Wednesday, February 20, 2008
When I talk to senior (or at least past-postdoc stage) physicists, they always come up with sweet memories of their postdoc stage, how easy was everything, and how I should be enjoying this wonderful time.
On the other hand, I also talk to postdocs. On average (and LANL allows me to reach larger numbers than everywhere else) postdocs have a miserable life, agonizing over where their next job is going to be, looking at the rumor mills depressed over how their name is not there, many of them even fantasizing (or actually doing it) about leaving physics for a well paid job in finance or something more exciting like biology. Of course there are happy ones, but certainly they are not the majority. 
So, where is the catch? Postdocs lead a crappy life that somehow gets worse and is then remembered as good times? Or is it that the only ones that make it to permanent positions are those that were happy, while the rest just leave the race?
I, for one, am depressed about physics as a career. I don't fear leaving it, but at the same time I don't believe anyone who says that: I think it's a facade, everyone says they wouldn't mind but secretely keep pushing to stay. That's subbect for another post though.
Right now, I'd like to know: Does this get worst, better, or does it end soon? 
posted by fercook @ 11:14 AM   0 comments links to this post
For large values of 1.