve told me it’s contingent on passing my exams. Which I am 80-85% sure I have not passed. If I have passed, I am not currently able to study for the second year while working.

The official notice period to leave is 1 month. My results come out in 1 month. They’ve told me they try and fire people as fast as possible once the results come out, and the faster the better in my case. Generally 2 weeks.

So the option is put in notice tomorrow, and leave in 4 weeks, or stay another 6 weeks. Regardless, I have to do 4 60 hour weeks at minimum on the course.

For the Month’s notice:


  • Start earlier
  • less stress and pain
  • better performance in class
  • less likely to pick up another injury
  • Marginally happier


  • lose out on €770 wages
  • harder to get welfare – up to 9 weeks wait
  • lose potential for career break
  • worse relationship with work
  • work more likely to ask for fees back

The assumption underlying the 6 week choice is that I will be fired within 2 weeks of getting my results on the 17th October. If I wait 6 weeks:


  • Potential for career break if I pass exams
  • Get welfare in 4 days when fired
  • Another €770
  • Less likely to ask for fees
  • Better leaving relationship


  • More consistent pain for 6 weeks
  • 6 weeks of 60 hour weeks could injure me further
  • If I pass exams, unclear if I will then have to put in a month notice to quit for study leave.
  • 25% of material will have reduced attention
  • Exhaustion for remainder of course

If I am fired within 2 weeks of getting the results, staying 6 weeks is the better option. If I chose the 6 week option, I stand to earn about €770 more, and will get welfare much quicker, guaranteed.

Quitting within the month means I give up €770, and also adds the risk of losing €98 – €144 a week, for up to 9 weeks. At it’s worst, that’s €1300, or almost €2000 total.

What I stand to gain by quitting after a month is 10 days to begin studying and concentrating on the material, plus the lower risk of injury. This is a very intensive course, and I may not be able to make up the time spent studying later. Doing 60 hour weeks isn’t realistic in terms of my health.

So, within the 6 weeks option, I can take close to two weeks paid leave, and probably swing some unpaid leave. This would reduce the negatives of the 6 weeks option. I’m not really booked on any big jobs, and try to avoid stress while I’m in work.

References from work are on request by a potential employer, so I’m not sure how relevant they are to quitting.

If we can solve this problem, I can maximise the return while minimising the downsides of pain, being asked for the fees back, and losing potential welfare income.

I guess that problem solving training was worthwhile.


2 thoughts on “Algebra of need

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