前两天在LinkedIn上看到有人说，大家都不要去做postdoc，不要给这个败坏的学术系统再继续供养廉价劳动力用以被剥削云云。转发的是一篇Nature的文章，Lab Leaders Wrestle with Paucity of Postdocs。想起我两年前毕业的时候有不止一个教授来跟我说过我应该继续做postdoc而不是进industry，说我只要再补几篇publications应该就能找到教职，在学术界做research多么适合我等等。当时TA过的教online communities的知名教授也直接来问过我要不要跟她做postdoc。两年过去，回想起当年离开学术界的决定，大周末的写了长长一篇发在LinkedIn上，解释了一下我个人为什么不继续做postdoc的原因，也发在这里留作记录。
There are several reasons for me, personally, that I decided not to apply for a postdoc, even though I graduated at the height of the pandemic in the summer of 2020, when there was no regular “new grad UX Researcher” opening positions and many companies were applying hiring freeze.
1. I guess in general, I just wanted to move into a new environment and get into the “real” world. Admittedly, schools are also part of the real world, but I guess I do wanna try experiencing a life outside of school. I have been in school since the age of 6, and besides the one gap year I took, I’ve been in school for 22 years by the time I graduated. I wanted to feel something different.
2. I also no longer wanted to kiss anonymous reviewers’ asses, at least not in a while, haha. I definitely understand why the system of peer reviewing is necessary for creating knowledge and I see great value in it. But it’s just not for me. I suppose this is because of my own personal experience as a PhD student.
3. As a researcher in academia, I got very little time to read the books I love. And I longed to read some science fiction and poetry, not just literature in my research field.
4. Seriously, after being in graduate school for 7 years (2 yrs MS + 5 yrs PhD), I’m tired of being broke and always having to ask my parents for money. TBH, there were many days and nights that I was ashamed of putting my parents into a situation that they had to financially sponsor me out of their love — and I am their only child. My parents had never say a word of not wanting to sponsor me and they’ve always been so supportive, but they deserve a better life after working so hard years after years just for me. It’s my responsibility to take care of myself economically, not always thinking what’s the best future for ME.
I have always loved doing research and I always will. I love engaging in academic research and I so much enjoy the process of creating knowledge. Even now, I still read a ton of HCI and STS books. I have never, ever regretted the decision of doing a Ph.D., and whenever I look back, I know those 5 years I spent in my late-20s had given me a life-changing experience that will keep shaping my life and who I am. But staying in academia as a postdoc is really not ideal for me.
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