Career Choice

25 02 2010

How did you decide on your career path? Are you doing what you wanted?

When I entered grad school, I had no clue what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I thought about industry for a little while.  Well, I wasn’t really thinking about the work….I was thinking about the money!  In my field, and I’m sure most science fields, industrial jobs get paid a lot more than academics.  However, I soon realized that I don’t particularly care for bench work as much as I originally thought.  Therefore, that option went out the window rather quickly.

I thought about being like my boss.  A rather big wig in his field who writes grant, after grant, after grant, and gets awarded a lot of them! I’m sure that he gets paid well, and now doesn’t do much teaching, but he works ALL OF THE TIME! Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind working, but he works to the point where his home life suffers (In my opinion).  I do have a family, and they are the most important thing in my life.  I know that I would never sacrifice that much time with them for my job….so that pretty much ruled that out.  I also knew that I would have to do a major postdoc in order to obtain that type of position…which is something I am trying to avoid!

Even in undergrad, I knew that I loved to teach.  In graduate school that love really began to grow stronger.  Therefore, after eliminating the two options above, I realized that I wanted to be a professor at a primarily undergraduate institution.  I really feel like this type of position will offer me the best of everything that I love…I get to teach (a lot), I get to have a life outside of work, and I get to do very limited bench work!  It really seems like the ideal scenario.  Obviously, having never really worked in such a setting, I don’t know all the ins-and-outs of such a job, but I really feel a peace about applying for these types of positions. Now I just have to wait for an offer….

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2 responses

1 03 2010
Chemjobber

Pardon the self-promotion, but this interview may help answer some of your questions about what it’s like to be a PUI professor.

2 03 2010
joshuca

Thank you for that! I read it when you first posted it, but I forgot about it. I wish I could find more things like that on the Internet.

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