Azote

Quitting/transcending R&D career?

38 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Whoa. Good stuff, guys. I was just wondering - were you all brought up as "star-kids" by your parents?

I feel like this thing "I want to become X" takes a lot of weight with it, and ultimately is the thing that keeps us away from enjoying the process itself and makes us unhappy. I am speaking as someone who already had several career changes - from the artist, to teacher, to marketer and a pr (for art). And although the settings were quite different, in my mind, everything came down to "this is BS".

Now am thinking - how come everything I do appears as BS in the end? So many different careers, and one the same answer every fucking time? Let's say I even managed to raise the bar and become X in my latest career, and am so 'X', I'm exhausted with so many decisions I need to make.

I started analyzing my decisions to b.c., and I figured out my first love were animals and animal rescue and my love for science. The reason for not pursuing these paths were...I guess I loved art equally as much. Languages and communication as well. I kinda loved everything as a kid.

I loved learning things for its own sake.

Speaking of changes, I've also changed several countries as well. And now I'm like - maybe online business run from SEA would be something for me... I am willing to grow and challenge myself, but in the end - I do not feel the fulfillment. Maybe at peak times. Why so?

Speaking of 'leaving something to the world' - I kinda also figured out, that my artistic work, and especially teaching - did have a lot of impact on the people and kids around me. If you get the chance to plant love and kindness into their hearts, or point to some blind spots that will open them new horizons, multiply that with generations, your impact is huge. Isn't that amazing?! However, I might conclude that I was nothing but an ignorant fuck throughout the time of my adult existence, trying to "become X".  

Edited by Samurai Y

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Posted (edited)

@Samurai Y I don't quite get your point here.

How is focusing on single profession arrogant?

Adults told me that I must choose one thing for that very reason - "don't be so full of yourself having multiple intetests, grow up already, you fucking millenial star kid" xD

So yeah, it is better to go for one LP. What's wrong about that?

Edited by Azote

Truth killed the cat

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@Elisabeth

12 hours ago, Elisabeth said:

Um... I don't know, ask an artist? 3-4 hours a day actually put into creative work + another few hours a day put into learning theory, and the marketing and connecting activities needed to actually make a living out of it ... maybe it's enough? 

Generally, I have a lot more limiting believes about artistry, not just this. I didn't choose science for no reason)

Now I see that I must work ob those believes to clear my sight on this career. So my work here is not nearly done :S

 

12 hours ago, Elisabeth said:

the autonomy, well, no one says you have to actually stay in Russia. Not that you get independent easily elsewhere, 'cause financing, but you are not under some constant supervision ... if you can convince someone to fund you (which, unfortunately, is an exercise in manipulation), you do your research without governments examining you too closely. 

Lol, here in Russia we actually have more liberty I guess. It's just hard to get money for fundamental research, because government doesn't give a damn, and neither do the business.

But the point is, we need all three needs to be satisfied, or else it won't work. (That's according to the sd theory studies). So, the lack of even one of the three should be enough to make rational decision to quit, provided that you cannot reorganize your current job somehow (teach students or hang out with sci community to get relatedness, for example)


Truth killed the cat

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Posted (edited)

@Azote No, no, it's not arrogant, it's great if it works out. I'm saying that 'star-kid' type of upbringing results often with neurosis in your adult life - you are not achieving enough - this is not good enough - I am not good enough - this is meaningless - I have no purpose. Multiply that with your perfectionism + missing the true mastery in the field, voila. Focus on the bigger picture & enjoy the process.

 

Edited by Samurai Y

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Posted (edited)

17 hours ago, Azote said:
  • spiritual practices
  • reading books and drooling on non-equilibrium thermodynamics, synergetics etc. (4-5 hrs)
  • lunch, discussing new ideas with friends
  • painting (tada!) (3-4 hrs)
  • a bit of martial arts practice.  (maybe 1-2 hrs, not every day)

Is your work ethics really what you think it is or is it just a neurotic masturbation to cover some itch in your psyche?

Edited by Privet

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Posted (edited)

@Privet I once had a schedule similar to this at summer school. Awesome time. I'm fine if there is such diversity.

I know about lifestyle minimalism, but I cannot let it all go just yet. Iget depressed and demotivates without either one of these 3 things (for extended period of time).  Sure it can be neurosis, but it's not much I can do about it than meditate and wait, is it?

Edited by Azote

Truth killed the cat

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@Azote I wish I could do that much:)

I only managed to maintain so much work on my LP for half a year, then I became so exhausted that I just had to switch fully to taking care of my neurosis and health issues. Then I finally understood that it's way more important than LP.

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@Privet I also have this fear of overworking myself. Especially during this 1-to-20 year transition to dream career. They keep saying about 12 hours ped day practicing and all that ¬¬


Truth killed the cat

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19 minutes ago, Azote said:

1-to-20 year transition to dream career

Dunno what that means.

19 minutes ago, Azote said:

They keep saying about 12 hours ped day practicing and all that.

10.000 / 12 = 833 days, do you plan to become world class within 3 years? :)

I believe this pace is able to make anyone very miserable very fast.

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2 hours ago, Privet said:
2 hours ago, Azote said:

1-to-20 year transition to dream career

Dunno what that means.

