koji berry

koji berry

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

To move on?

I visited my PhD supervisor today to talk about his postdoc offer. I haven't make up my mind yet, so I wanted to see how I would feel there. I did not feel really good there - walking through the lab gave me a kind of dark feeling. I have seen my former colleagues who are still struggling to finish their thesis - my competitors in the job market. I also met the professor who was one of the main examiners for my thesis defense. We have dinner together, my PhD supervisor, the examiner, and me. The examiner said that he was not surprised to see me there, and he will be surprised if I stayed as a project engineer (thank God, so it is not only my illusion that it was not for me).

Despite the good things that I learned - if I took the postdoc there then I could teach a class, supervise a PhD researcher, and maybe take a teaching qualification - I feel like coming back is a backward move. Please remember that this is my feeling, so not a well-reasoned thought. I had a great time there, but going back seems like a desperate move. I also feel that the postdoc will be too similar with my PhD.

Feeling should not determine the decision, but it is still a part of the reason of decision making. I read somewhere that people take better decisions if they based it on their feeling, as our feeling contains many information that we save unconsciously.

My feeling is however biased, troubled, murky. Actually I want to scream: why on earth can't I have an interesting company research job? (imagine all capital).

By the way, are you doing a PhD? Start looking for a job one year before you defend, so you have enough time to reject jobs you don't like. Plan one evening a week to work on your next job.

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