To leave academia for a more routine job

(63 Posts)
googlenut Thu 03-Apr-14 22:43:06

I tried posting elsewhere but got no traffic. I have a chance to stay within the university on the same pay scale but in more of a support role. I'm currently on temporary grant reliant contracts. I am thinking of accepting due to the crazy expected work hours in academia and the constant competitive atmosphere that exists. Has anyone moved into research support and loved it/hated it?

126sticks Fri 04-Apr-14 11:50:22

Have been waiting to see if anyone replied, but they didn't. So am partly bumping for you, and partly I would like to see the replies myself!

Not even exactly sure what research support is.

BackforGood Fri 04-Apr-14 11:56:14

I have a friend who's dd has done this - we were chatting as my dh is in the same field.
I think the security of a permanent contract is something to be cherished, tbh. Only you will know if you will enjoy the work itself, but from a financial and security pov, short term grant funding for academics is, quite frankly, pants.

CSIJanner Fri 04-Apr-14 11:59:51

Take it. Grasp it with both hands. If it isn't for you, then you'll be on probation anyways so won't have to hand in a long notice. Research is different though - DH lectures as well as research whereas I was more the admin support with school role. The latter I found was not as fulfilling as the former, but then that could just be me.

googlenut Fri 04-Apr-14 12:00:06

Yes security is a big issue because its not just that you have a long term job but you are not having to work silly extra hours to prove yourself in the hope of getting tenure.

Support job would be coordinating parts of other people's research rather than running my own research. So would lose autonomy.
Lot to think about.
Would be good to hear if people have done this and enjoyed it.

cleofatra Fri 04-Apr-14 12:04:35

Do it. Academia is shit.

googlenut Fri 04-Apr-14 12:05:50

Would you like to expand Cleosmile

traininthedistance Fri 04-Apr-14 12:07:28

I would do it.

cleofatra Fri 04-Apr-14 12:08:09

Oops sorry I thought you were going to a non academic role all together. I left and went to a normal job , same pay , and actually finish at the end of the day! I was a bit lost for a while lol but it's great ! No ref pressure either .

bibliomania Fri 04-Apr-14 12:08:30

I work in uni admin (not research support) and really like it. The security is a big thing, certainly if you have or want to have dcs and/or a mortgage and/or other things going on in your life.

Even if you find it's not for you and you want to go back to research, I think you would learn things that would stand you in good stead if you decided to get back into doing research yourself (although others are better placed to tell you if having this on your CV would help or hinder).

cleofatra Fri 04-Apr-14 12:09:02

The loss of autonomy is different but having evenings and weekends is great

"crazy expected work hours in academia"
But everyone says their job is crazily long hours. Would it be any different anywhere else.

RedHelenB Fri 04-Apr-14 12:13:17

You might find the loss of automony an issue?

cleofatra Fri 04-Apr-14 12:13:49

For me not working in academia = finishing work when I close the door . Academia follows you home. And on holidays . And when you are sick .

as do plenty of other jobs though. This is not restricted to academia

SelectAUserName Fri 04-Apr-14 12:16:18

It sounds like a good idea on the face of it. Does your uni suffer from a 'them and us' culture between academics and support staff? That might be a tricky thing to find yourself on the other side of, IYSWIM.

cleofatra Fri 04-Apr-14 12:16:48

Oh definitely . But sounds like this may be the difference for the op re the new post

googlenut Fri 04-Apr-14 12:17:06

So Cleo did you find the loss of autonomy ok? I think that is my main worry - can work from home or adjust working day around dh and the kids. Downside is I've been doing a bit of work today on my day off because of paper resubmission. That's the big downside to academia there is always something else needing done and I might end up with no job!

traininthedistance Fri 04-Apr-14 12:18:53

*"crazy expected work hours in academia"
But everyone says their job is crazily long hours. Would it be any different anywhere else.*

My job is routinely 65-70hrs/week (has been for the past 10 years), but I'm paid much less than contemporaries doing similar hours in other jobs, and for most of that time I was on successive short-term contracts, several for only a year at a time. I often wish I'd not stayed in academia.

cleofatra Fri 04-Apr-14 12:19:34

I did struggle at first but the amount of autonomy where I worked wAs being reeled in anyway by micromanaging heads of departments. I miss the 35 days leave though

googlenut Fri 04-Apr-14 12:19:51

That is depressing train hmm

126sticks Fri 04-Apr-14 12:20:31

coordinating parts of other people's research

thats the part I dont get. [have a vested interest]

So the researcher has someone to do what exactly?

traininthedistance Fri 04-Apr-14 12:21:43

Stealth it's eminently possible to be working crazy hours in academia for years on fixed term postdoc contracts and be earning, say, less than one's own recently graduated students who have gone into teaching, for example. Kinda gets you down after a while. In my field you don't expect an entry-level lectureship until close to 40 with at least two books on average!

traininthedistance Fri 04-Apr-14 12:24:27

That is depressing train

Yes, definitely!

Ah fair enough if this is down to hours and pay. I have no idea about pay. I do know that on any thread about teaching there are pages and pages of posters complaining about the long hours. Ditto law. Pretty much any job actually. I work very long hours and recently could not take time off sick. However I feel the pay and conditions more than make up for this. and when we're less busy I can have a little bit of time to be a bit slack and prepare for the next onslaught (today for example grin)

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