Applying for RA positions instead of role requiring PhD...

posted
09-Jul-18, 16:49
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 6 days ago
Yeah, I must admit I can't see how it can hinder you. Experience is experience.
Is there a particular reason you think it might be a hindrance?
Has someone in a position of authority or knowledge told you it might be or is this a gut feeling you have?
What is driving your concern?
posted
09-Jul-18, 21:21
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 6 days ago
Quote From pm133:
Yeah, I must admit I can't see how it can hinder you. Experience is experience.
Is there a particular reason you think it might be a hindrance?
Has someone in a position of authority or knowledge told you it might be or is this a gut feeling you have?
What is driving your concern?


Hmm, I think it is more a case of just not knowing what is the norm / how things work. For instance: if it raised questions as to why I hadn't tried to secure a postdoc immediately or something (sounds a bit silly but still...). I don't want to do something that could negatively impact on my career and then only realise it in hindsight. Through having made several decision I regret because of just not knowing how things worked before / at the start of my PhD, I have probably developed a kind of paranoia where I know have to look really hard at everything and from every angle to make sure I am not making a decision I will regret later when I know more!

Tru suggested some potential pitfalls earlier on in the thread, and those were certainly useful to consider.

Anyway, after hearing people's thoughts on here and discussing it with a few people, it doesn't seem like it would be a damaging step to take. Perhaps what is more important is to try find one that might offer some scope for development and/or publications, and to try and find one with a decent PI.

You've got me reflecting and synthesizing my thoughts again, pm133 - thank you!
posted
09-Jul-18, 21:33
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 6 days ago
I suppose one way it could be seen as a negative might be that I already have lots of RA experience and time is passing, so I should be trying to get on to a postdoc rather than taking on a fixed term contract as an RA... that could be a valid concern I suppose.
posted
10-Jul-18, 23:08
edited about 2 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 5 days ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
I suppose one way it could be seen as a negative might be that I already have lots of RA experience and time is passing, so I should be trying to get on to a postdoc rather than taking on a fixed term contract as an RA... that could be a valid concern I suppose.


Well the easy answer to that is that you take the RA because good intentions dont pay the bills. During the RA work you actively look for postdocs. The point is that even during a postdoc you will be on the lookout either for the next postdoc or some independent funding via fellowships or whatever. You are never static. Always looking for the next step.

I have a gut feeling that you might be missing the bigger picture here due to what you describe as paranoia in the above post. The bigger picture is that when moving forwards, real life forces you to sometimes take a meandering path with sideways movements. As long as you can explain the rationale behind your actions and decisions there should be no problem explaining that to a reasonable person and you wouldnt want to work for an unreasonable person again anyway.

I know I risk annoying you here but I have to say again that I still feel you give the impression that you care too much about how you think others will perceive your decisions. You posted on a similar theme elswhere when talking about how you prefer the prestige of certain job titles for PhD students. The symptom of this is overthinking simple things and assigning undue importance to things which are unimportant.

I might be wrong here but that is what I feel is happening in your case. Of course its almost impossible to be certain when chatting over the internet.
posted
10-Jul-18, 23:15
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 5 days ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
I suppose one way it could be seen as a negative might be that I already have lots of RA experience and time is passing, so I should be trying to get on to a postdoc rather than taking on a fixed term contract as an RA... that could be a valid concern I suppose.


If you were turning down postdoc positions for RA roles I would agree.
What do you do if you turn down RA positions whilst chasing a prestigious postdoc but dont land the postdoc?
What if the RA positions have also dried up whilst you were looking elsewhere?
I think the key is to stay in the game by whatever means are at your disposal. Dont reject the hammer because everyone wants to see a shiny screwdriver. Sometimes the best tool for beating the crap out of something is the ugly beast of a thing you want to pretend is not on your shelf.

That sounded way better in my head :-D
posted
10-Jul-18, 23:16
edited about 2 minutes later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 5 days ago
Quote From pm133:
[quote]
I know I risk annoying you here but I have to say again that I still feel you give the impression that you care too much about how you think others will perceive your decisions. You posted on a similar theme elswhere when talking about how you prefer the prestige of certain job titles for PhD students. The symptom of this is overthinking simple things and assigning undue importance to things which are unimportant.

