Money and self-esteem

Gina Berardesco gbe392 at
Tue Sep 16 13:03:34 EST 1997

Sabine Dippel (sabine at wrote:
> So, the question I would like to put up here is what you feel about it - 
> do you think your work is really so valuable to yourself (it it were valuable
> for society, society should pay for it) to put up with the financial situation
> as it is? Because if it is really valuable for society or your employer (advisor,
> PI, whatever), doesn't the small amount of money paid for it show that "society" 
> or your boss does not esteem your work high enough, and you should go somewhere
> where this is valued? 

Hi Sabine-

I think you certainly have a very good point. Right now, for me, the money
situation doesn't bother me too much, although I'm sure after a couple of
years it will get tiresome. At the moment my spouse and I are both employed,
which is a tremendous improvement over the past, when I was  a grad student
and he was  unemployed. (I'm a post-doc now making a somewhat decent wage,
higher than some post-doc salaries I've seen.) I know my boss has no control
over what my salary is, since it is being paid off of a grant. Right now I
am glad for the opportunity to do science, and I intend to make a living out
of it but I am also realistic about job prospects. 

But what I think is important is that there is so little feedback on if you
are doing a good job, or if you are appreciated or valued. I think it's just 
the nature of the work. When I first started this position it bothered me,
and I finally approached my boss asking for feedback and he really seemed to
appreciate it. And the fact that I decided to ask him sorta bothered me,
because I thought that perhaps I shouldn't need to, and that I should be
confident that I am doing a good job. Oh well.

Good luck writing that dissertation - I found it to be a rough time! I swung
from "oh no, this data is terrible, this was a stupid project, etc. etc." to
"hey, this is really cool! What a great project this was!" about six times a 
day. On the other hand, my defense was a lot of fun. 

Take care-


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