Okay, that was kinda clumsy. I mean, it is certain that before I get to the point where I can have my ultimate desirable schedule, I'll have to work really hard on lots of unpleasant things for several years. I hold that belief that workaholism is a necessary stage. It's like, one is either a workaholic or some miserable fuck like me (I rarely manage to work more than 32 hours a week). So, when people share stories like this[rus] or this[rus] about how they work for 12 hours, I just freeze in fear like "Nope. I'm staying right where I am. Miserable, but kinda safe, for now". 

 


Truth killed the cat

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@Azote I believe workaholism is a consequence of good inspiring vision and passion for the field. One day you sit and paint for an hour or two just for fun, another day, then you can't stop because it's so rewarding, the process of learning and creating. 

Of course very often you have to apply discipline, but it's not the core thing, it's just a tool to keep things stable and consistent, workaholism and discipline alone won't make you happy with your work, that's the whole point, not the results, although they are important either.

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Posted (edited)

@Azote Treat the process like an exploration. You don't know what you are going to find yet. And you can't find your mission just by sitting and contemplating. When you are on the right track, it just comes to you from nowhere. This is why some people call it a calling. You will get your Aha moment too but with time and through experiential-exploration. So if a path is aligned with your current values, you need to seriously assess it experientially to conclude anything meaningful about it.  Action is way more important than theory here. 

Most of us, never really dedicate ourselves to the mastery of any particular skill set. We just prefer to sit at a single place comparing our unconsciously acquired mental impressions of various professions. We reflect on these mental impressions of Doctors, Scientists, Artists, Saints and then whimsically conclude who we would like to imitate or surpass.  But the thing is that what we like to do is more real and authentic than who we want to become.  And we generally end up liking what we do if we become adept at it and our work is in alignment with what we deem to be a good value/cause. 

Edited by Rajat Bhatia

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@QandC

I contemplated immediate switch, like, resigning from uni tomorrow, and just give it all up and go draw, and I think that I should go for a smoother transition. I know that I tend to be compulsive, and therefore I need to be very cautious and strategic here in order to not fuck this up. Besides, I plan to integrate this gained scientific background into my artwork. Kinda like Escher played with topology. I believe that this is how I'm going to make something unique. So yeah, I could use a bachelor degree in physics. But don't worry, I'm making my first baby steps right now ^_^ And thank you for the encouragement ❤️


Truth killed the cat

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I'd like to share some resources for inspiration with @Azote  @jjer94 @Rajat Bhatia @Black Flag and others following the thread. 

One ambitious grad student created a program for students who want to find a science-related career outside of academia: http://phdladder.wixsite.com/phdladder 

They provide a link to a webpage with a similar goal. They have skills, values and interests assessments on the site which are a perfect inspiration.   https://myidp.sciencecareers.org/

Finally, I'll just add a TED talk from a teacher for the students  The reset button (I don't quite agree with all he sais, in fact I'm surprised how much of my course curricula is needed, at least while I stay in science but he's got a point.)

 

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On 03/04/2018 at 11:03 PM, jjer94 said:

I can't really give advice, but I can give my perspective as a former aspiring researcher.

My undergrad major was biology, primarily because I was fascinated with life's deeper questions and thought I could pierce them with science. Classes were miserable, and research was worse. One of my research jobs was in a stem cell lab, where I had to go into lab on the weekends in order to feed the cell cultures. My experiments felt like they were going nowhere, and in fact, the entire lab seemed that way. Weekly meetings consisted of presenting our speculative, may-be-true-but-needs-more-testing data, which made me realize that scientists are just as clueless as the people who dogmatically cling to them for the truth. Then I found out that in order to get funding for my own research project, I had to do four extra years of schooling, spend thousands of dollars, dance with bureaucracy, and choose a study that has pragmatic implications for society. 

That's when my productivity plummeted, and all science-related work felt Sisyphean. I didn't want to deal with that shit. I realized that I was more interested in the idea of being a world-famous researcher than I was in actually doing the work. So I quit and decided to graduate early to cut my losses. Then I followed my genuine motivations. And whattya know, turns out that life's deeper questions can be explored through other means.

I also realized recently that most of my misery comes from having too high expectations of myself. The idea that I have to "impact the world" in some significant way has precisely prevented me from doing so, because I've become too perfectionistic for my future plans and haven't been able to open up to the little synchronistic opportunities that cross my path every day.

Okay, an attempt at advice. Put your hand on your heart, and ask it if it loves the work. The answer won't come in words; you'll just know.

You just sound like a lazy, idealistic typical millennial mistaking your cultural baggage for an enlightened personality 

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Posted (edited)

7 minutes ago, Etagnwo said:

You just sound like a lazy, idealistic typical millennial mistaking your cultural baggage for an enlightened personality 

laziness doesn't come from 'cultural baggage', it comes from not understanding yourself thoroughly and figuring out which job you should get.

Suffering isn't a necessity in life, unlike what the elders have unfortunately been mislead to believe.

Living a simple, enlightened life wasn't invented by Millenials, that sort of thinking has been around since societies like the ancient tamil siddhas back 15000 years ago. 

Edited by electroBeam

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2 hours ago, Etagnwo said:

You just sound like a lazy, idealistic typical millennial mistaking your cultural baggage for an enlightened personality 

Ding ding! 

Someone's had a bad day :( I hope it gets better!


Apparently I’m not content to be happy.

--Tim Kreider

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