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Ski Instructor Job Shaming

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Very often when I tell people I am a ski instructor and that I indeed want to make a career out of it I am met with a few reactions. One is just stunned silence, they can't comprehend it, sometimes people get angry about it, they call it a waste of my education, but most often I find myself being simply job shamed. I understand that it has a lower income than many jobs, but I personally think if you work hard then the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

So my question is: why do people tell you to find a job you love and then shame you for doing it?

Would love to hear peoples thoughts, on both opinions on the whole job shaming aspect and industry workers stories/points of view on the matter.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
It's not just ski instructors....
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Its probably because people see it similar to a summer holiday rep job, a little bit of work, drink a lot and lots of sex.

I worked full time as a ski instructor/tech/bar man/office bod/goffer at a ski center here in the UK for 15 years, I never saw it as real job to be honest. A lot of long hours, not a lot of drink and even less sex.
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Must admit I've never come across this, but then we do live in a ski village.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I bet the shamers aren't skiers.... snowHead
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@orioriori89, people are just secretly jealous of your having chosen a “lifestyle” job, while they bought into being wage slaves. That said, whether you call it “job shaming” or not, everyone has a view about other people’s careers. So, to those who are ignorant, I’m a “fat cat” lawyer..., Mr P a rampant capitalist as he runs his own business and has employees...
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
MorningGory wrote:
I bet the shamers aren't skiers.... snowHead


For sure most aren't! But sometimes they are and that surprises me even more!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Curious what you say to the idiots who respond to you that way. Bigger people than me would let it go; I'd call 'em on it.
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Shaming is a bit odd. But ski instructor is a very niche profession when you think about it - only possible in a relatively few places in relatively few countries on a strictly seasonal basis but with a public profile far higher than the numbers of people doing it and certain stereotypes which include the mahogany skinned lothario and the gap yah fantasist "yeah I'm a ski instructor".

People who dedicate their time and a not inconsiderable amount of money to reaching a level of attainment in ski instruction are admirable. But the case for everyone taking it really seriously is not helped by major countries like the US where it is often a job for hobbyist (early) retirees. And indeed alpine countries where it is not necessary a pure "career" but an adjunct to another job like running a family hotel or farming.
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Most of my more hardcore ski/snowboard friends look down there noses at ski instructors. They see it as a bad job because the pay is low and it means working during hours you could be skiing. Sure you can argue that your job is skiing but from what we see most of the instructors are having a boring time babysitting young kids or teaching beginners how to plough/sideslip the bunny slopes. If you want a job on snow better option is patrol or guide. If you just want to maximise ski time work an evening job. I tend to agree with them, but I am kind of bias as I don't really enjoy teaching anyway.

For my "holiday skier" and non-skier friends ski instructor is considered an amazing job.

I think most of the non-skiers that would shame ski instructors are the kind that would shame any "non-career" highly paid job. It also works in the opposite direction too though, I've heard ski bums scraping by shaming perfectly respectable highly paid jobs.

I gave up a "proper career" to be a ski bum. I've never been "shamed" but then again I don't really bring it up or make out I made some enlightened kind of decision (some really annoying ski bums go on and on about it). Plenty of my friends tell me they are jealous and I'm pretty quick to tell them its not all sunshine and pow days, plenty of negatives to this kind of lifestyle too.
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boarder2020 wrote:
Most of my more hardcore ski/snowboard friends look down there noses at ski instructors. They see it as a bad job because the pay is low


You're joking, right, Come to CH and earn proper money. Ski teachers are valued here, and are paid appropriately.

No shaming here.
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a lot of people in society see large salaries as the only measure of success, this is driven by a consumer-based society. They probably don't understand 'value' only price. Realistically roles in the society which return something to society rather than just taking are the most commendable, certainly teaching/instructing fall into the most commendable category.
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The reactions I used to get were:

1 - Lucky you!

2 - What do you do in the summer?
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My son did a season in Kirchberg, the only british instructor theyd had there in a house full of Dutch. But it was good on his cv, as it showed he had to learn a new language as he couldnt speak German, and he was going outside his comfort zone. Hes not had a job interview for a couple of years, but it was always brought up in discussion.

