Tag Archives: alternative career

Why am I doing this?

A short one to hopefully get back into action

Oops. I was determined to post every week, wasn’t I? But things happened, as they tend to do. And to be perfectly honest, my anxieties and seasonal affective disorder or something got the better of me this time. My thoughts were all a-jumble and just wouldn’t cooperate with being put down. Things are looking up, though, in more than one regard, so here I am.

During this time, I’ve been sort of rethinking doing this PhD thing. Maybe even entertaining a notion of moving back home. I mean, as much as I enjoy Sweden and this university, perhaps it’s not worth all the anxieties and stress – and I haven’t even started the actual PhD yet! Especially, since some place along the road I suddenly realised that an academic career might not be my ultimate dream any more. The more I learn about it, the more aspects of it reveal themselves that seem quite unappealing (or worse). Of course, it’s pretty much impossible to find a job which would be all rainbows and unicorns, but at some point the negative might outweigh the positive, and you start wondering why you dreamt about it in the first place.

But despite all this, I still want to do the PhD. I figure, there are other jobs/careers where you can do science-y things of different sorts and having a PhD comes in handy. Besides, I do love doing science and I want to help humanity’s progress, however small my contribution may be. So, I think, it’s reason enough to do it. I can figure the next step out later. And who knows, I might yet change my mind about sticking with academia, I mean, it is sort of nice here, after all.

But meanwhile, I also need to investigate what lies outside the ivory tower,


It’s a Love/Frustration Sort of Thing

Disclaimer: the following paragraphs are the product of a brain which spent entire Sunday trying to catch up with studying. Please, just go along with it, it made sense in my head, but might have got scrambled somewhere down the neural pathways, or something. Thank you for your cooperation.

Lately, I feel I’ve been hearing a lot about this thing called ‘alternative careers’ (in science) because apparently loads of folks holding PhD degrees can’t find a job in academia. Before, I actually hadn’t even considered that I could work somewhere else.

However, the last couple of weeks have been absolutely crazy at the lab because a task I hoped to have a few months to finish suddenly got a much closer and more strictly enforced deadline (meaning, I actually can’t let it swoosh past). And naturally, when one is in a hurry all sorts of things start to go wrong: stuff that is always cumbersome is even more cumbersome, things that shouldn’t take much time suddenly requiring a lot of tweaking, and even things that you take for granted fail. The latter is particularly annoying because it takes so long to determine what actually went wrong. Which means working way past reasonable time every day. And the situation is not helped by the fact that I still have to go to those pesky classes, because, hey, mid-term and assignment-presenting season is approaching.

So, the concept of a 9-to-5 job (and no classes) is sounding pretty good right about now. But. Even though I’m dead tired and frustrated every day, I still can’t help but sort of love it. Especially when I’m the first to arrive at the lab in the morning or when I’m the only one left at night, working. I don’t know how to describe that feeling exactly but it feels cool. However, at the same time I just kinda hope it doesn’t last too long,