Job offer advice

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dukebound85, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #1
    I recently defended my masters about a week ago in atmospheric science. Additionally, I have my B.S. in mechanical engineering.

    Prior to my defense, my advisor told me I may not be a good fit for the phd so I decided to look into career paths.

    Upon completion of my masters, my advisor is not wanting me to stay on for the phd. However, I have received an offer from a company as a result of my looking.

    So I have a dilemma

    1) I need to decide on the offer by this Friday. It pays well but does not require my masters degree, but utilized my undergrad in mechanical engineering. This offer is relatively close but the hrs would be 80-120/hrs a week. Should I take it? A bird in the bush and all.....

    2) I have applied to many other companies and would rather have an offer on a few (have not heard from though) but they would potentially make use of my masters and BS and be even more local. Should I wait to hear on these positions I would rather take?

    3) Or stay on for a phd? We do receive a stipend (~30k/year) as well as free education. My phd would be paid for.

    My hangups on option 1 is that it is an entry job that graduating seniors are eligible for and does not take into account my engineering work experience post graduation, nor the last 3 years I devoted for my masters. I do not want to sell myself short if I don't have to. However, it is a solid job and would pay considerably more than what I make now as a student. Additionally, having masters I would think would help in promotional moves (perhaps?)

    Another option I am considering is accepting offer 1 and seeing how things play out over the summer. I wouldn't start until August more or less. How bad is it to accept an offer, then reneg on it if a better one happens to come along? The offer I have is at-will on both my end and the company so it seems that morally it should be ok. Or is this a bad move and would burn bridges? Or should I care and look out for myself ultimately?

    The last option is to stay on for the phd, where the pay is meager, no benefits (no 401k, bad health insurance, no dental/vision, etc) and by the time I am done in 3 years, will be 31 or so with not much real life work experience. Not to mention that I may be overqualified for alot of positions/or only qualified for nitch work.

    Any insights? I have been talking with family and career counselors as well as much thought but I know many of you have had similar situations so I appreciate any input.

    As always, thanks MR


    PS: when reading other forums and I see experiences like the below, makes me think I should accept in meantime and potentially reneg
     
  2. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #2
    As I don't know anything about either of your fields of study, I can't be of much help in that area.

    However, I do have a concern...for some reason (unspecified), your advisor did not want you to stay on for your Doctorate. My concern has to do with the politics of Grad school. Having a faculty member who is opposed to your entry into the Doctoral program could, conceivably, cause you problems in you completion of the program, not to mention problems even being accepted in the program.

    My bias would be to suggest continuing for your Doctorate, with the above concern kept in mind.

    My best wishes to you whichever path you take...:D
     
  3. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #3
    If your only argument in favor of getting a PhD is that it is "something to do," please don't do it. Ill also note that if your current advisor is telling you that you won't be a good fit, you shouldn't take that lightly. Don't waste everyone's time and money. On the other hand you may have a festering desire to do research that you didn't communicate here or demonstrate to your advisor...

    Perhaps taking the current job offer while searching for something better is something to consider. Although from the sound of it you might not have a lot of time to go searching/interviewing.
     
  4. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #4
    So I can only tell you how it is in my experience. I work with a mixture of people some with degrees some (like me) without. Firms generally promote people from within who have ambition and are competent at what they do. However when they can't find that within they bring in people from outside the company. One of the problems I think you might find being over qualified is people will always assume you would only take the job they are offering you as a short term stop gap. Also if you are to be promoted it would come down to a line manager to asses your suitability. If he feels threatened by your qualifications he may well undermine you to the big boss. When it comes to hiring somebody in my department, experience always out weighs qualification.

    I would take the job. In the current climate it could be months before you get another offer. If you take it and a better offer comes along, then just tell your current employer. That way they can see you have drive and ambition (and may decide to make a counter offer) or will wish you well and you will no what sort of firm they are.
     
  5. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #5
    Duke,

    I don't see anything wrong with taking the current offer and if something else comes along making a change. At this point you only have one offer on the table and in accepting it you fully intend to begin working in August. You don't have any other current competing offers. Now, if something does come along over the next few months that is a better opportunity then you just let them know ASAP that you have been offered another position and that it is something you can't pass up on. This kind of thing happens all the time in the job market and there is nothing unethical about it. Now, if you had two job offers on the table things would be different, but that's not the case that you have described.

    As far as the PhD goes, that's just a personal decision that you gotta make for yourself. If it will afford you more opportunities, you have the desire to continue, and the advisor thing isn't something serious, then it's a viable option.
     
