June 25, 2005

The Frightening Act of Living for Happiness

Ok. Things are just about resolved. "What things?" you ask. Well, I'll tell you.

As you well know, there is some ongoing debate about what I will be when I grow up. I've considered switching companies and continuing my career in business, probably on the marketing/sales or technology side of things. I've considered trying to start my own business. I've also considered going back to school for a doctorate in economics or philosophy.

I've basically tried to set as few limits as possible on what I should consider as options for my future.

I have pretty much reached a conclusion: I'm going to pursue a doctorate in philosophy.

"I can't think of a doctoral degree more useless than that of philosophy unless you consider one in comparative literature," you say quite candidly, "What in the name of all that is beautiful in the world would possess you to give up a promising (and profitable) career in business to pursue philosophy? Academia makes me sick!"

Well, you make some valid points. But I have a saying: Life is too long to be miserable.

I'm frankly not very satisfied in business, but the persistent passion in my life is thinking, reading, and writing about ideas. I also really enjoy teaching. The life of a professor is fairly relaxed, and success is entirely dependent on my own productive capacity. Of course, I was recently told that it would take me "10 years of hell to get to that point."

I met with my old philosophy prof yesterday for lunch and we discussed what would be necessary in order to pursue this goal. The discussion was sobering, but also encouraging. He's the one who told me about the 10 years of hell.

The bad news: I will have to get a BA in philosophy before I can pursue an MA and PhD. I'm two years of philosophy course work and an unknown amount of language work away from being able to start on the five year graduate studies work I'll need.

The good news: I can start on the undergrad work almost immediately via independent study and I will be a Junior in the program by the time I have to go back to school full time in January.

The bad news: This will most certainly place me under some financial strain and I have very little time in which to prepare for that strain.

The good news: I don't have very much debt right now to worry about.

This is still all very iffy in my mind. I'm reluctant to say that this is real because it's not completely real to me yet -- I don't want to admit it yet -- and I have plenty of opportunities to back out.

The independent study courses will give me some small idea about pursuing the rest of my course work. And completing my BA in philosophy will give me a good idea if I want to continue. I have an MBA already, so it's not like I won't be able to find a job if I decide to back off of this plan.


Does anyone want to come live in my house with me? The rent is pretty reasonable and it's a very nice house.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at June 25, 2005 08:35 AM

ME!!!Please pick ME!!

Posted by: LW at June 26, 2005 11:22 AM

Holy crapola. Balls of steel, dude. Huge, dripping balls of molten steel.

Posted by: Jim at June 27, 2005 03:13 PM

But in the interim you could definitely use a new job. Say something in the project management arena? ;-)

Posted by: Jim at June 27, 2005 10:53 PM
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