Monday, April 27, 2009


Ok, the dilemma has arrived. Now that it has, I realize that I was hoping the decision would be made for me by default. But it wasn't meant to be. Help!!

A position that I had applied for in another lab has become available. My current position is listed is technically as an hourly-wage position, even though I get paid for 40 hours a week no matter how much time I put in. It doesn't have health benefits though and that is a wee bit of a problem. The pay isn't fabulous, but it's average.

The position that has become available would be a regular post-doc position with health benefits. So even if the base pay is the same I get now, it would in real terms be better-paying. It involves research on a topic I worked on a few years ago, so presumably the learning curve is minimal. My current job is (at least on paper) not quite in line with the work I did for my PhD, but that hasn't stopped me from producing good-quality work. For immigration purposes it might be a good idea to take on the new position, because that one is more in line of what I studied for. It'll be easier to make the argument that I'm this indispensable scientist int he field.

The big thing is I absolutely *love* my current job. The lab I work in is large compared to the lab where I'm offered a job now. I don't think I can stress enough how incredibly happy I am here. It is so much fun to be in a large lab, with lots of great people, a fantastic PI. I get up in the morning eager to rush into the lab to get to hang out with cool people, and do cool research. I've had to learn some new things in the past 3 months, and I think I've gotten quite good at it. My boss told me the other day he has another small project using the same principles in another crop that he got funding for. I could polish that off in no time.

This is really hard. I'll be putting up a pros and cons list in the next day or so, and everyone can help me decide. I had sort of hoped that the other position would wither away, maybe not be available anymore, or whatever. At the same time it would be a good opportunity to get back into the work that I did in the past. I would actually be very good at it. Would that be satisfying in and of itself? You help me decide!


EcoGeoFemme said...

Hmm, tough call. Can you postpone the other job for a little while? So you get to have as much time as possible in this really fun job, but then move on to something more immigration-sure?

makita said...

I suppose I could, but it might not send the right message. At any rate, I have to get on this immigration think pronto. I don't have all the information to properly weigh pros and cons, such as salary, cost of adding dependents to my health plan, the details of the project, for how long it's funded, etc. I'll find out soon enough, and I'll post those considerations. Right now I'm slightly leaning towards the status quo.

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

"head versus heart" is always so tough. A lab where the atmosphere, colleagues and research match your own interests and personality is such a difficult thing to find; but then again health coverage is (in my opinion as a pinko-commie European) a necessity.

Is there any way you could acquire benefits coverage in your current job? Perhaps by including it in a grant application?

Immigration... well, you can spin anything if you have to. If you stay in your current job, you will be able to point to all the progress you've already made as your essential contribution, and say that coming from a different field gives you a unique skill set that no-one else in your lab has.

Good luck!

makita said...

I agree completely Cath. The immigration issue is important though. I would hate to be denied and feel that I hadn't done my best. But I do love my current lab so much. And my boss said he was looking into the possibility of getting more funding so I can get health insurance, or an increase in salary so I can buy my own. Sigh.. More information will come available and help me out (I hope).