Two roads diverged...and, like, what should I do now?
May 12, 2015 11:21 AM   Subscribe

Trying to figure out the next career move. Please, total strangers, help me? *Snowflakes inside*

I have a PhD in the sciences which I use as a director at my organization which is basically a science think tank - reading/analyzing research, writing reports, talking to the press etc etc. Also in my job I do lots of administrative stuff, like launching new programs and managing people. This has been great, but I think I've learned everything I can from my position and I'm not big on stagnating in a job.

Looking around at other jobs out there it seems that the next step for me would be to go be a staff scientist at a non-profit (which would be a parallel move) or be an administrator, like a deputy or (eventually) executive director (which would be a step up). I'm having trouble deciding which direction to go in. The staff scientist position would be great because I'd get to use my degree (yay!) doing something I love (yay!). The deputy/executive director direction would be great because I'm a pretty darn good administrator (yay!) and could make more money (yay!), but I hate raising money (boo!). Let's assume I'm equally qualified to go in either direction.

What sorts of questions should I be asking to see which would be a better fit for me? What should I be considering about the day-to-day of what each position would hold? What should I think about in terms of career moves and the next professional step?

Everyone I know has opinions, but I thought an outside perspective would be useful.
posted by Toddles to Work & Money (2 answers total)
I would write out exactly what you would like your day to be like each day, what your weeks should be like each week, and what, in 1 year, you'd like to have accomplished.

Then, match that against the different positions you listed. It sounds like you have a lot of leeway in what you could get for the next job, so it's mostly up to what your goals are and what you would be most happy doing every day.
posted by xingcat at 11:26 AM on May 12, 2015

How big a nonprofit are you thinking of moving to? Bigger nonprofits will have development staff who do most of the work of chasing down the donations. Executive directors tend to be "big picture" people who can make the case for supporting the organization/mission to potential/current supporters (so, a lot of schmoozing). Are you comfortable doing that?

Are you OK with dealing with board members? Sometimes you can have great, proactive, engaged board members, and sometimes it's like herding cats.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:29 PM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

« Older Macbook Air powerful enough for Adobe CS Photoshop...   |   Summer Jams—International Edition Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.