Life's Paths

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Life's Paths

#1  Postby Zadocfish2 » Oct 24, 2011 5:43 pm

I may not be well known yet, but some of you are familiar with me. I am somewhat facing a challenge in my life:

I am a student in Job Corps. I am studying Business, and am doing quite well with it. My teacher says that I have really high aptitude for it. On the other hand, I love science. I really want to study biology or paleontology at Montana U.

My counselor tells me that I can do anything with my level of intelligence (got a 98% on the ASVAB; he also says that I could write my ticket into the military, but I know I couldn't handle boot camp). I have tried University before, but I hadn't worked at all back then, so I crapped out on my homework. I know how to work now, though, having held a 40-50 hour job for 2 months, twice.


My choice is this: The path of the business man for profit, or the path of the scholar for interest. Knowing that you people are intelligent, I humbly ask for advice (since I can no longer rely on prayer).
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Re: Life's Paths

#2  Postby campermon » Oct 24, 2011 5:46 pm

If you have the opportunity to study then do so.

;)
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Re: Life's Paths

#3  Postby Wiðercora » Oct 24, 2011 5:59 pm

I'd study Science, but I have neither the aptitude nor the inclination for Business Studies.
If the unemployed learned to be better managers they would be visibly better off, and I fancy it would not be long before the dole was docked correspondingly.
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Re: Life's Paths

#4  Postby theropod » Oct 24, 2011 6:14 pm

Falconjudge,

Be aware that very few paleontologists make very much money. An exception to this might be in museum direction. Now, if you combine that with geology you might be able to land a job in the petroleum/gas/coal industry, but that's a pretty controversial field these days.

Biologists can do OK if they can land a job in research. One field that has a lot of open territory would be botanical pharmacology.

Good luck with whatever you settle on.

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Re: Life's Paths

#5  Postby VictorTheSixth » Oct 24, 2011 10:04 pm

Go for the profit. You can always help others finance their research with your money. It's one of the reason I went into the Financial Field and didn't pursue my dreams of being a geneticist.
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Re: Life's Paths

#6  Postby Haven » Apr 07, 2012 7:16 pm

I say go for the research. Money, especially when earned through unethical means (as I believe corporate work is), is not the point of life. Instead, it is far better to advance the bounds of human knowledge, science, and study.

I was in your position about two years ago, and I'm so happy I decided to leave the corporate world behind and pursue a career in academia. I couldn't be happier with my choice. Money isn't everything.
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Re: Life's Paths

#7  Postby amkerman » Apr 07, 2012 7:34 pm

Haven wrote:I say go for the research. Money, especially when earned through unethical means (as I believe corporate work is), is not the point of life.


What is the point of life Haven? Do you just mean that you don't think it is the point of life? Is there a point to life?

Instead, it is far better to advance the bounds of human knowledge, science, and study.


Why is it far better, or even better at all? Do you just mean that you think it is better?

I was in your position about two years ago, and I'm so happy I decided to leave the corporate world behind and pursue a career in academia. I couldn't be happier with my choice. Money isn't everything.


I'm glad you're happy with your choice.
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Re: Life's Paths

#8  Postby THWOTH » Apr 07, 2012 7:36 pm

Follow your passion. That's all. What are you passionate about?
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Re: Life's Paths

#9  Postby Lizard_King » Apr 07, 2012 7:40 pm

The only advice I can give you is this: picture yourself going to work for the rest of your (professional) life. Imagine that you have to get up every morning for the next few decades to go to work, and spend 8 to 10 or even more hours there. If you find that you cannot imagine doing that as either a business man (or a researcher), then that particular career might not be the right one for you, and you should probably take the other one. I personally wouldn't want to spend the rest of my life doing something I don't want to do on a daily basis, no matter what they pay me.

I had to face a somewhat similar decision: being a medical student close to finishing med school(well, one more year), I thought about what field would be right for me. I was very interested psychiatry, radiology and also internal medicine. I looked into each of those fields, worked at hospitals in these fields, and then discovered that I couldn't see myself spending the rest of my life in a dark room looking at x-rays (although that stuff pays a buttload of money in Germany), and I also figured that I probably wouldn't be too happy listening to other people's problems all day long (I'm simplifying, that's not all psychiatrists do, I know that). I could, however, picture myself arriving at the hospital each day, go on rounds, switch between the ICU and regular stations, and practice internal medicine for the rest of my life. That's how I made this decision. Not sure it helps, but I hope it does. :cheers:
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Re: Life's Paths

#10  Postby z8000783 » Apr 07, 2012 7:57 pm

falconjudge wrote:My choice is this: The path of the business man for profit, or the path of the scholar for interest. Knowing that you people are intelligent, I humbly ask for advice (since I can no longer rely on prayer).

