How do I re-find my calling?
October 2, 2012 9:10 AM   Subscribe

Career change advice! I'm considering changing jobs over the next 2-3 years. Give me some great ideas given what I'm good at and what I know.

Currently working in finance, managing a small team an solving semi-technical problems (as a good guy, I promise...) - career is as good as it gets in this environment, but things are changing and are becoming less challenging and interesting; so I'm considering taking a 180 degree turn and doing something completely different.

Here's an abrdiged version of my CV: in my low thirties, have a (really good) masters in math/physics, some money put aside, honestly super curious about everything - all my time at and outside of work has been essentially learning as much as I can about something for a year or two then moving on.
I used to really like the more engineery things in my masters (mechanics, solid physics).
I'm not a good programmer although I used to enjoy it. I'm not good at really abstract things. I like and am good at solving concrete problems and spotting mistakes in other people's reasoning.

Some things I've been thinking about: getting a phd (or maybe only a masters) in structural engineering then building things (bud I'm scared it might be to technical), going to an architecture school then designing things (but I'm scared it might not be technical enough); I'm fascinated by the new-ish 'prototyping' tools (3d printers, arduinos etc,...); I think I like teaching things.

Sorry for the long winded post and backdoor brags; am not intending it that way but I think that you are a great community for outside the box thinking and wanted to give an accurate picture :)
posted by Riton to Work & Money (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you like math and programmy stuff that's not programming, have you thought about actuarial work?

Husbunny is a math genius but got his RN and did the Nurse thing for 10 years, then he wanted out. He started out just taking some courses in Actuarial Science and then was offered a place in their PhD program. Then he dropped out and he's been happy as a clam working as an Actuary.

There are nine tests one must take, there are all kinds of career paths and 25% of your career is studying and researching and learning new things.

The money can be great too.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:22 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Mechanical engineering uses a lot of the skills you have; applied maths, applied physics. This is a very broad field where a lack of specific technical knowledge neednt be a problem. Finite element analysis, for example, ranges from the very theoretical to practical work with software. Your understanding of physics would lead to a good grasp of engineering principles and a deeper understanding of maths would put you in a good place to work with the complexities of the analysis engines. Computerised Fluid Dynamics is a similar field.

I dont know enough to point you in a specific direction, but engineering in general would seem to be a good step; your background would add real value to an career in engineering.
posted by BadMiker at 9:26 AM on October 2, 2012

Thanks all! Bunny, I actually know quite a few actuaries, and I'm trying to get away from too much financial/probability related calculus for insurance and banks.

BadMiker, I'll look into it.

posted by Riton at 2:13 PM on October 2, 2012

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