<p>All the profs I know have been tremendously supportive throughout graduate school. As I'm nearing the end of my PhD, they all speak as though it is assumed I will do a postdoc. After speaking with my advisor, he suggested I "cast a wider net" regarding the region my husband and I want to settle down in afterwards (bay area). </p>

<p>How do I break it to them that I don't want to do a postdoc and that I want to pursue totally different interests after I leave? Who do I talk to at my university regarding a more diversified career, if everyone who advises me thinks it is in my best interest to do a postdoc? (I'm at a huge university that probably has every academic/career advisor possible.... but they're not on my thesis committee) I plan on starting a family after I graduate.... Another co-advisor of mine thinks it's OK for me to further-delay getting pregnant because I'm "young." I'm 25. That's not exactly a spring chicken (sorry ppl who are 40+ in grad school). So does that mean I should wait until I'm old (like most profs I know) to have a kid? No. I can't be pregnant, on my feet, pipetting **** into wells or being on a microscope for 12 hrs a day. Just kidding.... but no, I can't. I know this is my life (duh) but I do not foresee divulging the future I want for myself to go smoothly with the people who have helped me get to this point. What to do........?</p>

<p>There are, unfortunately, some doctoral faculty members who sometimes fail to perceive that not all students wish to stay on the academic track. If you know that you'll be going into industry or into another non-academic field after you complete your PhD, and you truly believe that your current advisors will not respect that choice, then it is fine to keep your plans to yourself as long as you can, but you will have to reveal your plans sometime in the near future. You may need letters of recommendation, for instance, and you likely will need to explain why you are not applying for postdocs. </p>

<p>There are surely many people in your field who are members of your primary academic association who are experts at (and enjoy!) counseling students who plan to transition to non-academic fields. Seek them out through that association. And absolutely, do consult the career services office at your university as soon as possible.</p>

<p>Prepare to speak to your current advisors by keeping in mind that they are not your parents or minders, and therefore they are not actually entitled to have an opinion about whether you are a "disappointment" simply because you are choosing your own destiny. In fact, their job is to help you get where YOU wish to go. (They are also not entitled to have an opinion about your own family planning.)</p>

<p>So far, they seem to have been advising you about how to follow in their footsteps. Here is perhaps the most important thing: You must take some responsibility for this, since you have not disabused them of this mistaken notion. At this point, they are proceeding on the basis of the (false) assumptions you have allowed them to maintain. You must get ready to step up and tell them of your plans, and you must be confident enough to stand by the validity and viability of the choices you make for yourself. If it does not go smoothly, that is not the end of the world. Much of life does not go smoothly. On the other hand, it could go much better than you expect. You will not know until you take action.</p>

<p>Best wishes to you.</p>