Do I take the research job?

I am starting school in the fall to finish the pre-med prereqs I started 15 years ago. I decided that I really need to work F/T, but would like to switch into a research position in medicine (I work as a researcher in education technology).

I just got a second interview for a research position at a major medical center in NYC but am feeling ambivalent about the position – although it involves research I am highly interested in. I happen to have a masters degree in psychology, and the research is led by psychologists and psychiatrists. However, it is a very junior level research assistant job (very clerical, taking research subjects through the protocols, maintaining the databases, staying on top of supplies), plus there’s little chance of being able to publish.

I think I can do better than that. I’m planning to meet the people there and either find that the people would make great connects and thus worth the sacrifice, and/or get my resume into their circle so I can network my way into a better position that is more worth it to me. I think that I am not willing to give up half my salary at my current research position for this opportunity, even though it’s in medicine – I think that the benefits really have to be worth the sacrifice.

Still, I wonder if I there is anything else I have not considered as I look at this opportunity, and that perhaps I should look at it more seriously than I am. One major thing is I might get tuition reimb at a much higher level university than the one I am currently planning to attend (although it means I will pay about the same, or even more, than I already am, due to taxes). Thoughts?

  • minan Said:

I think I can do better than that.

First, congrats on the second interview. But i cant help but think that you answered your own question!

LOL I suppose that’s a good point. But to be honest, I have my doubts, but that could just be self-doubt vs. a realistic assessment, which I’m trying to figure out. It’s not like I have research opportunities at a top medical center knocking on my door every day. Still, I’m not sure it’s worth it !!

So I guess that begs the questions, what would make it worth it? If I knew I’d be working for someone who will be a great mentor, who is working on research I truly care about and will let me make a contribution, and with whom I could possibly publish a paper – that would make a sacrifice like having my salary cut in half, having to move and live with roommates, etc. worth it.

I do hope to combine a research and clinical career so it’s probably a good idea for me to work in medical research, but I’m not sure how picky I should be.