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Life Plan

October 22, 2011

I feel like I ought to have some sort of semblance of a life plan. Before I graduated from college, I was obsessive about having a plan, but I never really planned much farther than 5 years into the future. I needed to always be working towards something and making sure my whole life fit together. Then I graduated.

It was like a switch went off. All of a sudden I had MY WHOLE LIFE ahead of me. It was incredibly intimidating. I felt like I had spent my whole life working to get to this point … and then I got there. What was I supposed to do now?

I had decided to go the fun/interesting job route (see at sea) rather than a traditional engineering rotation program. I had mixed feelings about it. I loved the people I worked with, the crazy things that always happen at sea and the sense of independence and pride that comes with fixing things. But I also hated being gone all the time, feeling like I had no career mobility, and the the stress of trying to fix a complicated system that I didn’t completely understand with limited help.

So I applied to grad school. When I decided to apply to grad school, I was much unhappier in my job than I was by the time I actually left. So my older posts are a lot more bitter than I actually feel about the experience now.

But I still have the same old problem of feeling like I don’t know what I’m working towards. It’s easy to focus on the short term and just make getting my PhD my goal. But then I’ll end up in the same situation where I graduate and feel like I’m floundering.

So, my new plan is to keep a running list of people who have cool jobs that I might like to have. For example:

Paul C. Stern – he’s the president of the Social and Environmental Research Institute (a non-profit research institute).

Nancy Hersh – she’s the VP of Consumer Marketing and Analytics at Opower (fancy bill designing company).

Shui Bin – she’s a senior researcher at ACEEE (American Counsel for an Energy-Efficient Economy).

Wooooo. Awesome things.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 31, 2011 12:20

    We love and miss you!

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