(Closed) Question for bees in academia (or working toward a career in academia)

posted 4 years ago in Career
Post # 2
9181 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

dulcevida:  bumping for you – I know there are some academia bees on here.  (Side note, this is the reason I stopped at a MS and went into government / private sector jobs… I value the rest of my life outside work too much!)

Post # 3
1465 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

dulcevida:  I am basically in the same position as a grad student right now, although I am working toward a professional degree in psychology. However, at my internship it seems like it never ends, everyone is always working overtime for professional development etc. It has me strongly considering doing a part time job when I have kids (I bet it will still be close to a 40 hour work week, but then I’ll actually have time with the kids!). Is going part time in academia something you would consider in order to make it work? 

Post # 4
5001 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I got my PhD in neuroscience last year and I never really felt like the work/life balance was that difficult. I finished the master’s + PhD in 5 years and I only ever stayed in the lab past 8pm maybe a dozen times. I just kind of had the mindset that I would work hard, play hard, but I also stayed very focused on my projects and honestly didn’t go above and beyond what I had to do. I knew people who tried really hard to be super stars by volunteering for everything and giving themselves additional work, and they’re still in the program years longer than I was. I published a lot and got a post-doc at a prestigious university (I ended up quitting and going into industry, but that’s not really relevant), so it wasn’t like I was slacking or anything.

It was just really important to me to have dinner most nights with my now-husband and to have my “me” time. I would wake up by 6am, go running, do my email/grading/writing, run my experiments in the lab, do some more email/grading/writing and stop at night. I ran 7 marathons, went on trips, and planned my wedding, but I didn’t go out on week nights or know what happened on TV last night. I guess I just picked my priorities and did my thing.

What field are you in? I guess that may play a factor, and I think the funding thing does too. I was in a fully-funded program the whole time, so I never had to compete for funding. Is your PhD program funded? I think a lot of it is just what you make of it, and it’s going to be very hard to keep up like you are for another 4-5 years in a PhD program. 

Post # 5
1995 posts
Buzzing bee

I didn’t have much w/l balance difficulty as a graduate student, but as a junior faculty member things are different.  A lot of that has to do with the climate of my institution, and that’s the problem with trying to answer your question: it absolutely varies from institution to institution and department to department.  I have junior colleagues in other departments at this same place who have good balance, and then there are those of us in other departments who are on anti-depressants and in therapy to help us cope with the fact that work completely overwhelms our lives. 

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