I used to think I was so good at making decisions, but I think I'm locking up at the time when I can least afford such antics. Yes, was offered a postdoc offer nearby and it pays well. Awesome right?
You'd think so, but I keep going back-and-forth and forth-and-back about it. Pay and benefits will make life easier, but picking up a whole new field is scaring me a little, especially because I want to return to my current field afterwards. I want a quick, down-and-dirty postdoc, but can't guarantee I won't spend the first year learning. I think I'm being overly dramatic on that last point (I know my way around a bench and have never had problems picking new things up), but it is still a concern for me.
And now, a new wrinkle decided to pop up. The latest is an unsolicited offer of collaboration/thinly veiled job offer. While at a meeting, I was approached by someone who had looked up my research and thought we could work together on a project. Very cool, I thought.
Then it was mentioned that they were in charge of a program project that was looking to hire someone with just my skills. They were also submitting a grant that should be scored within the month. Would I be interested in working at their institution? Not as a postdoc, but something greater? Maybe research assistant professor or assistant professor? Umm.... YES!
Why? Because it's 1) still in my field, but significantly expands my knowledge base. 2) It's a good institution. 3) My wife already likes the idea, even though it involves a move. 4) They have a reputation of fostering young investigators. 5) My wife likes the idea. 6) I'm excited at the work.
Here's the problem, and the source of my uncertainty - 1) the grant ain't funded yet. 2) It's not clear what level I'd be hired. I lobbied for a Research Assistant Faculty position over assistant prof because I think I need to learn a bit more, but nothing was obviously formalized. 3) I have met my fair share of bullshit artists, and I always wonder if something that sounds too good to be true is indeed just that - too good to be true. Promises only mean something if there is substance to what was promised. 4) I don't want to jerk around my original offer - it's just not fair to them or the other people looking at their job.
So now, I'm lost. Struggling to reconcile the known postdoc offer with the offer of something better. I suppose this is a good problem to have.
But it's also a problem that is keeping me up at nights and giving me ulcers....