The moment you finish grad school, a weight is lifted from your shoulders. You’re free to follow your scientific passion and publish your discoveries in top-tier journals. But don’t get TOO comfortable, because we’ve already started the countdown on your temporary position…
Last week, we asked postdocs what they loved and hated about their jobs. This week, we try to discover the common themes. Postdocs love the autonomy and freedom they feel as they push the boundaries of scientific knowledge, but why is the “system” forcing them to move on after just five years? And why is the pay-scale derived from a dark-ages fiefdom with serfs and vassals?
Postdocs in 2015 are happy to use their skills to pursue new branches of scientific inquiry, but they’re frustrated by postdoc limbo status. They long for the salary and benefits of their “muggle” (non-magical/scientific) peers, and wish they had spent more time building their CVs with the bullet-point experience that could help them land a job in teaching or industry.
In the end, they offered valuable advice for other scientists advancing through graduate school. Whether you’re an incoming PhD student or a postdoc completing year five, you’ll benefit from the wisdom, experience, and “do-as-I-say-not-as-I-did” insights of the postdocs we interviewed.
Also in this episode, we sample something old, something new, something black, and something tan. Okay, so it’s basically a fairly new Black and Tan from Berkshire Brewing. They call it “Shabadoo,” and it’s a porter/ale mix blended with precision in Massachusetts. Shabba-dabba-doo!