I am blessed to have two jobs I love - one full time in academia, and one part time in a corporation. However, the grant that funds my academic job will end in about 18 months.
At that point, I would like to start working full time at the corporation. They offered me a full-time position before, which I declined.
My question: Is it too soon to mention the possibility of coming on board full time? - Greg
Dale: There's more than timing to consider. You don't want your managers to feel that you're coming to them only because the other work is ending. Nobody wants to be in the fallback position. (Just think about that word, "fallback.") So, start talking about how much you're enjoying your work at the corporation and, especially, about how much more you could contribute if you were there more.
J.T.: But don't wait too long to let them know you're going to be available. Company executives regularly meet to discuss their strategies for maintaining and growing their businesses. The discussions and their outcome are often based on the talent they have on staff. (It's always a question of talent: Who can do it? Do we need more help?) So, plant some seeds about what you could accomplish, then grab your manager for lunch or coffee and have an open discussion about your situation. Share your enthusiasm for the idea of joining them full time, and ask for feedback on what you can be doing now to make yourself as desirable as possible for the firm to want to bring you on as a full-time employee.
Dale: Agreed. Eighteen months sounds like a long time. But you may end up phasing into full-time work maybe as soon as early next year ... a blink of the corporate eye. Start by helping them envision what more you could contribute, and it soon will be an idea that becomes a plan that becomes a job.