Am I crazy? (career related)

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by Brampton_Boy, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. Brampton_Boy

    Brampton_Boy Douchey Mc Douche

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    So without going into a really long winded story summarizing my career trajectory to date, I'll try and give you the cliffs version

    -Had a great job working for large company, left to enter consulting
    -Had good paying job as a consultant, left to complete my Ph.D
    -Got a job teaching at a university (not as a prof), left to take job for the government
    -Leaving job at the government to go back to academic job (research appointment)

    I'm starting to worry whether I am a "grass is always greener" type of guy, and I'm switching between careers because I convince myself the alternative is always preferable.

    The job I am leaving now (government position) is awesome. I work with great people, the pay is pretty solid and I really enjoy my work. With that being said, I recently found myself wondering whether I am cut out for the 9-5 world. In my head, I tell myself that I am an academic at heart and that is the motivation behind my career switch. The truth may be that I just don't know what makes me happy in life, and the idea of being "stuck" in a job terrifies me.

    Anybody else ever have this issue? I know that when you are younger (and ideally before you get married and have kids) your supposed to explore career options, but I haven't stayed at any one place for more than 2 years.

    BTW, my decisions are rarely related to money. More often than not, I am switching into a lower paying position.
     
  2. Kevin Rudd

    Kevin Rudd Banned Banned

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    That will affect your career long term if you keep 'job hopping'.

    How can you expect an employer to make an investment in you if you are only going to commit for a short period of time?

    They'll look at your resume and think this guy isn't going to stay, so why bother with him.
     
  3. mime

    mime Black Belt

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    no you're not crazy, some people just don't like to stay at one place too long and like to try new things. It seems you've been successful at each leap so don't worry about it unless you're generally unhappy.

    The only downside is that you can't really advance too far in a certain field if you keep switching but again some people don't mind that because they don't like advancing to managing positions anyway. Me personally, I hate managing people, it's not my strength so that wouldn't bother me.
     
  4. Brampton_Boy

    Brampton_Boy Douchey Mc Douche

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    This is a concern of mine.

    My end goal is to become a professor, but the chances of becoming one (any time soon that is) is slim to none.

    My biggest gripe with most jobs is the fact that I follow somebody else's schedule. Going into the same place at a designated time, working 8 hours, and waiting for the weekends really freaks me out (no matter how much I may enjoy the actual job itself).

    A part of me thinks I am being really spoiled/selfish. I am really fortunate in the sense that I don't have others depending on me financially, so I have alot more flexibility in the type of work I take on.

    I know these are some serious first world problems, but when it comes down to it, I don't know what I "love" to do. With that being said, how many people can honestly say that they get to do something that they are passionate about for a living? At some point, you just have to commit to something.
     
  5. Kevin Rudd

    Kevin Rudd Banned Banned

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    Very few people love what they do. Most people (myself included) see it simply as a means to end. I mean if you were financially comfortable, would you even work?

    I wouldn't.

    You do what you can to provide a decent lifestyle for yourself. But yeah I think you need to have a bit more longevity in some roles.
     
  6. Elmonstro1

    Elmonstro1 Bones Nose

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    Whats your PH.D
     
  7. ExquisitExamplE

    ExquisitExamplE Banned Banned

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    Without having read the opening post, I'll go with yes.
     
  8. BoogerDawson

    BoogerDawson Red Belt

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    It seems like you enjoy academics/teaching and that's where your heart is. You should stick with that. You have to do what makes you happy. There's nothing worse than waking up to a job that you hate no matter what the salary is.
     
  9. vrain

    vrain Yellow Belt

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    This. You may have to accept that you're a nomad....at the end of the day think about the variety of experiences you'll have gone through. Maybe it's not so crazy to not want to do the same thing over and over for the rest of your life.....?
     
  10. Leverage

    Leverage Orange Belt

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    Aside from career trajectory and becoming a professor. Do you have a vision of how you'd like to live on a day to basis that seems reasonable. If you're making good money perhaps you could look at taking less hours and less pay to balance out the lifestyle you want. Or conversely, just sacrafice your time and enjoy a higher standard of living when you're not working. Unfortunately sacrafices need to be made. It's difficult to get the best of both worlds.
    So that's my advice I guess. Do you want to be a professor for the title or do you genuinely just enjoy teaching? Because if you enjoy teaching, the sacrafice won't be nearly as bad as if you were doing something you hated. It just takes a little bit of re-assurance or a reminder that you enjoy the work. Go work at a fast food resteraunt for a month and i'm sure you'd be happy to return to your previous work. If it's the hours you hate...then yeah you can lower them to a part-timer, but that may involve having to drop to a simpler standard of living. If it's a more enjoyable life it is imo worth it. OR even better, have a clear vision about how you can make enough money to live comfortable on little hours. Not sure what else I can say.

