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Unsure about progression


I'm currently in employment working as a chemist (production, over a year now) and have been going through quite a period of frustration. I graduated from university after a masters in chemistry (1st) with a year spent in industry abroad specialising in organic synthesis. Initially, i began a PhD within the same institution (in the UK) within organic chemistry but left as I was facing personal problems at the time, combined with a horrible sense of burnout, i took a break before entering employment.

Now, I am at a loss, I have passion for my subject still and have tried to deal constructively with some of the issues I faced, largely centred around my own confidence and belief in my ability, as well as other parts of my life that I was frustrated by at the end of my undergraduate course (I did seek counselling before and after leaving university altogether). My current job doesn't provide any room to learn at the level I feel I want to, yet I am terrified at the prospect of going back to do a PhD within a university. I understand many students go through periods (however long) where they feel awful about themselves/how things might be going.

I have looked to see if there are opportunities for such a PhD within an industrial setting with some ties to a university but they seem to be few and far between. I have tried to look at other jobs that might further my development, have had some success in getting interviews but no offers, especially given the current climate and situation we all face.

Ultimately, I do not know what is best for me, I feel I want to continuing learning and growing, and am trying to bring in satisfaction into other areas of my life that might help. Yet sometimes it feels like i let fear dominate my decision-making.

I appreciate this may read as a bit rant-ish and I do not want to offend anyone who may have been searching endlessly for a position only to read about someone who gave one up on what may seem to be sketchy details. If anyone has any kind of advice they feel they could offer i would be very grateful, and I hope that everyone is staying safe during these difficult times.

Thank-you very much.