Another Door Closes
Yesterday I emailed by project supervisor, who had been pestering me about doing a PhD. I basically explained that I don’t currently want to do a PhD, and that I have been looking for and found a graduate job.
This was not an easy email to send. Despite being pretty certain that I want to take up this job offer, a part of me won’t let up on pointing out that I am turning down an opportunity that may not come up again.
Looking at it, I see this:
- Doing a PhD allows me to pursue something I’m probably interested in, to a level further than anything else I can do on my own.
- Doing a PhD will mean I can call myself Dr, which is kind of cool (even if it’s Doctor of Philosophy)
- I will essentially be being paid to do a PhD, and so start working off some of the mountain of debt I seem to have acquired
- I can earn twice as much doing a real job as I can doing a PhD
- I still don’t know if I want to stay in engineering, and if I don’t, this is another few years down the pan
- I can do a PhD later if I wish, so if I stay with engineering the opportunity probably isn’t gone forever
- Other than being slightly more prestigious, I don’t see any benefits that a PhD can give me that experience doing the job won’t
I’m not saying it would be easy to take up a PhD later, and I’m not saying that it would be a complete waste of time. I’m sure that, if I actually went for it, it would probably be fun. But that wouldn’t answer the question of whether or not I want to do the job. The only way I’m going to work this out is by giving the whole job thing a go.
I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t settle for a job I didn’t enjoy, just because it paid well. I know full well that I can earn more as an engineer than as a nurse or a paramedic. Perhaps if I was willing to go the whole hog and become a doctor of medicine it would be different, but I don’t, so that’s that. I also know that as an engineer I’ll get nicer hours (or rather, not shift work), probably have a more comfortable life outside of work, and potentially be very successful. However, none of this means very much if I don’t enjoy my work. I’m sure I can live a comfortable and happy personal life on a nurse’s wage, and if I enjoy work more as well I think I’ll be better off.
And because of this, I won’t change my plans. I will give engineering its chance. I’ve invested too much into it now to not, and all this disenchantment may just be from uni course burnout. However, if a couple of years down the line I decide that enough is enough, I will move on and do something else. And, in the mean time, I will work to put myself in the best possible position at that time.
I just have to keep reminding myself that while I might be passing up opportunities now, it’s all so that I can keep my options wider in the future.