> This is NOT a post about the postdoc vs. tech debate, which I've run across a lot (so many places that I'm not going to try to find all the links. Sorry).
I'm in a kind of weird place. I know that starting up a lab is basically like starting a business. But my "training" to date is how to do science. Benchwork. But now, I have run a lab. That means I need to hire people, motivate them to do good work, get money (always), manage a budget, etc, etc, etc. Not to mention navigate the politics of my new department without any of the backstory. I know this everyone that has started up a lab has been in this same place. But that doesn't make it less weird for me.
Today, I am thinking about hiring. I need to hire people. Good people. Fast. This has been on my mind for a while, as I try to figure out how I'm going to do everything that I'm getting money to do. I'm lucky to already have cash, but I've started to realize that there is no way that I can turn that cash into science (papers, talks, etc.) that will leverage more cash unless there are some peeps in the lab. Right now, my lab space is empty, save for a few dust bunnies. Holy crap.
Today, I got an email from someone that wants to join the lab. This would be my first lab peep! But I'm conflicted. I've heard over and over about how important the first person is to get your lab group going in the right direction. I know the person that contacted me. We have friends in common and have hung out some. This person got a PhD from someone that I really respect and worked on a pretty difficult problem. All great so far, right? Here's the hitch: this person has NO INTEREST in staying in science. A gig in my lab is a 1-2 year job to get some cash while searching for a "real" career.
Am I insane for considering taking this person on? I mean, of course I will have a frank (off the record) conversation with the former grad advisor. But if it goes how I think it will this is going to be a really tough decision. On one hand, this could be a super opportunity for me to take advantage of someone with skills that would be AWESOME to have in the lab. But, the whole situation could go to shit. Then I will have to fire the first person that I hired, which, in addition to being a sort of sucky thing to have to do will also end up messing with my relationships with our shared friend.
I am going to have to talk this out with a lot of people. But seriously, if there is anyone listening here I would hearing your views/comments.