I got a job offer today for an RA job. Good project, good people, though not strictly in my area. This job would offer me great technical and statistical training. Life-wise, it would work well for me and my husband, and hey it's 15 months employment when there's little else out there.
However, I also have an ESRC Postdoc Fellowship application being considered right now (decision due April), which if it came up l'd be mad to turn down. Needless to say, it'd be incredibly awkward to leave the RA project halfway through. ESRC won't let me defer or go part-time, although there may be a chance of withdrawal and resubmission for after the RA project is over, just waiting on an email with more info on that..
A lot of thinking to do today - can anyone help with advice or related anecdotes?
A tricky one but my gut reaction is take the job.
"Incredibly awkward" = real life.
Personnel churn I think they call it. Employers expect it. People leave, they get ill, they have family issues.. hell some of them die !
My advice .. take the job. If the other offer comes off. Take that too. You must, within reason, do what's right for now. what you can see, what's real.. not what may be especially when its out of your control.
I hope others will give more substantial advice ;-)
Best wishes. Chuff
I'm not sure that anyone will give more 'substantial advice', Chuff, as yours seemed spot on to me. I agree that you should take this RA job - five months is a long time to sit around waiting for the Postdoc fellowship that may not even be a 'yes'. Of course, I'm sure it will! But it's good to have something definite in the meantime and it's very normal for people to have to leave even short-term contracts in the middle.
Can't offer any advice. I've been in a very similar situation - I've got a part time, temporary RA job, but it *could* lead to a lectureship - nothing definite at all. And I've had to turn down a £32k local job - but it wouldn't have had any future. I'm sure hubby is not best pleased, but I had to gamble on the RA position - hopefully it will pay off, if not then there's always other things that will come up.
I'd say go with your gut feeling.
Thanks for the sensible and unified advice all. What you say is also in line with what my mentors are saying - that essentially there is no choice here, that I accept the offer and deal with later developments if and when they arise. I find work politics quite excruciating, but as you say, that's life. I also think that my new employers are being naughty in putting so much pressure on me to stay even before the contract's been drawn up, but hey.. everyone's gotta look after themselves I guess.
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