Friday, November 28, 2008

Why do we work the job we work?

Over at my blog, I posted a new entry which basically answers the question of why I work the job I work. For me it is a matter of, and I quote ...
What keeps me going is that paycheck I receive.
Which is why the entry is labeled Pragmatic Me. It's also part of the reason why I'm in what can be considered an "alternative scientific career" as opposed to what I view as the endless tedium of academia (no offense to the academic types here). The fact that I can work a 40 hour week, not worry about funding issues, get yearly raises and performance bonuses for the hard, and truly awesome, work I do ... are all definite bonuses, and were the deciding factors in my rejection of my academia job offers and acceptance of my government position.

So why blog about any of this here? Well maybe this isn't the right place to blog about such things, but I obviously think it is. When considered a career choice in an alternative scientific field, one must look at all the factors. A lot of us are not in these positions because we failed at academia ... I imagine quite a few people, like myself, are here because we thought academia didn't offer enough to us and felt we would ultimately be left feeling unsatisfied.

What are your reasons for looking into an alternative scientific career? Are they the right ones?


Anonymous said...

Mostly because I would like to have a family and a life as well as be successful at what i do. I think I can provide a lot as a scientist in any field that I choose, and there has to be a field that will in turn make me happy.

I suppose my reasons are that I am looking for a win win situation.

maddox22 said...

For me, it's because I don't particularly enjoy academic research. My interests and strengths tend to lie in the generalist arena--i.e., I'm better at learning about a wide range of topics and connecting them than at delving deeply into one specific area.

The bean-mom said...

Ah, good topic. I think those lifestyle issues are a major reason many people jump ship into the alternative careers.

The lifestyle issues are a concern for me... But to be perfectly frank, I left the traditional academic research track because I just didn't see a future there for me. If my job prospects had been better I might have stayed... But the job market is just brutal (and, of course, getting worse) And the longer you stay in postdoc-land, the harder it is to transition out... So when an opportunity for me came to try something different, I went for it.

Silas said...

Giving a new compound to sick people and seeing them get better is more exciting and rewarding to me than anything I could do as an academic basic researcher (most of which I still get to do, anyway).