Last week at my retail job, a Big Wig in the company came to visit the store. I got the opportunity to speak with him for a couple of minutes as he did a walk through of my area. At one point he said that he had heard good things about me and if I continued to do well he wanted to talk to me about a management position during his next visit. I was seriously excited to hear this. It was nice to hear that I potentially had a future in that company. It also got me thinking about why I am going into science instead of another career.
We’ve all heard it: there are too many PhD’s and not enough positions; for all of the training (especially compared to medical doctors and lawyers) we are underpaid, getting a PhD closes doors to other career paths. So, instead of working towards a promotion why do I plan to quit in a few months and go back to school? I could go into business and work my way up into a lucrative career. I could go to law school and be successful. By going into biology and pursuing a research career I am taking several years out of the time where I can build up my finances and contribute to my retirement. So, if there are so many cons to going into science, why do I plan on going into it?
Well first, I am 2 months into my job and I am bored. Other than dealing with difficult customers, the most challenging things I do is figure out is where clothes should be hung and when to take lunch. The thought of doing this long term sounds awful to me.
Also, doing something I am interested is more important than money. I’m not saying that I’m not worried about money, just that I don’t think that excessive money (and the things that go with it) would make me happier. Science is what I have always been interested in. I read science blogs and books in my spare time, and I prefer to talk about science over any other topic. I get excited when I can attend talks or go to conferences. I’m not saying that academia is perfect, but personally I find it preferable to business and other fields.