Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Work-life Balance: Professors' Comments
Some professors were not happy with the content of my previous post, about "work-life balance".
"It should be Work-Work Balance! Grad students are not supposed to have a life.", argued one professor.
Another professor was more agreeable. "Of course grad students should maintain work-life balance. Work is what counts towards their graduation, and TA pay. Life is what they do to help us (their advisors), from reviewing papers to troubleshooting our computers."
Seriously, professors are skeptical about work-life balance advise to grad students. "They already have a lot of free time, compared to industry workers. This sort of advise only makes them spend even less time on research!", grumbled another.
Talking about my own experience, my boss at the time was not amused when I told him that I attended a work-life balance seminar (he was attending the same conference, and wondered where I was during the lunch time). He thought that kind of seminar is not relevant to the conference.
Industry people are much more tolerable with this kind of stuff. The research scientist who supervised me during my first internship (in Japan) said "I do not work on weekends, and do not expect you to do so. You can go out and have some fun."
The point is; you are most likely not making your advisor happy, by telling him that you are focussing on work-life balance. But you don't have to tell him, just do it!