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Job Skills Combining full-time job and research

  1. May 26, 2016 #1
    Hello everyone,

    My dilemma is:
    - I am a volunteer researcher with a professor in a lab
    - I received a full-time job offer from a company.

    I need to keep the research position because it greatly increases my chances of being admitted to grad school, and very closely related to my field of interest.
    I also need to accept the job offer mainly to have a source of income, but it also is an interesting job.

    Is it possible to ask the employer to reduce my hours by giving me one unpaid day off every week (a lot of the work in the lab is theoretical so it can work this way), or would that make the employer view me as uncommitted and withdraw the offer? Are there other ways of combining these two opportunities?

    Your advice is greatly appreciated!
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2016 #2


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    The first rule in life is that you have to eat, so if you need a job, that has to be your priority.

    Keep in mind that while research experience is important for graduate school admissions, there are a lot of ways to get it. It's quite common for undergraduate physics programs to have a senior thesis or research project course anyway. In those cases research experience on top of what you would get through your program are gravy - great to have, but you don't *need* it to get where you want to go.

    You might want to talk to the PI of your research project to see how you can contribute in light of this full time job. Volunteer positions tend to be a lot more flexible than positions you're paid for.

    You also might want to see how the job goes for a while. There's no absolute answer as to whether or not your employer is willing to reduce your hours to allow you to stay involved in your research - that depends on the employer and what they need you to do.
  4. May 26, 2016 #3


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    This one is easy. Take the job. After you've accepted the job let your professor know so that he/she can find a replacement, if needed. Make no mention to your new employer of reduced working hours. Your new job, if at all related to your field, and you do well, will be quite valuable when it comes time to applying to graduate school.
  5. May 26, 2016 #4


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    Take the job! Fully dedicate yourself to your job.
  6. May 27, 2016 #5

    Dr Transport

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    applying for a job, accepting it then asking for a reduction in hours in a lot of cases will get the position withdrawn..... take the job and work around the research position.
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