reaffirming that this is all a good idea

July 27, 2011

Even several months out from leaving research, and approaching a year since I started to make the decision, I keep finding these things that tell me it’s okay, it was a good idea, I don’t have to feel bad about leaving.

Today’s resource of choice?  “I am not wasting my Ph.D.” from project steph.  I don’t have one to waste, but it is nice to hear someone tell me that they didn’t waste 5+ years — therefore, I didn’t waste 3.

A favorite excerpt (emphasis hers, part of the organization of the post):

I’ve already decided to leave research, so I will just have to make use of my training as best as I can.

I have decided for multiple reasons that research is not the best fit for me. Thus, whether or not I am wasting my training is sort of a moot point. These are the two primary reasons why I left academia and the research bench:

  1. I was not personally fulfilled with bench research (i.e. the cycle of designing experiments, executing them, troubleshooting them, and analyzing the data). I was pretty sure I could find a job that I enjoyed more.
  2. I saw that the career path ahead (specifically that of an academic researcher) is extremely competitive and difficult. Jobs and funding are scarce. I just didn’t think that the academic research path was a good fit with other things I wanted/needed from life. (Some of these things were money and a desire to live in a specific geographical location.)

In other words, 1) I don’t wanna and 2) it’s gonna suck. I’m not left with much motivation to continue with a bench career or stay in academia. Why should I work so hard for something I don’t really want in the first place?

Exactly.  I didn’t wanna, and it was gonna suck.

Off to tell the masses about plant immune systems!


One comment

  1. Nope, don’t feel bad about leaving research. It can be a tough transition, but it will pay off immensely when you realize you’ve ended up in the right place after all! Everything I have done in the past 3 years since leaving the bench has been much more enjoyable to me than benchwork – a good confirmation that I’m headed in the right direction. I’m happy that my little rant has helped support you in your decision! Best of luck with your new career!

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