Trilemma: Professional career, PhD or family

posted
07-Jul-14, 15:39
edited about 26 seconds later
Avatar for magdalena
posted about 6 years ago
Hello everyone!
I'm a 32-year-old with 5 years of professional experience, holding two master degrees. My fiancé and I plan to relocate to Germany, so I need to start all over again, and I'm left in a trilemma. Namely, should I continue nurturing my professional career, get pregnant or start a PhD? Or maybe get pregnant+PhD. The thing is that I'm afraid that my career will suffer irrepairably if I choose family over my professional development. On the other hand, I'd like to have a baby soon and I'm afraid that pregnancies in general tend to get more severe when you're older. Additionaly I would love to get a PhD, but Im afraid Im too old for it and the odds that I will make a career in academia are slim (or not?).
Any wise advice? Anyone been there?
posted
07-Jul-14, 15:55
edited about 16 seconds later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 6 years ago
Quote From magdalena:
Hello everyone!
I'm a 32-year-old with 5 years of professional experience, holding two master degrees. My fiancé and I plan to relocate to Germany, so I need to start all over again, and I'm left in a trilemma. Namely, should I continue nurturing my professional career, get pregnant or start a PhD? Or maybe get pregnant+PhD. The thing is that I'm afraid that my career will suffer irrepairably if I choose family over my professional development. On the other hand, I'd like to have a baby soon and I'm afraid that pregnancies in general tend to get more severe when you're older. Additionaly I would love to get a PhD, but Im afraid Im too old for it and the odds that I will make a career in academia are slim (or not?).
Any wise advice? Anyone been there?


Some people start PhDs quite late in life, so don't worry about PhD and age. If you want to prioritise having a baby, do so.

There's also a few on here that have done a PhD alongside having a family, so I'm sure there's plenty on here who will be able to give you quality advice in this respect.

All the best whatever you decide.

Ian
posted
07-Jul-14, 17:33
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for HazyJane
posted about 6 years ago
At the end of the day only you know how much you currently desire each of those three things.

However...
Quote From magdalena:
Hello everyone!
Additionaly I would love to get a PhD, but Im afraid Im too old for it and the odds that I will make a career in academia are slim (or not?).


The odds that you will achieve a career in academia will not necessarily reduce because of your age. However, it is worth noting that the odds of *anyone* succeeding in academia are very very slim, regardless of age or family situation. Make sure you have a realistic understanding of the academic job prospects in your field before you pursue this option in favour of the others.
posted
07-Jul-14, 19:08
edited about 2 seconds later
Avatar for dancingqueen
posted about 6 years ago
If you want a family then personally I wouldn't put it off too long as you may not get pregnant straight away. I did my previous degree which included study and clinical placements with two very young children so it can be done but it is definitely not easy!!
posted
07-Jul-14, 22:49
Avatar for Jellybeanz2
posted about 6 years ago
I am just finishing my professional doctorate (just doing my post-viva amends). I also work full time and have 2 amazing wonderful children aged 9 and 3. I would give up work and my doctorate tomorrow, but children change everything. I am so thankful I had them. Point is children are time limited, whereas the others aren't to the same extent. It's been really hard work, but it is possible to combine..... I am just the mum who is also sat cross legged on the floor writing whilst my kids are doing their activities.

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