Pop yourself forward 20 years and then look back.

What would you like to see?

John
I don’t simply believe in miracles - I rely on them
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Re: Life's Paths

#11  Postby orpheus » Apr 08, 2012 11:54 am

"This is what I want to do for the rest of my life" was too big a decision for me to make when I was a student. So here's what I did:  I made the best choice I could, and made a deal with myself that I would commit to it for only four years. Then I'd reevaluate: is this still what I want to do? Am I having enough success to warrant continuing? Is there something else that's really calling to me? Then I'd make another commitment for a few years. Repeat. The interval varied - sometimes 3 years, sometimes 2, sometimes 4. But the main idea was to only commit for a few years at a time, and then do a serious reevaluation. That way I was never faced with the decision of "the rest of my life". I was keeping myself open to life's changes and other possibilities. And I was leading the examined life - always a good thing. 

If you do this, don't choose too short a time to commit to something. 6 months is too short; you might have a bad or a good 6 months for reasons that have nothing to do with your choice. You need a least a few years, I think, to see what you really feel about it.

I've continued to do this. (47 yrs old now.) Not always easy, but for me the best way.


Edited to add: the results for me: I've alway chosen to continue in music. But two big advantages came of this scheme that I didn't foresee. First, my relationship with music is stronger, I think, for it. Second, I think I've a more well-rounded self-education than I would otherwise have.
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Re: Life's Paths

#12  Postby Zadocfish2 » May 07, 2012 5:49 pm

Thank you all. This really helped.
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Re: Life's Paths

#13  Postby CdesignProponentsist » May 07, 2012 11:05 pm

Scholar.

There are a plethora of ways to apply it to business if you so desire.
'The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man
knows himself to be a fool.'
- As You Like It - William Shakespeare
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Re: Life's Paths

#14  Postby Horwood Beer-Master » May 07, 2012 11:53 pm

Do whatever you would find most fulfilling.


It's all very well trying to fit what you do now into some great plan, but you'll find plans change whether you want them to or not - whichever path you take.

True if you go down the academic path and it doesn't pan out for you, you may find yourself later wishing you'd "gone for the money" while the chance was there, but on the other hand if you go down the business route and it doesn't pan out you'll likely wind-up just as broke, only with the added regret of not having studied something you really loved.

Basically, there's no point trying to think of this choice you're making as being a decision on where you want to be several decades from now, because there are things that are inevitably going to happen between now and then that you can have no idea about until they happen and which will change the outcome of choices you make now in ways you cannot possibly predict (indeed they may even make some seemingly important choices utterly immaterial in the long run). That (as they say) is life.

I'm not saying you should make no attempt to plan for some kind of future for yourself, but just be aware you can only really make choices on behalf of the you of right now, not on behalf of some hypothetical 50-year-old you who in reality is not present to give their input.
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Re: Life's Paths

#15  Postby Zadocfish2 » May 17, 2012 3:29 pm

Turns out, I've chosen the Navy. I just need to lose 10 lbs and get some cardio; with my ASVAB, I apparently fit the qualifications for every training course in the Navy, including the Nuclear Program (not that I'm interested). I'll go for 4 years, then use the GI bill to go back to University.
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Re: Life's Paths

#16  Postby Teshi » Jun 23, 2012 12:58 pm

Go to university. Work while you are there.

Then, when you leave, not only will you still have the business aptitude, you will have extra skills to combine your love of science and your aptitude for business together to do better.
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Re: Life's Paths

#17  Postby Microfarad » Jun 23, 2012 1:29 pm

campermon wrote:If you have the opportunity to study then do so.

;)

I agree.
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Re: Life's Paths

#18  Postby thomasac13 » Apr 19, 2014 6:42 pm

Just go for business, and then you can actually fund and also be involved on whatever your interests are. Resources are scarce, and helping to secure those resources for science is more important than ever in this turbulent economy.
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Re: Life's Paths

#19  Postby Zadocfish2 » Oct 04, 2014 6:07 am

3 years since I made this thread. Now living in rent-assisted housing working part-time at KMart.

Welp. Life's life, I guess.
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Re: Life's Paths

#20  Postby Fallible » Oct 04, 2014 9:43 am

And yours has barely begun! Plenty of time to get where you want to be.
John Grant wrote:They say 'let go, let go, let go, you must learn to let go'.
If I hear that fucking phrase again, this baby's gonna blow
Into a million itsy bitsy tiny pieces, don't you know,
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