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career anxiety

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Hi, my first blog post, going to try to start writing some on a regular-ish basis, hopefully writing something like a diary might help me. If this one seems like a rant to myself, to get it out of my system, then you are probably right but please comment below anyway.

Some things about me: I am clever (and modest) I am currently heading towards the end of a science PhD at one of the world's top universities. One things that this has taught me is that I am not happy in academia. So logically I am thinking of leaving. I think I want to go into teaching. The issue I have is I have always had this idea that academia is the only thing worth doing and jumping ship is making me feel very anxious, worried that it's a mistake. Here are some pros and cons:

-work will make me happier(I think)
-less isolated working environment
-can lay down roots and not have to work as itinerant worker for the next 10-12yrs! (as postdoc)
-Don't want job filling in grant applications all the time. (this is what a professor spends most their time on)
-I find teaching rewarding.
-Clearer definition between work/life & plenty of clearly defined holiday.
-I will be highly qualified in my subject compared to my peers.(over-qualified?) I have some related experience teaching and doing out-reach activites.

-not in academia (and I could make it in academia)(jumping not being pushed)
-less prestige
-less opportunity for travel

-pay roughly equal

Now I'm not an idiot I know the pros clearly outweigh the cons and yet I'm still lying awake at night worrying! heck the it will make me happier point should be enough by itself! as I really am not enjoying my current work and haven't for some time. I know I have to go. I am still anxious.

I still have sometime to run. It will be roughly 8 months before I have to put pen to paper on applications and such. Though I will be telling my supervisor of my intentions when he next raises the subject (which he does often). This impending conversation is also making me feel nervy as it will be something of a watershed.


  1. gigglemuffinz's Avatar
    These aren't easy decisions to make. I want to be able to say to wait till something just feels right, but sometimes that's not the case and you have to take a leap. You just have to follow your heart though, and do what you honestly feel is right. ^_^
  2. egor's Avatar
    First Good job getting a PhD.

    Now for what you are talking about. Some of it is called reality, but there is the other parts.

    I always wanted to get my PhD, but could never answer my own question of "in what field of Biology"

    After Doing the Research assistant stick and learning the joys of soft funding. I got into animal care and found the area that I loved the most. I was still doing the research, and did not get a lot of credit for the work, but I still was where I was happy.

    The thing I saw about the "phuds" was they never got to do what they wanted, except in one case. My Friends that taught the basics enjoyed seeing the light come on when a student got the concept and they could work on research in their spare time. SO it is all about balance.

    Do what will make you happy and the rest will fallow.

    Good Luck. - the Adult Baby / Diaper Lover / Incontinence Support Community. is designed to be viewed in Firefox, with a resolution of at least 1280 x 1024.