Postdocs are the disposables of research. A contract worker, at PhD level, with no chance for a more permanent position, acquiring many of the responsibilities that can be associated with professors, including doing original research, supervising graduate students, writing grant proposals, and everything else. The really frustrating thing about being a postdoc is that it feels transitory, and the title and responsibilities feel like academic limbo. The paycheck is closer to that of a graduate student than anything else.
In fact, I used to get paid more, 7 years ago, in San Juan, just out of a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering, than I get paid now in Cambridge after getting a PhD.
But I actually love what I do. I have a lot of flexibility, I get to work mostly on the things I love, and the atmosphere is nice, stimulating and fun. And many people tell me these are my best research days, after this, I’ll never have as much time to follow my crazy ideas ever again.
Luckily for us postdocs, the National Postdoctoral Association declared this Thursday September 24th the National Postdoctoral Appreciation Day. And Harvard is going all the way with a full-blown week long Carnival of Postdoctoral Orientations.
This includes a Postdoctoral Happy Hour.
Show your appreciation to all those postdocs in your life and buy them beer when you get a chance.
“Never mistake motion for action.”