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choice of two potential positions

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choice of two potential positions

Postby JJM » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:30 am

I feel I am in a dilemma, either to accept the interview to a research position that is now scheduled or to wait to hear from my research proposal that will be submitted soon. I'm having a hard time to decide what to do and if there is any advice on this situation. My funding will end soon in a couple of months as a postdoc. Because of this, I applied to a position that is interesting to me and heard from them with an interview scheduled next week. The problem is that I really want to have my proposal, that is almost finished, accepted and work on that. That would be my first choice. However, because it will be my first research proposal, there isn't guranteee it will be accepted though I am trying my best to keep a positive attitude. At the same time, the other position is fixed for three years and if I accept it, if offered the position, I would feel bad if I left starting on my proposed research project. I would at least stay a year and write a paper with them but I hope staying a year wouldn't leave a bad impression. I guess I feel I would have to be devoted to the position if it was offered to me until I hear from the results of my proposal. If offered the position and I don't take it I feel it could ruin my chances of any position. I'm not sure what to do at this point. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.
JJM
 
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Re: choice of two potential positions

Postby Rich Lemert » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:40 am

JJM wrote:If offered the position and I don't take it I feel it could ruin my chances of any position.


So, let's look at this in a slightly different way. Let's say you had two different offers you were considering. You're going to have to turn down one of them, aren't you? Is that going to "ruin [your] chances of any position"?

As long as you're professional about it, it's just business. People decline job offers all the time, and for various reasons. As long as you don't do something foolish to burn your bridges, your decision is likely to have zero impact on your future employability.


JJM wrote:The problem is that I really want to have my proposal, that is almost finished, accepted and work on that. That would be my first choice. However, because it will be my first research proposal, there isn't guranteee it will be accepted though I am trying my best to keep a positive attitude.


I'm a little confused here about where exactly you would be working on your proposal. Are you planning on continuing your current post-doc? And is this something that would be time-critical that you would need to start on right away? Or is it something that you could save for your first "real" position?

Remember, post-docs are temporary positions. Your goal should always be to get out of them as soon as possible to start your "real" career.
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Re: choice of two potential positions

Postby JJM » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:01 am

Thanks I feel a little better now. I would be working on my proposal for a reasearch based company being very independent and as a PI and collaborating with many highly reputable scientists and other international institutes. This is my main goal. I don't plan on continuing my current postdoc and for sure now I won't have any funding to prolong it after a couple more months. My proposal if funded, wouldn't be so time critical. If I'm successful I could even postpone it up to a year as long as it would be ok with the program manager of the funding agency. The other potential position that I will get an interview on next week is a research temporary position and with funding up to three years. So, if I get this position and also manage to be successful on the proposal, then I would at least stay a year with them. I hope this is more clear and any further comments would help?
JJM
 
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Re: choice of two potential positions

Postby JJM » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:15 am

What I meant when I was saying If I turn down a position and not getting any position, I meant that if I get offered a position after the interview and I don't take it and I am not successful on the proposal either on the first submission, I won't have any position. The main thing here to recap I think is that if I take the potential position, and I get my proposal funded a few months later or so, would I look bad leaving after about a year? Would I look bad because I didn't stay the whole three years making them look for another candidate to finish the project and taking more time/money time to do so?
JJM
 
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Re: choice of two potential positions

Postby Ana » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:24 pm

Hi JJM,

It is only an interview, you don't know if you will get an offer or when it will happen. If you interview for it I see the following scenarios:
- They never make you an offer, so you have no decision to make. No problem.
- They make you an offer after you have heard from your proposal. In this situation you should have no problem either because either you didn't get your proposal accepted (no need to "choose") or you did and you are happy with your preferred option. It is ok to turn down that offer.
- They make you an offer before you hear from your proposal. This is the case you are fearing but you are not there yet. Depending on when you should hear from the proposal you might be able to get some extra time to decide on the offer. Or as you suggested, you accept it and if you end up getting your proposal accepted you stay for a year.

To answer your last question, I don't think it is bad leaving after a year for a position that was your dream job and better than the one you had. Give enough notice and be nice with the people.

Remember the worse case scenario here: not having any of the two positions. I hope you have other applications ongoing if your postdoc is running out of funding in a few months. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, no matter how pretty the basket.

Ana
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Re: choice of two potential positions

Postby JJM » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:43 pm

Thank you to both Rich and Ana regarding my questions and for the helpful information. I feel more at ease now to make choices without any stress. Just left is the normal stress of getting the position now.
JJM
 
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