I might be wrong here but that is what I feel is happening in your case. Of course its almost impossible to be certain when chatting over the internet.


I'm not annoyed : ) I assure you though that I don't care/mind about how others perceive my decisions (if you knew me then you wouldn't even entertain the thought!). However, I do care about the implications of my decisions. Those are two different things as I tried to explain earlier.

In this case, I agree that I am being a little too weary / paranoid and overthinking a simple decision. But that's because of my PhD and some of the decisions I made there - not realising that it would have an impact later.
posted
10-Jul-18, 23:23
edited about 45 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 5 days ago
Quote From pm133:
You posted on a similar theme elswhere when talking about how you prefer the prestige of certain job titles for PhD students.


Nope. Wrong person. I said I didn't mind what people called themselves (PhD fellow, PhD candidate, PhD student, PhD researcher etc), and I myself choose to go by plain and simple "PhD student". I explained how that I did once use PhD researcher, as I was having difficulty getting into schools to do research and thought maybe researcher would sound more credible. It made no difference though as far as I can remember (I got into the schools by simply persisting until they let me in!).
posted
10-Jul-18, 23:27
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 5 days ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Quote From pm133:
[quote]
I know I risk annoying you here but I have to say again that I still feel you give the impression that you care too much about how you think others will perceive your decisions. You posted on a similar theme elswhere when talking about how you prefer the prestige of certain job titles for PhD students. The symptom of this is overthinking simple things and assigning undue importance to things which are unimportant.

I might be wrong here but that is what I feel is happening in your case. Of course its almost impossible to be certain when chatting over the internet.


I'm not annoyed : ) I assure you though that I don't care/mind about how others perceive my decisions (if you knew me then you wouldn't even entertain the thought!). However, I do care about the implications of my decisions. Those are two different things as I tried to explain earlier.

In this case, I agree that I am being a little too weary / paranoid and overthinking a simple decision. But that's because of my PhD and some of the decisions I made there - not realising that it would have an impact later.


Yeah, like I said, it is very difficult to read people online.

OK lets deal with the second paragraph of your post above.
I am not surprised you are like this after your experiences with your previous supervisor.
Obviously you want to make sure you dont make the wrong decisions but also you dont want to be crippled by paranoia either.
The obvious suggestion then would be to find out whether this is likely to be a problem or not by extending your enquiries beyond the circle of people you have already spoken to. You have uncertainty and in the void of uncertainty, fear and doubt pile in, drink all the beer and play their music too loud.
I have been drinking too much red bull and watching too much House........
posted
10-Jul-18, 23:27
edited about 44 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 5 days ago
Quote From pm133:

If you were turning down postdoc positions for RA roles I would agree.
What do you do if you turn down RA positions whilst chasing a prestigious postdoc but dont land the postdoc?
What if the RA positions have also dried up whilst you were looking elsewhere?
I think the key is to stay in the game by whatever means are at your disposal. Dont reject the hammer because everyone wants to see a shiny screwdriver. Sometimes the best tool for beating the crap out of something is the ugly beast of a thing you want to pretend is not on your shelf.

That sounded way better in my head :-D


Lol @ hammers and screwdrivers!

Yes, I am not turning down postdoc positions at present. That is a good point.
posted
10-Jul-18, 23:29
edited about 17 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 5 days ago
Time for bed I think lol.
posted
10-Jul-18, 23:33
edited about 10 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 5 days ago
Quote From pm133:

The obvious suggestion then would be to find out whether this is likely to be a problem or not by extending your enquiries beyond the circle of people you have already spoken to. You have uncertainty and in the void of uncertainty, fear and doubt pile in, drink all the beer and play their music too loud.
I have been drinking too much red bull and watching too much House........


Yes, I'm doing this. And I think it's a good plan now. The paranoia is fading.

Too much Red Bull - you'll feel horrible in the morning!

Thanks 4 the discussion.

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