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.