Academic common room
End of PhD - postdoc abroad or industry given my age and future plans for children
Strawberryfields6 · 11/07/2019 10:59
My PhD in the UK finishes in March 2020, at which point I will be 31 years old. My fiancé will be 34 and is a social worker.
There may be the possibility for me to take a postdoc role in Australia. I have decided I would prefer not to stay in academia long term, but would rather go into an industry role and I am in touch with a company who I’m interested in.
Given I will be 31 I would like to be thinking about having children in the next couple of years. However if I go to Australia I will come home at 33. I would then need to work in the industry role for a certain amount of time before I could start trying for a baby to be eligible for their full May leave. This could make me possibly 35 by the time I actually give birth, assuming I can even get pregnant.
Alternatively I could go straight into industry at 31 in the UK and try to get pregnant earlier.
My fiancé is very keen to go to Australia for these 2 years for the experience. He feels it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to go now while we have no ties. I would not want a baby out there as I want to be close to my family. I would be going to Australia purely for the experience as furthering my academic career is not really of interest to me. If this was 5 years ago I would be doing it without hesitation.
timeforakinderworld · 11/07/2019 11:03
I would go to Australia. You're still young enough for that to be an option and it sounds like fun!
bingoitsadingo · 11/07/2019 14:09
There are compromise options:
-Go to Australia and come back after a year
-Go to Australia and plan ahead financially so that you don't need to rely on a full mat leave package (you might end up working somewhere its pretty rubbish anyway) so you can start trying straight away when you get back (or shortly before)
leafinthewind · 11/07/2019 14:11
Stay here. You don't want to stay in academia, so you don't need a postdoc.
historyrocks · 11/07/2019 16:24
How important is it for you to have children? 34 isn’t terribly old, but it’s also not leaving you a lot of time if you have problems. And do you think you’d want more children because that would obviously make age a bigger factor?.
Also, given you don’t want an academic career, how happy would you be doing a postdoc?
SonEtLumiere · 11/07/2019 16:26
This reply has been deleted
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
mindutopia · 11/07/2019 18:09
If you don’t want to go into academia, could you take several months off and go traveling or seek out industry work abroad?
I had my first while doing my PhD and 2nd after a first postdoc, neither with enhanced mat pay. We saved and lived frugally and it was fine.
I don’t see a reason to do a postdoc if you don’t want to stay on the academic track, but there is no reason not to travel and live abroad while you easily can, so I would at least consider your options.
banskuwansku · 11/07/2019 18:58
I would go and did go. I went to USA for post doc. Nice worry less times. Moved to UK and had my first child at 34.
Now there could be opportunity to go abroad but with school age kids it is difficult, especially because they would need to learn new language.
Nearlyalmost50 · 14/07/2019 09:16
I don't see the point of doing a post-doc if you already know you don't want to stay in academia. Moreover, it's hard to do well if you are not committed to the outcomes, such as writing papers, conferences etc. That stuff isn't 'fun' in and of itself usually, but part of something bigger.I would find a way to go to Australia for a couple of months anyway, and start working in industry after that. It's so much easier to have kids when you are established, in terms of working patterns, making requests and so on.
ErrolTheDragon · 14/07/2019 13:50
I went straight from PhD to industry (at 25) and had established position such that they were very flexible about retaining me when I had DD.
It may depend a bit on what your industry is but good employers in some are very alive to retaining valued female staff.
Unless they're part of a well-thought out plan (albeit one requiring quite a bit of luck), postdocs can be a bit of a trap.
If you went to Australia, what would your fiancé be doing there?
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