  6. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #6
    Thanks:)
    Yes, he had a change of heart sorta. He said I would be a great phd candidate in another type of research and my committee, including him, unanimously recommended me for the phd but dealing with more technical projects than theoretical.

    I just don't want to regret not going for a phd later in life when it is relatively easy now with no family and whatnot.

    Is it bad form to accept the offer and potentially not even going that route if I find something better?
     
  7. eric/ Guest

    eric/

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    Location:
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    #7
    Take the offer, see what happens, but don't let anybody know you've accepted or you're looking at other offers.

    Or, transfer PHD programs.

    Taking option one should be your fall back plan.

    It's "bad" to take the offer then re-nig. But hey, that's life. Not really any different than being hired and quitting or something. Just don't expect to every hear from that company again.
     
  8. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #8
    Thanks for your insight. Yes, it is the only offer I have at the moment, unless you count staying on for more school an offer as well. I figure being upfront with the company if something does come along to be the best approach as you alluded to. My fear is being blacklisted in a sense.
     
  9. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #9
    I wouldn't tell them that you intend to take any other offers if they come along. That's like asking a girl out and telling her you'll be there to pick her up unless a better looking date happens to be available. :D

    At this point no other offers exist so there is no reason to mention that until it becomes a reality. Believe me, companies know that their employees are always being recruited or looking for better opportunities. You don't need to tell them.
     
  10. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #10
    Companies do make offers, then rescind without a thought. They don't give a crap about you. Just sayin'.

    But one thing that jumped at me from your post: 80-120 hrs/week?

    How is 120 hours/week even physically possible? That's a little more than 17 hours a DAY without taking any days off!
     
  11. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #11
    I guess the question you have to answer (to yourself, not necessarily us) is why would you want a PhD? What kind of career path do you envision for yourself?

    I'm all for more good scientists in the world. So if you are truly dedicated to your field, to science, to the grind of academic life, I say do it. Just don't use graduate school as an escape from "real life." It won't be pretty.
     
  12. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #12
    No, I would be discreet with my dealings as long as I am able to. What you posted makes perfect sense. No harm in accepting and then backing out if something better happens. If I decline, I would be potentially kicking myself if nothing else turned up

    ----------

    Indeed.

    It is with an oilfield services company.

    When I interned with a similar company, I easily worked over 90-100hrs a week.

    That range was what they told us in the interview

    But yes, having a life is....hard
     
  13. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #13
    I think dang near impossible is a better descriptor.

    You sure you'd be ok with pretty much putting your own life to the side for the duration of your stay with that company? That seems like an awful high price to pay.
     
  14. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #14
    It is not ideal but the prospect of not having a job to pay the bills is less ideal. This reason is why I have been so hesitant on accepting it
     
  15. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

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    #15
    If my current job was asking me to work 80+ hour weeks I would not last very long. I am single and don't have anyone to answer to but with 80+ hours weeks... that would get old very fast. I would not put up with it very long and would probably end up quitting and regretting ever having taken the job.
     
  16. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #16
    The rub on oil jobs (*wink*) is that when they're hot, they're hot; you can make a ton of money working a ton of hours. But when demand starts to go down - and it always does - you might not work for five years or more.

    You never mentioned how having a doctorate figures into your long-range career plans. What type of job would you be looking for if you got the degree?
     
  17. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #17
    Per the phd, I just would like to keep as many doors open as possible. Ultimately, I would like to have my own business
     
  18. daileypj macrumors newbie

    daileypj

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    #18
    What is the purpose of obtaining a PhD?

    Do you have a research topic, or a particular area to explore? Access to funded research?

    Or would you like to teach at a university?

    A PhD is research designed to make a significant addition to the body of knowledge. It will take you anywhere from 3 to 7 years to complete if:

    1) You are smart enough. Not a genius or particularly outstanding, just enough intelligence to critically attack an area of study and become, for a brief period, expert in that area.

    2) Able to manage your committee. A social consideration. Five other PhD's will be looking at you, your topic, your research method and determine if you should be admitted to the club.

    3) You have perseverance. It is not easy, and not ment to be. If you have developed as a diligent, persistant writer in your graduate work you will find pleasure at the end.

    A PhD is about research. Research is about obtaining funding - a scramble to find research opportunities and battle with others over obtaining those scant funds.

    A PhD is not a professional doctorate as in the medical arts where the objective is to develop a skill, but to do something no one else has done, and write about it. After the doctoral dissertation, there should be a book or at least three research papers that result from your work.

