I'm wondering about people's experiences with navigating job offers while pursuing a Ph.D. How did you make the decision to stay or leave? If you left, how did you break the news? Were you satisfied with the decision you made?
I'm currently in an internship, which is required as part of my program. The internship is outside of academia. I've been doing great work there, and there's already been some insinuation from management at the internship that they'd like to keep me around. Honestly, I really like the work I am doing at the internship.
In regards to the work:
- I am working on projects where I can showcase my strengths.
- I am working at a level where I can see lots of potential for professional growth, and I am in the midst of experiencing that growth.
- The work I am doing is boosting the marketability of my resume by orders of magnitude above and beyond what I have, could or would get from my program.
- I've been able to take on a leadership role with high level projects and contribute in valuable ways.
- I think the work I am doing is meaningful and has the potential to make a difference in the world. It also has the potential to end up as a brief that sits on someone's desk, but potential exists nonetheless.
In regards to the job/employer:
- I'm surrounded by very smart people. I'm quite sure that management thinks of me as an A-Team caliber employee, but I know that there is a lot to learn from the people I am surrounded by at the internship. Honestly, I have not felt this way in my program.
- There is a great work life balance. Full time salaried employees can work no more than 39.5 hours a week. Anything above that is considered overtime, and employees are compensated appropriately.
- The benefits for full-time employees are better than what many people in my field will likely have when they are employed.
- Compensation is slightly above average, but stable with guaranteed incremental raises.
- There's modest potential for career advancement. If I did go to work for them, how much I could advance would likely be due to the level they hired me at. Honestly, at the higher levels (i.e., the level of my current boss), there's really not a huge difference in pay as you move to other levels in the company.
- MA/MS with experience are not compensated less than those with a PhD.
Bottom line: It is a place I could see myself putting in a decade for sure. I'd leave the job after that decade in a good position to work in a variety of other contexts.
I really don't want to piss anyone off too bad if I get an offer at this job and leave. It's never been my intention to stay in academia or even in the research firm circuit, which is still kind of academia. I've always been very clear and direct with my advisor about that point. My advisor has been fine with that, although very pointed in telling me that she/he has never worked outside of academia and all he/she really knows how to do is prepare me to be an academic... so if I want something additional from my experience in grad school I need to figure it out myself. My advisor has largely been supportive of allowing me to find my own path in graduate school, and I've been successful at finding that path and not too much wandering along the way. So, really it's a question of whether or not I owe it to my advisor to stay and forgo being paid an actual salary that I can live on, passing on a potentially great job opportunity, etc. A part of me says yes, but I'm wondering if the more mature answer is no. Everything I wanted in a job appears to be right in front of me. Would you take it?