Should I stay or should I go?


About a year ago applied for a job that I really wanted (Dow). I was (am) miserable with my PhD position (Mech Eng), mostly due to external conditions - the issue is not the topic. Anyway, I was successful enough to be offered a position with the company a few months ago. The company has been willing to wait for me to finish up here and write up what I have for the lesser degree. But now I am having second thoughts, I have made some really good friends and met a girl I really like -this job is over 5 hours away. It occurs to me that it is just over a year or so now for me to get a PhD but I want this job too... if not now then next year. It's all a bit of a mess now. Not sure what to do. Any advice, job vs phd?


Hi Jono85,

Firstly, congratulations in getting the job!

If it was me in that position, I would try and look at the bigger, long-term picture. Is this job a gateway to a brilliant career in what you want to do, or is it just a job that would do for now? Similarly with your PhD - do you need a PhD to go into your ideal career? If the job is well-paid and is what you want to do, then personally I would go for it. Who knows what the job market will be like when you finish your PhD, and you might end up unemployed. On the other hand, if your PhD is the only way of getting into what you really want to do, then I would stick with it if you only have a year or so to go.

It's difficult, but please try not to base your decision on a girl - you might really end up regretting it if you don't take the job and the relationship doesn't work out.

Best of luck whatever you decide!


======= Date Modified 14 Aug 2012 21:39:56 =======
Hey Smoobles,
Thanks for your post. I don't have much work experience and on paper this job is something I'd really like to do. Whether it's for the rest of my life, I can't tell right now as I've never done it before. I know I shouldn't base my decision on my girlfriend... It just feels like I am giving up a lot right now and I'm not sure if I am ready. Career wise, I don't know which option I'll regret more, not having a PhD or giving up my "dream" (perhaps for now) job... especially next year, when I really need to be looking for a job or could be starting to write up for PhD.


I am going to have to agree with Smoobles. Ask yourself what the Ph.D. means to you. Most degrees are bargaining chips to help get a job. Hopefully, it is a job that we enjoy. Take an afternoon, day, weekend to write out your thoughts about the PhD and job (pros and cons). Black marker anything that is based on emotion (~5 hours is not that far for weekend visits with the girlfriend) and go with what matches your goals the best.


think about what you want to do. Look at the qualification level of the people who are moving up in that area. If they all havePhDs, then that is what you will need to get on. If it is something else then you may have a bit more of a choice. Have you asked how long they will give you? Ask if they will give you time to finish. Could you go part time for the write up so you could work for them whilst doing that? Don't base your decision on emotion that is not a good way to decide what to do.


======= Date Modified 03 Sep 2012 15:17:23 =======
============= Edited by a Moderator =============
Wow, difficult situation and either way you are going to lose something. The key is deciding what you want the most and really thinking about that.

I've found that I haven't listened to my intuition enough in the past and normally when I have had second thoughts it was my sub-conscious trying to tell me something.

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