Joined: 12 Apr 2005 Posts: 32 Location: Great Falls, VA USA
Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 9:29 pm Post subject:
Serape, I have a PhD in economics and spent the first several years after graduation teaching and then working for the Environmental Protection Agency. I was not happy. First, I let go of the notion that others' definition of success had to be my definition of success. I think if you are happy, then you have made a success of your life. (And if your vitae is 20 pages long and everyone in your field knows your work, but you've been divorced 5 times and all your children hate you because all you do is work, then you are NOT successful in my book.) Second, I just accepted the fact that I don't really like doing what PhD economists typically do and let go of the notion that just because I had the PhD meant I had to use it for it's original intent. So I left the EPA and I took a job doing research and program evaluation for a large family therapy practice. I'm highly overqualified for most of the job, but it's fulfilling and fun, and my PhD gives me some unique tools I can use in this job, and some credibility (despite the fact that I know next to nothing about family therapy -- or perhaps because of that?).
One of my former co-authors and her husband just quit their tenured positions in an accounting department at a large university. They took over the management of her father's firm.
There is (or was) a pastry chef in the White House who has a PhD in economics and used to work in that capacity for some federal agency.
My point is that mid-life career changes are quite common and acceptable, even for people with doctorates! The education is what economists call a "sunk cost." It shouldn't be counted in your decisions of what to do with the rest of your life. If engineering isn't melting your butter any longer, what would? Go for that! Hey, maybe you could go to culinary school and become a pastry chef at the White House!
Joined: 15 Dec 2004 Posts: 583 Location: Anniston Alabama USA
Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:14 pm Post subject:
I really like doing everything. I would like to run a hotel or an airline or be a U.S. congressman, or run a company which builds hi-fi stereos.
I like doing things around the house (restoring old furniture, gardening, cooking, cleaning, decorating) and I like my main hobby -- building hi-fi stereo speakers, and amplifiers. I have a very nice workshop and electronics shop in my house and I could spend half a day in there experimenting and building.
I love the weekends where I don't have a clock or a boss. I've always been too independent for the corporate world. I hate following orders, or doing group activities. If everyone is doing one thing, I want to be trying something different. That style doesn't fit with middle or large corporations.
I am reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes and to me, Holmes is the perfect man. He's solving mysteries as a hobby, in his spare time he does chemistry experiments. He sleeps late if notithing is happening; he's up early when he's on a case. That's my ideal. _________________ ' She says, 'I am the glamorous type.' I said, 'So what?'
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