Because my lovely readers and tweeps are super awesome, I wanted to ask a favour. I have a friend who’s in structural biology. He/she is looking for a way to go back to his/her home state. My friend works in a good/high-profile lab, has had some unhappy times as a postdoc and was offered a lower paying position in his/her home state. My friend has a family and is worried about the pay cut and repercussions to his/her family’s life, and whether this is the right time and right decision.
I’m posting part of my friend’s email and would love to hear/read your thoughts on this. I know for a fact that my friend would appreciate your perspective. Thanks in advance.
Friend of Dr 27 writes:
Dear Science Friend:
” I need you opinion. I am doing quite well as a post-doc and I am enjoying the science, but the overall life as a scientist is not jiving with my family life. We want to move back to where we’re originally from (in the US) and I am now pursuing a job outside of research, although still science-related. Everyone around me says that I would be a good PI, but I just don’t have the motivation to follow that path and wonder if there is something wrong with me in not wanting to be a PI. Now I am thinking about taking a job in an editorial role for a big institute that deals with grants. I’m hoping that this will be a good move, but it is a major departure and one which I will not be able to return from if it fails. Pay is also about 20% less than what I would make at a company. Do you have any opinion or know of someone with personal experiences that you can share where they have left research, are being paid less, and now are happy?”
I’ll spare you the details of my answer, but it went along the lines of asking my friend to consider all the possible scenarios, and checking on his/her finances to see if the 20% pay cut could somehow be covered in some other way. At the time of my answer I was looking very deep into finding another job and getting the heck out of my postdoc lab, which may have clouded my judgement. Through Twitter I’ve met all sorts of tweeps, doing all sorts of academic, industry, entrepreneurial and many other types of jobs/disciplines, which is why I’m asking for your help. Extra points if you’ve faced a similar situation and can offer some input, but as always, all POVs are more than welcomed. THANKS!!