It's been nearly two months since I started my industry job. My main reason to switch to industry was the insecurity in academia. The fact that you need to get grants and that it is unknown what will happen to your job if you don't get those grants. People had assured me that there is insecurity everywhere and these people appear to be right. The new type of insecurity is the fact that companies buy each other, and then it is unclear if the company will move, if the interests of the company will change or -worst case scenario - if everyone will lose their job.
But that's not what I wanted to talk about. Instead, I wanted to talk about the fact that even though I consider myself much happier in this job than in my post-doc job, I still very often feel like instead of gaining a cool and awesome job, I lost my chance of becoming an academic PI. I lost my shot at awards and stuff like that. And I wonder if academia has brainwashed me into thinking that being succesfull in academia is the highest attainable goal in everyone's life. In this job, I come home happy and feeling like I've accomplished something nearly every day*. In my previous job, I came home angry and disgruntled on many days. But whenever I hear about someone else getting a job, or a paper, or a grant, I feel kind of jealous. I worked hard, why did I not get there? I just can't figure out why I then still feel like I've lost here, even though in my heart I know that I am much happier here. Still dis-assimilating I guess.
* so yes, this can totally be filed under #firstworldproblems. I realize how whiny this post sounds and how lucky I am to have this awesome job .