    A university is a money making organization. There is a bit of mythology in higher ed selling us the idea that an advanced degree will lead to higher wages. You pay your fees and get your degrees. But a university education doesn't prepare anyone for a specific part in the work place. How can it? Have any of your professors been meaningfully employed in anything other than summer research projects or the odd consulting gig? How can they have the pulse of changing industry needs? Reading a few magazines or seminars? College should prepare the learner to reason and learn on their own. College teaches scholarship, but learning comes from individual research and investigation.

    With a terminal degree you may be interested in teaching at a university. Tenure positions at universities are in a decline, and being replaced with teaching contracts. A tenure track professorship is good work if you can get it, and if you get it, tell me how. <thanks to the Gershwin brothers for that line>

    So then at 30 years old you'll have earned a PhD and be entitled to the honorific Doctor, but with no real job experience. And then what?

    I have a PhD in Civil Engineering. It was something I wanted to do later (began in my late 40's) in life. My wife was able to support and encourage the pursuit. It won't/didn't help me find a better job, but it did allow me to be around my son a good deal and participate in his life in grade school through high school. I learned to think differently. As a result, I rarely take anyone's word for fact before I do my own research first.

    The best way to find a better job situation is to have a job situation. I've worked for seven companies, had a couple of my own. Industries change and we have to be able to see and adapt to those changes. Working for a company for 5, 10, 15 years doesn't entitle the worker for lifelong employment - maybe in Greece but not the US of A. Employees are compensated for their work. There is a myth of company/employee 'loyalty'? I think we confuse loyalty with fealty. A company is not a person, and does not operate to provide everyone with employment. An employee, the employee's work group, and the company must add value to a product or service or the employee is discharged, the work group disbanded, and the company facing bankruptcy.

    The recent economic situation is changing all of us. Universities can't afford tenured positions, our US Post Office can't afford all the bodies delivering subsidized advertising, and the Federal government as a whole is finding out that we can live without flight controllers manning little used airfields, parks that are overstaffed, and tours of the White House.

    You will wait a long time for the employer that is looking for an atmospheric mechanical engineer. A college education does not provide skills for the workplace, but prepares the graduate with critical thinking skills and the ability to learn what the employer needs to operate profitably.

    Engineering is the exploitation of science for commercial purposes. Consider exploiting engineering for your life purposes. Use your critical reasoning skills from your studies to engage in reasonable reflective thinking that will help you decide what to do or believe.

    See, with a PhD you too can write long-winded diatribes, polemics, and fulminations.

    Best of luck,

    Dr. Pete
     
  19. eric/ Guest

    eric/

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  20. oldhifi macrumors 6502a

    oldhifi

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    #20
    Any job you can get right now, you better take it, it's not going to get any better for a while..
     
  21. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #21
    don't take the job.......keep looking for something better

    well, assuming you still have the option of continuing to receive the phd stipend. That will give you some income, you can continue to look, and when a job you REALLY want comes along, then decide whether to continue with the phd or take the job.

    If you're in a position to continue to receive the student stipend, then you're really in a different, and better, situation than most students who are graduating and facing do-or-die job decisions.
     
  22. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #22
    I have this mindset as well as jobs aren't easy to come by, especially in the geographic region I want (Northern CO)

    Another view point to have as well so thanks. I just know I have been applying since last August and this is the first offer I have had so timid to turn it down so to speak.

    I do have funding until August and possibly September. If I decide to stay on, longer.

    Funding is not an issue for me if I stay for a phd. I am debating if I want to go for the phd though

    I appreciate all the insight. Nice to get others views on things as hard to keep it all straight in my mind
     
  23. stonyc macrumors 65816

    stonyc

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    #23
    Just my opinion, but if you are thinking about the PhD, you should consider the advice from Dr. Pete and this:

    http://matt.might.net/articles/phd-school-in-pictures/

    Will it help you get a better job? Probably.

    But you also have to consider that you'll probably become over qualified for a lot of jobs, too (which is a concern you have with your current job offer, no?).

    EDIT: Also, there's nothing that says that you can't go work for a few years with your Master's, and then return to graduate school if you find that a more research-oriented environment is your cup of tea. I didn't start my PhD until I was 34. And as Dr. Pete mentioned, he didn't start until his 40's.
     
  24. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #24
    I would take the job, but continue looking for something better.
     
  25. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    #25
    If I was desperate and needing work and money, then I would take it.

    On the other hand, if I was just doing the job hunt and someone told me the hours were 80-120 per week, I wouldn't even say anything, would get up and walk out of the door. That is a company being ***** cheap and not wanting to hire two people for what is absolutely a two-person position. Absolutely no one should be working 80-120 hours per week unless there is some serious overtime pay.
     

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