16

I will avoid the discussion about "fair work practices", which I find problematic for the reasons explored in the comments. Instead, I will address two questions that I think are at the heart of your question. Does the fact that you work long hours contribute to a "culture of overwork"? Arguably, no. Investing a certain amount of time ...


16

Astronat made a great comment: No one wants to be part of a system they dislike, but that's not a reason to opt out of the system. It's a reason to change the system. Since people tend to have different working styles and personal lives, how could one expect a one-sized-fits-all approach to work-life balance? You can improve the system by working to ...


16

I am a Mathematician now working in Computer Security. Towards the end of my PhD, I gave a lot of thought to the problem you are suffering from right now, even though I enjoyed my PhD (for the most part ;-)). My conclusion was the following, and I think it still applies in your case; To stay in academia, you need to satisfy the following criteria: You have ...


10

I would suggest that you are framing the problem in a bit of a negative way. Your options (as you put them) are either "suffering" (continuing to look for a university job) or "giving up" (looking for non-university jobs). It's no wonder you don't like either of those options! My recommendation is to understand these options a bit better. ...


8

I don't see a "culture of overwork" unique to academia. Ask a small business owner, a salesperson, professionals in industry, and so forth. What you'll find is that, like academia, there's a natural selection process always in the works, selecting those who are successful. And in that competition there are always those who are willing to work ...


8

This is a very common problem for academics (in most disciplines only a tiny fraction of PhDs go on to a TT position in a research role). However, when you are inside the academy, it will seem like a rare problem, because by definition, no one else around you has left! The Professor is In addresses this in her fantastic book, in the chapter entitled Leaving ...


7

I think that indeed one should not dismiss, as it has been in some answers, the fact that the overwork culture is perpetuated as much by the increasing pressures in academics as by the people actually overworking. It is important to keep this in mind not to misunderstand some fundamental equilibriums. For example, some user spoke about "scarce research ...


6

It seems that one of your main concern is that you keep thinking about your research outside typical "business hours". Just to give you a different perspective: not all jobs outside academia are the type of 9am-5pm, where you finish the work at specific time and immediately cut off mentally from it. Consider a few examples: entrepreneurs - most (...


6

Professional boxers, even though they are in a physically very demanding and rough line of work, take great pains to care for their fists. Folklore says that traditional kettlebell athletes (who are generally the stereotypical 'tough' guys) have elaborate palm moisturizing routines. Its because they realize that hands are necessary for their sustenance. For ...


6

Those that dedicate themselves to their career will do better than those that don't. This is beyond your control: You cannot meaningfully influence the masses dedicating themselves to their careers,* nor the masses that don't. You're just one person, I don't think: [your] willingness to research in this way helps to reinforce a lot troublesome aspects of ...


4

Aside from becoming famous for your published work there are a couple of things, both of them a bit difficult. First, stay in contact with the academic world. Maintain contacts with professors. Work informally with students if you can find the opportunity to do so. Offer to teach some advanced course in your specialty as an adjunct. Attend a research ...


4

In Germany there are actually quite a lot of such positions at the so-called Fachhochschulen. To be a professor there, it is actually expected to have worked in Industry for at least 3 years (or so, depending on the state) and share your industry experience for a more applied education of students. Of course, an excellent PhD is also necessary. And usually ...


4

Internships. An internship or two will give you a taste of what a nonacademic career might entail and give your employers insight into you as a potential candidate. It's not uncommon for employers to view internships as a sort of extended interview. I have no doubt you'll learn things and see things you hadn't anticipated, perhaps interesting paths to follow....


3

I believe that many of the problems you listed result from the demand exceeding the supply for faculty jobs. In a game-theoretical sense, this results in individuals choosing hardships that, when repeated over a large system, might seem unethical. Ultimately, I think you would have to change the incentives of the entire academic system to avoid these choices....


3

Some new data: the University of Cambridge recently decided to phase out the titles "lecturer", "senior lecturer", and "reader", adopting the following mapping of old titles to new titles: Lecturer (who is still on probation) -> Assistant Professor Lecturer (who has already passed probation) -> Associate Professor (Grade ...


3

Although some people might reasonably think that "pure math" courses are irrelevant to your larger goals, I would claim that the popular distinction between "pure" and "applied" math is both scientifically meaningless, and potentially hazardous to people trying to get started. Having fluency with basic ideas of abstract ...


3

Previous answers give some great advice, which is somewhat one-sided. These answers are based on the presumption of having a "fair advisor". If you were confident in that, you would have talked to them directly. But since you posted your question here, the validity of such a strong assumption is questionable. [Speaking of one-sidedness, some ...


2

You need to identify what specific courses are needed to enter into the fields you are interested in. Then determine what you are missing and what your options are for completion. For example, for many health professions in the US there are post-baccalaureate programs specifically for career changers to finish their prerequisites.


1

Many years ago a friend of mine went back to school after a bit of a detour and wrapped up his PhD at the ripe old age of 31, then started applying to academic positions. One response, from a highly-regarded east coast school, was a rejection stating "we're looking for younger candidates, thank you for your interest." No doubt an outlier, but it ...


1

I'm a skeptic about this plan, actually. It is good to learn a lot of stuff, actually. A bachelors in the US is intended to teach you lots of stuff and also get started on a specialty. You may have unlimited money to support your student "habit", and you may think you have unlimited time. But the latter isn't really true. If you have no real goals ...


1

First: Don't care what people think about you or your decisions, as we often fail to make dreams come true for fear of what others will think of us. Second: there is no problem with doing several degrees, but one thing is certain if you are not a well-defined person in your goals there will come a time when all this excitement will end and you will look back ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible