Monday, July 6, 2009

job stress

I’ve recently admitted to some job stress. When I've been working long hours in the field and everything keeps getting screwed up, I start to get tempted by every other job I encounter. "Receptionist at a doctor's office? In the AC? I could totally go for that! Grocery bagger? No responsibility sounds pretty good…”

The problem is now I’m starting to think, “It’s pretty sweet being a grad student. I get to do science, but I set my own hours, my research is my own, and I have an infinitely smaller amount of paperwork. Wouldn’t it be cool to be a PhD student and not have to worry about this responsibility stuff for another couple years?”

…no, it would not. As much as I bitch and moan, I do like having enough money that I can afford meat with my dinner. And actually building up savings instead of losing money. And not having to live with 3 strangers who walk off with all the forks I brought to the house. And…


Jennie said...

"No responsibility sounds pretty good" I've thought this so many times!! I also miss being a grad student at times, but seeing that you use to be a consultant I'm sure you know both sides of the fence, and yes, it seems the grass is always greener! Don't let the stress get to you.

A Life Long Scholar said...

I loved doing my PhD, and they paid me enough to put aside quite a nice bit of savings. This is a good thing, since I needed that cash to cover my moving expenses from Australia to Europe when starting my post-doc, but the moving allowance for that is paid upon arrival, so it is all good.

If you do want to do a PhD, I'd recommend checking out the Australian universities--their web pages list the amount of the stipend for each project up front, and they are just research based. No need to take classes (though you are free to sit in on any of them), no need for a qualifying exam (you are a "candidate" the day you are enrolled), no need for a defence at the end of it (your write-up stands on its own). Three years paid to do research, at a pace you set, and timing you choose. It was fantastic!