A good friend of mine told me a couple years ago that you wake up one morning and realize that whatever you are doing at work that day is the thing you will be doing for the rest of your life. He sounded rather depressed about the situation. It was as if his professional life lacked new challenges and possibilities, and had simply become a matter of routine.
Being just a few years out of grad school at the time, I didn't quite see what he was talking about. Things felt new and different. I was out in the working world, making good money for the first time.
I begin to see what he was talking about now. I begin to fear that my career has taken a rather mediocre turn. Am I doing anything interesting at work? Or am I just marking time? I don't know... though I suspect that I have not looked after my career interests as well as I could.
I see this most when it comes time to interview for jobs. There was some part of me that always thought that if I got my Ph.D. and then got 5 years of experience at Company O., I would have a good shot at being very employable. That does not seem to quite be the case... Sure, my resume looks interesting on paper, but finding employers who say "Aha! Just the one we've been looking for!" is a difficult prospect. Perspective job candidates are put through the ringer... and I don't seem to be doing well under the bright lights of the third degree. I am told that this is not that unusual, and that the best way to circumvent the process is to get a friend to recommend you to someone who is hiring.
All this brings up memories of my past, times when I was pushed to my limits. I may be a brilliant man, but I am not a genius. I've met three or four of them over the years... and they have the ability to distill ideas and concepts very quickly. Their thoughts are always just a few steps ahead. They are the people who are indespensible to any organization, and are always permanently employable. Compared to them, I am a faker, a hack, a plodder.
Yet life is really mostly good. I've got my health, good friends, a reasonable job, and a lovely wife. Part of me is just feeling sorry for myself... this mood will pass
On the brighter side, thanks to the encouragement of metaleve I have written my first book review, currently appearing at The Geekzine. Maybe that's a career I will one day be able to fall back on. Ok, maybe not... but it sure is fun to see your words appearing on someone's web site.
on 2006-04-24 at 3:36 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond