Possum’s recent job plea has inspired me to do an experiment. Unlike him, I’m not explicitly seeking a job (although my ears and email are always open [FN1]). I’m merely looking for advice on what kind of job I should look for.
The short story is that I started studying economics because I liked the subject a great deal. I had no career ambitions in mind at all. This continued all the way to through honours year where I pursued a topic fascinating to me, but that was also very unlucractive.
During my honours year, my body revolted. My spine would spasm, fix into awkward shapes and provide a constant ache. A recurrent limp I had experienced for a long time now sometimes required a walking stick. At first I thought this was due to my long commutes (since I had moved for my wife’s work) but eventually I discovered it was genetic. It could be dealt with, but it wouldn’t go away. This wasn’t a barrier to an active lifestyle (in fact, it called for it), but it did preclude much sedentary activity.
Like sitting in a chair for long periods. Like every economics job in the world.
In many ways this was fortunate. It meant that I didn’t fall into the usual career paths of banks and bureaucracy where I would have become frustrated, or into post graduate education where my intellectual curiosity would have necessarily been muted in order to survive. Instead I lucked into part time work which, although unstimulating, is a stress free and pleasant environment, and they give me a great deal of flexibility. It meant I could still continue my interest in economics; Reading widely, doing ad hoc research assistance for one Nick Gruen and later posting here. I quite like living the way I do.
But I’m 25 now. A typical aimless (at least professionally) twenty something. I do need to get a move on and do something more sooner or later. I’m not pressed for cash either, but I do anticipate a desire for expensive goods such as children in the future.
So kind of jobs are good for me? I am an economist by inclination, with the skills one desires in an economist from econometric training to research and the vital ability to understand just what bullshit the rent seekers are pulling on a given day. Moreover, I simply care about actually having a proper understanding of the economic world, and not about pressing an agenda or selling a product.
I can write tolerably, at least this blog has given me reason to think so. I quite like being able to discuss things with economists outside the strangling bonds of academic papers, but I also relish the fact that some people without economic training may get a better understanding than they would reading the largely economically illiterate press corps. I like sharing economic concepts for their own sakes, but I’m also driven by the knowledge that if there is a vacuum, it will be (and is) filled with spivs.
I am unable to sit still both for physiological reasons and by temperament.
I have very wide interests, some that interrelate to economics, such as history, urban planning linguistics (self taught via my honours) – but also thngs like the writing of formalist comics. I studied Mandarin for three years ?????????? and I try to work on my Japanese so I can one day speak to my father-in-law.
None of this really fits well with anything I’ve ever seen in the jobs pages. Anyone have any ideas? May the crowds give me a compass.
[FN1] novo.mestroSHOES@gmailSHOES.com – my inbox is a clean place, so remove shoes first