Author Topic: Which postdoc job do I go for?  (Read 1781 times)

acorn

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Which postdoc job do I go for?
« on: October 21, 2015, 11:43:09 AM »
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« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 12:13:03 PM by acorn »

mamagoose

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Re: Which postdoc job do I go for?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2015, 11:48:01 AM »
I'd choose Lab A because I get really bored at jobs quickly. Going back to a place you worked before means you've got that much shorter of a fuse for their BS b/c you've seen it all before.

Frs1661

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Re: Which postdoc job do I go for?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2015, 12:01:20 PM »
I vote lab B. Work-life balance is of critical importance. I have known some people who worked in labs were students and post docs are treated as indentured servants, and that life is not for me.

Since are just running out the clock on your 'bond' until you can RE, the quality of publications you produce is irrelevant. I commend you on your frugality to be able to reach FI as a post doc!

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skunkfunk

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Re: Which postdoc job do I go for?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2015, 12:10:55 PM »
Your only case for "A" is that the work is more interesting. Is that even guaranteed? You say it is only partially related to your thesis, and that you'd be on a learning curve. If you are going to pull the FIRE trigger, is that even important?

I'd vote B, but that's because I know what I would want. I don't know what you want, even after that monologue. I suppose you could just flip a coin. I've no personal experience with post doc, labwork, etc. so take that with a grain of salt. I spent 7 years in college and bailed out when I realized I had no interest in academia as a career.

FrugalFan

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Re: Which postdoc job do I go for?
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2015, 12:11:11 PM »
Yeah, you put me to shame. Almost a decade in a faculty position and I'm nowhere near FI.

Given that you don't plan to go on in research, I would definitely vote for Lab B, otherwise I would say Lab A. If you are going on in research, pubs and research output are critical, and the long hours required to achieve those are pretty standard if you want to be at the top of 10% the pack and get a good job. Learning a new set of skills is also important when progressing in a research career.

If you don't want to go on in research and want to FIRE when you are done, Lab B is the obvious choice. Same salary and benefits and similar COL, better quality of life. If you're concerned about being bored/not learning enough but the PI is laid back, and you want to try some new and exciting stuff, he may give you some leeway. You may also be able to apply to fellowships or grants to visit other institutions for short-term stays to learn new techniques.

Better Change

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Re: Which postdoc job do I go for?
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2015, 12:36:24 PM »
Personally, I was pretty spent after my PhD.  I didn't even think of taking a postdoc position in the group of a top-notch researcher, because I simply didn't have the energy.  So kudos to you for being tougher than I am!

I'd go with option B, no question there.  Most brand spankin' new PIs are assholes.  There's no way around it.  Publish or perish - and publish at the expense of your students' souls.  You seem pretty chill.  Is that environment the best for your outlook on life?  Ha.  I think I'd rather have my teeth drilled than be told I'm a disappointment (or worse) by someone who's got what?  A year or two on me?

I got an industry job post-PhD.  Best decision I could have made.  Probably a lot like your option B.

acorn

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Re: Which postdoc job do I go for?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2015, 01:58:05 PM »
Given that you don't plan to go on in research, I would definitely vote for Lab B, otherwise I would say Lab A. If you are going on in research, pubs and research output are critical, and the long hours required to achieve those are pretty standard if you want to be at the top of 10% the pack and get a good job. Learning a new set of skills is also important when progressing in a research career.

If you don't want to go on in research and want to FIRE when you are done, Lab B is the obvious choice. Same salary and benefits and similar COL, better quality of life. If you're concerned about being bored/not learning enough but the PI is laid back, and you want to try some new and exciting stuff, he may give you some leeway. You may also be able to apply to fellowships or grants to visit other institutions for short-term stays to learn new techniques.

Yeah I'm going to go with Lab B. No reason to make my life more difficult. Thanks for the advice everyone.