Before accepting a job offer, Joanne Kamens, the executive director of Addgene and a career development expert, says there are a number of questions that scientists should ask themselves, the NatureJobs blog's Catherine de Lange reports. "Asking the right questions before making that decision means you can base your choices on rational thinking rather than gut feelings," de Lange adds.
Many of those questions deal not with compensation, but with the atmosphere of the lab. Researchers, Kamens says, should try to picture themselves in that setting to determine whether they think they'll fit in and be challenged as well as learn new skills.
"Will the work challenge you? Are there resources in place to help you cope with the pressures and maintain a good work-life balance — what support is available?" de Lange writes. She points out, though, that to answer such questions, a bit of self-knowledge is necessary. "To answer these questions you need to know yourself and what suits your style, so take some time to consider that before setting out to gather this information," she says.