Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Still trying to figure out what my next career move is.  I think about it every day.

Today I went to a panel discussion on campus about work-family balance.  One male and two female professors.  The man was researching the effect of flexible work situations on family life and found in one study that families in which both parents worked, but whose work hours together did not exceed 60 hours a week, were the happiest, and most successful.

How about that, eh?

One of the women, a history professor, emphasized the importance of staying current in your field, even if you do take time to raise children.  I've actually been thinking a lot about this issue, about the importance for me to actually *make* a career move at this point.

Because, all things considered, it's possible this would be a good time for me to let husband take over the bread-winning and start thinking hard about baby-making.  I'll have a master's in April, he will (hopefully) be gainfully employed in the law.  Somewhere.

But, I'm not feeling that, at all.  I'm not feeling the baby-making.  At all!  And it surprises me a lot.  Not least of all because I am not a young thing by any stretch of anyone's imagination.  Theoretically my biological clock should be ticking, right?  Hm.

What I am feeling is a particular doctoral program.  This program occurred to me only two days after my extraordinarily stressful oral exam, the last requirement of my master's degree before graduation.  So just days after that huge weight had finally been lifted, I started thinking about this program, and all the reasons it makes sense as my next move.  I've even thought that, (if...) once I got started in this program, if all the scholarship/assistantship/student-insurance stars aligned,  I might consider baby-making and doctorate-obtaining.  Simultaneously.  Which is a long-shot for someone like me (totally one-track focus, NOT good at juggling multiple responsibilities).  But the thing is, I've really been rolling it around. 

And then, after several days of rolling this around, I attended this panel discussion.  Both of the women were baby-making doctoral students.  And they both seemed sane--they both seemed to think that the experience was neither bad for them nor their families.  In fact, the micro-biology professor was convinced her children were "cooler" people because of their exposure to the work she did.  (Which, admittedly, involved mouse-embryos in test-tubes on the kitchen table.  Cool-making, fer sher.)

Anyway, those are my most recent thoughts.  

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