I've recently finished my Ph.D. in HEP physics but I've not yet applied for any jobs since I don't really know what to do next. So I'm here hoping for some advice/ideas; I'll give fuller details for anyone who can be bothered to read them (sorry about the extreme length). Anyway... I'm almost 29 and for the first time in my adult life I find myself at a loose end. I've never really had any plan for what I wanted to do as a career, so I stayed in education and just studied what interested me. What interested me was physics, and I was being told from day one that a physics education leaves the door open to quite a variety of careers, so that's what I did. I was still enjoying physics by the end of my degree/masters and was offered a Ph.D. position straight after graduating, so I did a Ph.D. too. I assumed that when I got to this point, I'd go for a post-doc position... but now I'm not so sure. I still enjoy physics but I'm not so sure it's the right career for me anymore. Here are my reasons, it'd be good to know if they're valid: - I was perfectly happy doing the day-to-day work of the Ph.D. It was entirely computational, no hands-on hardware stuff, only writing code, running simulations etc. Lots of C++ in particular. However, as much as I liked actually doing the work, I didn't like telling people about the work. I didn't enjoy writing it up, didn't enjoy giving presentations about it, didn't like attending conferences thousands of miles away with a bunch of strangers and so on. My impression is that a significant part of a being a physicist is 'networking' and 'selling' your research and that's not really me. So that's one thing that's making me hesitant to go for a post-doc job. Also as much as I hate giving presentations, I'd surely hate being a lecturer even more and that's the aspect of the job that appeals to me the least. Furthermore I have not put out any papers that I'm the lead author on, I am second author on one and that's it. So I think that makes things hard for me regarding post-doc job applications. - I'm under the impression that beyond post-doctoral level, the competition for employment gets ridiculous. So what happens if I do one or two temporary post-doc jobs for a few years? Eventually I'll need to look for a permanent position somewhere and if I'm not mistaken, the odds are against me. I'm not an exceptional physicist, I must have reached some level of competence to get this far but I wouldn't say I'm anything more than reasonably competent. To be honest I have had that so-called 'impostor syndrome' throughout the Ph.D. and it hasn't gone away. So, I'm thinking it may be more sensible to just cut my losses and get a few years' headstart on whatever alternative career I'd probably have to look for after doing post-doc(s) anyway. - I was quite apathetic to this a few years ago but I think I'd like to start a family of my own at some point and a career in physics seems like it's not the most compatible career with that. Physics has been a full-time distraction for me and I've definitely neglected other areas of my life for it. Dating/relationships has often been one such area, and I'm sick of that, I'd like to have more of that in my life. Also, in physics it seems you can't be very picky about the location of your job, you have to go where the work is. That means I couldn't even think of buying a house, settling down with someone etc. until a permanent position (that I'll probably never be offered anyway) came along, and who knows where that could be. Maybe that someone wouldn't want to move there. So it seems hard to plan for the future when everything has to be fitted around an uncertain career in academia. Plus, I've already worked in the US as part of my Ph.D. (I'm from the UK) and although I liked the experience, being so far away from my roots didn't appeal much as a permanent situation. - Physicists don't earn much money, not for what they do. It's not a pittance but obviously I'd love to have a job that I'm paid handsomely for. Also it seems sensible to grab as much money as I can, as fast as I can, and start some savings. So... if all or most of what I've written above is valid then I should look into alternative careers. I suspect no career will involve work as interesting/stimulating as physics, so I want a more lucrative career to make up for that. But of course, I doubt I'd last very long at something mind-numbing either. So any suggestions here would be great. The only thing I've been looking into in any serious way so far is 'data science', since there are conversion courses like Insight that apparently favour physics Ph.D. holders. According to the Insight course 'brochure', data science is a lucrative career where demand for employees exceeds supply, so that sounds great, but I don't know how boring a job that could turn out to be. I'm trying to get through some online tutorials now but haven't reached the point where I can judge whether such a career is viable yet. Other than that, when I search for non-academic jobs for physics Ph.D. holders, it all sounds like stuff I'm likley not qualified for. I mean, I have years of C++ code-writing under my belt but I'm no expert programmer or software developer or whatever (although fortunately there are online tutorials for other programming languages so I'm trying to expand in that sense). And yes, physics is a highly mathematical subject, but I don't feel qualified for, say, a financial sector job seeing as I have no real knowledge of economics etc. Also there are another couple of things at the back of my mind regarding career choices. One is that I'm in the UK - the about-to-Brexit-from-the-EU UK. I'm wondering which careers if any should perhaps be avoided because of Brexit consequences. The other thing is automation, it'd be daft to get into something that A.I. will be able to do better than a human in a few years; data science strikes me as something that might be susceptible to that. So I would really appreciate some suggestions/advice here. Thanks for reading if you got this far.