    Congratz on your phD by the way. Any chance of a job as a researcher?
     
  11. Rjay

    Rjay Green Belt

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    Unless you're dead set on becoming an academic and have the chops to become a PI/assistant professor/whatever the system in your institute, sounds like you're making a mistake. Whenever anyone asks me about this I always tell them getting out of academia ASAP is a good idea.
     
  12. lakersfan45

    lakersfan45 That's sardo! No mr, accent on the do!

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    Ur on the right path
    Get tenure based mostly on research and avoid teaching positions and u will be living the good life.
     
  13. TheDerpWeb

    TheDerpWeb White Belt

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    Pretty tough path to get a TT position if you've been out of the academy for a while. How are your pubs? Are you willing to relocate (from Canada)?
     
  14. TheDerpWeb

    TheDerpWeb White Belt

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    I don't think you know what tenure entails at western universities... You have to teach regardless of how much research you do. The trifecta of higher ed - teaching, research, and service - are all critical elements to getting tenure. Research (more importantly, being able to publish that research) reigns supreme, but you need to teach regardless of how prolific you are at pumping out articles.
     
  15. TalkinNoise

    TalkinNoise Green Belt

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    You have the makings of a successful person. Find a way to maximize your independence... do you really want to be a professor? Like how much?

    If all that drives you is improvement and success, that's ok. Just make sure to be a decent guy and carry good relationships with others. How old are you?

    My .02, it's where my head's at.
     
  16. MortalWombat

    MortalWombat Vombatus Sherdoggus

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    I thought you were a banker? Or was that another "Boy"? Or another '02?

    I kinda think jobs are like relationships. Some people stick with them through thick or thin, and sometimes that works out and sometimes it doesn't. Other people hop around till they find the one that fits or they get tired of hopping - and sometimes that works out and sometimes it doesn't.

    Unilke relationships, though, you probably always have a place to land, should you get tired of searching. For instance, in my experience here in Aus, government departments will take on people with "eccentric" career records and really value them and be quite accommodating.
     
  17. Brampton_Boy

    Brampton_Boy Douchey Mc Douche

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    Thanks for all the input from all those who contributed in this thread.

    As I alluded to in my posts, a part of my "problem" is that I don't really know what I can commit to for the rest of my life. I value two things in a job: intellectual freedom and autonomy. I hate being micro managed, and I like the idea of being able to pursue the things that interest me.

    Naturally, I gravitate towards academia, as it seems to offer the best mix of both (relative to say the private sector or government work). If an institution came along and offered me a tenure track position, I would take it in a heart beat. The issue I have is that I normally only get fixed term contracts and the money isn't the greatest.

    When I am in an academic related job, I start to think that career stability and money are the best choice. When I am in an office job, I miss the freedom and flexible schedule of academia.

    I guess I want to have my cake and eat it too. Somebody told me that you can only ever have two of the following three options: Money, Youth, Free Time. It really does seem to be the case.

    Oh well, I can't really complain. There are people (who are smarter and more talented than me) who don't get the same opportunities and have to take whatever comes there way. Having options isn't the worst problem in the world.

    P.S: For the poster who asked me about my publication record, it is good for my age (4 impact factor publications at 29), but not nearly enough to be considered for a professorship.
     
  18. the ax murderer

    the ax murderer Looking At The Stars.

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    Well if your end goal is to be a professor I assume that the research position would get you there faster?
     
  19. MacDaddyWraslin

    MacDaddyWraslin Banned Banned

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    I'm curious, what's your major?
     
  20. Goat Meal

    Goat Meal Shhh Belt

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    I get a little itchy after 6-8 months which is why being an IT consultant works great for me. I've been at this assignment for over a year, though. I sort of had to stay after they threw a 25k/year raise at me. Prior to that revelation I had one foot out the door taking interviews and seeing what else I could get into.
     

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