When I was a postdoc in Toronto, most of my fellow postdocs (not only from CS) wanted to become a PI (Principal Investigator). It seemed the logical next step in our careers.

And it probably is. But I don’t think any of us understood how “happy” we were as simple postdocs, having as main obligation to conduct our research. Instead, the life of PI resembles a lot this list of roles startup founders must undertake (lost the reference to the image creator, let me know if you’ve it!).

All the roles of a PI

If you see yourself doing (and enjoying) these tasks, by no means, go ahead and try to establish your own research group. If you don’t, well,  maybe it’s better to stick to your researcher role and become a great senior researcher in a group that appreciates you as such (believe me, many will).

I  deeply enjoy my life as a PI but at the same time, I know many good researchers that would feel miserable as PIs. Be careful what you wish for!. There’s no need to keep proving that the Peter Principle is a universal truth.