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What should I do with my life?

  1. Jun 30, 2008 #1
    When I was in college, I had some direction, even if it was just the pursuit of a diploma. Now that I'm done, I feel like I'm stranded in mid-ocean with no discernible wind or current pushing me in any direction. Admittedly, this is my fault. I had a narrow focus and was concerned only with the short-term deadlines of exams and papers. There were many resources at my disposal (or so I'm led to believe) that would have given me some practical, career-related advice, but I never availed myself of them.

    I got my BS in physics because I like physics, not because I had a particular career in mind. So at present, I'm very open to suggestions. If I don't get input from someone in the know, I'm sure I'll end up in some job I can't stand. I know there's a demand for science and math teachers, but I have absolutely no talent for teaching. Other than that, I'll try anything.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 30, 2008 #2
    Try entry level engineering jobs. Make sure to list on your resume how your physics degree applies to engineering.
  4. Jun 30, 2008 #3
    How about meteorology? You could continue using wind and water metaphors.

    Do you have other hobbies or interests besides physics that might contribute to your employability or make you suited to a particular job? (eg playing computer games => work as a game programmer).
  5. Jun 30, 2008 #4
    If you are interested in physics, the obvious thing is to go to grad school. This way you can find work in physics.

    If you are done with school, then you can apply for jobs in banks as you have a very deep knowledge of applied mathematics. An actuary is a lucrative job, but would require studying actuarial sciences and statistics in your spare time to pass the exams.

    Ask yourself where youd like to work and find entry positions there, even if the pay is bad. This way you can advance and make decent money doing what you like.
  6. Jun 30, 2008 #5


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    If you're in a large city, try technical or engineering temp work. This way, you'll be able to "sample" several different jobs and corporate cultures. It may give you an idea of which direction you want to go.
  7. Jun 30, 2008 #6
    If you want to be rich investment banking springs to mind, although you'd probably need a PhD to be taken on as a quant.....or you could take a business masters on top of your physics bach, and be a trader 'close to the money'.

    Nuclear engineer? or some other form of engineering...
    Medical physics?
    Software developer?
  8. Jul 6, 2008 #7
    How about a few weeks of trip -alone- to some different places. Not very specific plan, no internet, limited phone access. It sounds you need this. Will be an interesting experience. :P
  9. Jul 6, 2008 #8


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    Live it!

    Use it wisely! It's the only one you've got.
  10. Jul 6, 2008 #9


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    just don't smoke. then you'll have about 10 years longer to decide!
  11. Jul 6, 2008 #10
    Funny, that's the same time it takes to get a BS and PhD in Physics...
  12. Jul 6, 2008 #11
    Get a PhD in philosophy from Brown.

    And start running. Get addicted to runner's high.
  13. Jul 7, 2008 #12
    I actually think these threads are the ones that give the least to everyone participating at a forum.

    First off, we don't have any more input than you don't know what to do with your life?

    Second, you've got a degree, you have tasted most of the different ways of doing physics there is.

    Third, people in our generation got so many choices that a lot of people get totally blank and just shuts down in front of the decisions. Which is a very bad thing. You shouldn't do that too often in life, because only dead fishes flow with the stream.

    fourth, how did it go at college?

    fifth, You must have done something more than just studying? Something extracurricular should have given you some perspective on what you want to do with your life.

    sixth, get a grip... for the love of...
  14. Jul 7, 2008 #13
    find a girlfriend like myself, i don't have a boyfriend:-)
  15. Jul 7, 2008 #14
    In my experience, such is the best kind of girlfriend to have.
  16. Jul 7, 2008 #15
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