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Name: Robert
PhD discipline: History
Area(s) of work: Academic research support administration
Year of graduation: 2003
Date of Interview: 17/06/2008

Robert - do you have any regrets about leaving academia?
Robert reflects on why he didn't pursue an academic career.

Have you subsequently had any regrets about not pursuing an academic career? 

Intermittently. I think the – I will occasionally hark back to something I did during the PhD and think 'oh wouldn't it be good if –' but even then I'm kind of aware of the fact that that kind of grass is greener on the other side thing. As I mentioned a minute ago, my girlfriend whom I live with is applying for academic jobs and has been for you know three years now, she's had a number of fixed term posts but she's still applying for permanent positions and all that and I see what she is going through and the lack of security and all the things that I just talked about and I do think 'my God I'm glad that I'm not doing that', you know, I appreciate that for her the work is very, very rewarding and in some respects for me it was very, very rewarding while I was doing it but in other respects I don't think the lack of security and all those other things I think ultimately outweighs those things, or it did for me. I appreciate that there are people for whom it really is the be all and end all and that's fair enough and I've got plenty of friends like that, and I see people like that obviously working in the university but ultimately it's a question of how many sacrifices are you prepared to make in order to do that, and I think in my case the answer is not very many.