I was once told "you're not really doing a PhD unless you try and quit at least once", so here is the story of why I wanted to quit and why I'm glad I didn't quit my PhD.
Reasons I tried to quit:
1. Constant failure.
I remember spending 12 hours in the lab and my experiment didn’t even work. Oh, and did I mention it was on a bank holiday? I might as well have stayed in bed.
2. Lack of funds.
I was always academic at school and got good grades at university and now my ex-classmates were making (what seemed) to be a mint in their graduate jobs while I was putting on extra jumpers to avoid turning on the heating.
3. Realisation that academia wasn’t for me.
My post-docs casually mentioned how they were struggling to get a mortgage due to the lack of permanent positions AND they weren’t exactly rolling in it post PhD…….why was I doing a PhD?
Reasons I’m glad I didn’t quit:
1. I now have a PhD.
And no one can take that away from me. I subtly drop it into conversations and people instantly think I’m incredibly clever and accomplished.
2. Earning potential.
I went from earning a PhD stipend to a six-figure salary when I got my first MSL job. A significant increase in quality of life followed.
3. Job satisfaction.
I was no longer holding back tears in the western blot room when my experiments failed and instead, I spent my days having engaging conversation with world leading experts about cutting edge treatments and patient care.
If any of this resonates with you and you’re ready to leave academia and get your first MSL job, send me your CV (firstname.lastname@example.org), I’ll review it and develop a tailored coaching package specific for your experience to help you get your MSL job.