|Well, pardner, are you tired of|
going to the lab?
(John Wayne, The Shootist)
...I would like to ask for advice from you or anybody else on this forum. How do you know when it's a good time to leave a laboratory research career? Anyway, thanks in advance from a regular reader.Still being in the lab, and still within 10 years of getting my degree and leaving school, I don't really know the answer to that question. I found myself being frustrated by picayune stuff in the lab today (I'm out of acetone again!?!), but I know that isn't really a sign of time to leave the bench, it's time to get better about cleaning my glassware and time to get a better restocking routine for my laboratory.
But I would imagine that being emotionally exhausted by bench chemistry and not looking forward to new projects would be a very good sign that perhaps it would be time to hang 'em up. While I do tie an unhealthy amount of my wellbeing to the next darn peak on the HPLC, I've learned to give myself just a little bit of emotional distance. I see so many things to learn, and so little time to do it in -- I can't imagine leaving the bench (i.e. less than 60% in the lab) anytime soon.
Readers, your collective wisdom on this issue is much larger than mine. Your thoughts?