There’s a lot to consider before taking such a huge step. It is very difficult to carry out and is very unlikely to happen at this stage of my life but it is important to have this at the back of mind. I read more about it. I have one Dutch person in my department who bought an apartment with her PhD salary. I know one Dutch person in the other department who bought an apartment last year with his post-doc salary. I know one international PhD person in the other department who bought a house along with her (international) engineer husband last year. I will talk to these people. Even if I can’t buy right now, which is likely, the information would be useful.
It’s also important to think about the kind of life we want. It helps to pick one side and prepare ourselves to make the most of our choice. I will stick to not continuing in academia. This choice has the potential to give me everything I want – high quality work that I find interesting, family time, time for myself (my personal projects), money to live comfortably, geographic flexibility (if I ever need it), …
I thought about this a lot in the last two years. Three, actually. I started to think about this in the last year of my master’s. After seeing academia in great detail and after figuring out what kind of a life I want, I think it’s time to pick one side. I would still have two years to think what kind of work I want to do in industry. I have already started to think about this. I am exploring the fields in industry that spark my interest. I don’t want to do a regular job that people usually go for, for example, consultancy, data related jobs, etc. No. I want to work in a field I care about. As of now, I care about financial equity for humans in our world (meaning: ensure equal life/purchasing power of everyone; something like that…), space science, research, the environment, (applied) physics research in industry (of course), medical equipments… The kind of things that involve research, make the society better or equal, … Other areas will pop up when I stare in this direction for longer. This is just the beginning. Right now I have a feeling that I don’t want to work in a field that increases consumerism in our world. Buy this, buy that, buy our product. I hate it. I think having time to consider my options could help me find something I really like instead of panic-job-hunting at the end when there is no time anymore to think what I want and to find it.
Alright, I have made enough decisions in the past couple of days (or at least I thought about making some). They will stay at the back of my mind for the next couple of months. Now it’s time to get back to Physics. Now I am hungry for research.