• Question: On a scale of 1 to 10 rate your job difficulty with 1 being easy and fun, 5 being balanced and 10 being extremely work intensive.

    Asked by JonathanS on 9 Oct 2023.
    • Photo: Kay Dewhurst

      Kay Dewhurst answered on 9 Oct 2023: last edited 9 Oct 2023 3:45 pm

      Personally, I would say 6 (maybe 7?). I have worked jobs that were more intensive (a definite 10) but that was a different industry. At CERN I have some busy/intense weeks and some easy/fun weeks. For example, sometimes I have to work overnight or at the weekend unexpectedly with short notice.
      Research is never ‘finished’, so there is always some more work you could do. I think I have gotten better at having balance and not staying later in the office than I should (I see plenty of people who do that quite often!)

    • Photo: Jonathan Edward Davies

      Jonathan Edward Davies answered on 10 Oct 2023:

      I would give it a similar rating. Unlike some other jobs, you have to have some discipline in switching off from work and setting boundaries as to your hours. If you’re not careful, you could spend all of your time working, especially since a lot of work is done on a laptop, which could be done anywhere. On the other side, unless you have a specific meeting or something, nobody tends to care if you arrive late/leave early/ have a long lunch. Indeed, there’s always some more work you can do and you might need to sometimes to work late or at the weekends (many people will do this anyway).

    • Photo: Joel Goldstein

      Joel Goldstein answered on 10 Oct 2023:

      I would certainly not put “difficult” and “fun” at opposite ends of the same scale – in many cases it is the challenge that makes it fun. So I’m going to give you three answers!
      Difficulty: 8/10
      Intensive workload: 7/10 (that’s an average, but as Kay said it varies a lot)
      Fun: 7/10 (again, averaging over boring meetings and exciting breakthroughs etc.)