June 03, 2015

Adam's Corner: A Wonderful Life and Working Woes

I love my wife, two cats, three dogs and unborn child. I love them so much that I searched and stressed for a job that would keep us together. Neither my wife nor I wanted to leave the city we’ve called home for the past several years. She had gainful employment as an attorney with a firm promising great upward mobility. I had my share of opportunities, the majority of which would take me states away. I had the means to work for a promising Biotech company in Pennsylvania that’s been featured in news quite a bit lately…but that was too far from everyone I love. I could have worked for a national research center only an hour away from home…but conducting research on animals isn’t appealing to me anymore. I waded through application after application until I was offered a job that is no doubt below my potential. I accepted in order to keep my family together. 

Though I get along with my coworkers and genuinely enjoy their candid conversations, I still feel very uncomfortable. I used to feel free to express my knowledge openly in moments of postulation. Now I keep my mouth shut because I’m the “new guy” and “can’t really know anything yet”. I worked hard for four and a half years to attain my doctorate and now with my first job fresh out of graduate school I have never felt so undervalued. My experiences and expertise are brushed aside. I’ve been called “boy” and teased for my youth but I will not apologize for receiving a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences at 26. A small part of me winces every time I’m called “mister” instead of “doctor”. I do not feel intelligent or significant and on certain days it really does bother me. 

No doubt when I return home from work and see my wife and fur-children will I forget the troublesome nature of work. I will remember that I made the right choice for my family. I see them every day. No doubt will I also remember that I made the right choice for my wife. I did not drag her from a job she worked tirelessly to attain. I decided that it was her moment to shine as I opted to step aside and let her pursue an illustrious career. I know I did what was right but that doesn’t mean that on any given day I don’t feel bothered by my current state of employment and what could have been.


  1. Adam, it's silly that you're not valued at your new job. Especially because this kind of wisdom, the wisdom to make the right decision for your family, can be so foreign in the job market and in our society more generally. It surely takes more than a "boy" to do that.

  2. Adam, you are an amazing man and you are so strong to make the right choice for your family. You're an inspiration.

  3. I love that you chose to let Kate have her career. You also deserve to enjoy your career. I hope you show them all what your worth and shine brighter then them all!

  4. You are amazing and your family is blessed to have you in their lives. That said, I do hope you find a fulfilling job or employment rather - job sounds like work and its only work if you don't love it - closer to home. Some place that values your knowledge. You are a good man Doc!


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