Ask Agatha #31 – Facing A Murky Future And Career Change

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Dear Aunt Agatha,

What should I do next? I’ve told everyone I’m quitting my present job in 2021 – and it might be before then if some people have their way – but I’m still a young, well youngish, woman, and I’ll need another job. My CV is good enough to land another top job somewhere, given that I’ve played a leading role for 13 years. Some have likened me to the UK’s Margaret Thatcher, since we both took science doctorates, and I’ve been called the “iron frau,” just as she was the “iron lady.”

I’ve had a few ups and downs, though. When I said mid-Eastern refugees would be welcome, I was thinking in terms of ten thousand, not many hundreds of thousands, and that caused problems. And when I said I wanted to get closer to the US, I didn’t mean close enough for them to eavesdrop on my mobile phone calls.

So what new job should I do? It must not involve diesel cars, especially ones that lie about their fuel economy, and it can’t be in the nuclear industry because I’ll have closed it down by then. And nothing involving dogs, please. I’ve been scared of them since an attack, and even more so when that horrid little Russian brought his Labrador into our press conference. Apart from those, though, what else?

(signed) “Murky”

Dear “Murky,”

I think you are right. You have years left in you yet, and the key is that science PhD you have. I think you should return to your former career as a research scientist. The European Space Agency is desperately short of good people, and even though your degree is in quantum chemistry, you’ll be taken on, even as they are taken in. Use the enhanced prestige of your current career, plus a big bung of taxpayers’ money to the ESA, and you can get into the astronauts’ programme. You will then get to spend lots of time at the International Space Station, which well be a lot better than spending time in Germany by the time you’ve finished with it.