I think it depends where it sits with the rest of your career. If its ski instructor in the winter, and odd jobs in the summer, not so good. But his was in among a career pattern where hed left football, wanted to go to Uni, and had done things in between that added to the CV.
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boarder2020 wrote:
If you want a job on snow better option is patrol


Even shitter money with less ski time.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
boarder2020 wrote:
Most of my more hardcore ski/snowboard friends look down there noses at ski instructors. They see it as a bad job because the pay is low and it means working during hours you could be skiing. Sure you can argue that your job is skiing but from what we see most of the instructors are having a boring time babysitting young kids or teaching beginners how to plough/sideslip the bunny slopes.


Chin up, it's not all bad Wink

On the clock


http://youtube.com/v/ew5K0sflLqg
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
boarder2020 wrote:
Most of my more hardcore ski/snowboard friends look down their noses at ski instructors. They see it as a bad job because the pay is low and it means working during hours you could be skiing.
...For my "holiday skier" and non-skier friends ski instructor is considered an amazing job...
Both of those things. The OP may want to think about why this is so.

--
Check the stats yourself. The job demographics ought to be in the minds of anyone considering it as a career.
What's the average age? How many people over 30 have it as their only employment?

Beginners have a focus on learning to ski/ board, so instructing is front and centre to them.
Probably their instructors are the best people they've ever ridden with.
Beyond a certain skill level that's irrelevant: everyone "in the business" can ski and board significantly
better than tourists. What was once everything about the sport is no longer thought about,
and the association of instructing with beginners is negative.

Ski instruction is necessarily standardized, which makes it a tough business to differentiate yourself in.
Some here have done it, but the skills they used to do that are not skiing skills. These days ski
schools are run by old people, with the business run by MBAs. Entrepreneurship is a
challenge - it's easier to set up and sell an internet company than a ski school.

That may explain why others, including many "in the business", may not be quite so
enthusiastic about your chosen job as you are. I would assume that you'll want to bail
out of the job after some time, and look hard at the opportunity cost. If your alternative is
washing dishes then it's zero, but if it's a medical or engineering degree, then that
is life changing.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
JanetS and I are not professional Ski Instructors (we instruct voluntarily at our local dry slope), but we have given up on "normal" jobs to take up an itinerant lifestyle, winters in the alps (last season Transfer driving, next season running a Chalet), summers cycletouring, freelance bus and coach driving, we are now off to Cornwall to run a campsite for the summer. It may be due to the fact that we are getting on a bit, but we find that most people we meet, rather than "Job shaming" are jealous of our freedom and relatively low stress lifestyle. Most of them also fail to understand that sort of lifestyle is within their reach, if they just had the desire/courage to do it.
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Both my daughter and son were full time ski instructors for a few seasons, working in Switzerland, Japan and New Zealand.

He got recruited into the "real world" by a customer in Japan while riding a chair lift.
He is now an ACA and life is good.

She is almost a lawyer and worked for a big firm in Tokyo fo a summer as a direct result of ski instructing: she wrote a spec' application and the Head Partner was a very keen skier and recognised the degree of dedication it takes to reach the multi disciplinary levels she had got to.
In interview now she is often asked about client relationships (and if she is not asked she makes sure to bring it up).
"I have had innumerable client relationships. In a normal day I had two three hour cold client meetings in which I had to listen to their perceived needs, assess their actual needs, develop and deliver a lesson plan to meet those needs to the client's satisfaction, and then try to up-sell the client some more lessons or at least leave them with a clear action plan for the future"

Those are transferable skills!

Ski instructing is no cop out.
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Quote:

Check the stats yourself. The job demographics ought to be in the minds of anyone considering it as a career.
What's the average age? How many people over 30 have it as their only employment?

Now that is an interesting question. Most ski instructors I see look well over 30 perhaps closer to 60. It may be the life in the open air; the high UV at altitude that burns their faces, creates deep creases and bleaches their hair white making them look old, whereas in fact they are only 29.

Do the people who job shame ski instructors also job shame teachers, university lecturers or other sport coaches? It is a profession, which just like those needs skill, learning time and qualifications.
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Entirely agree, i taught FT for two years (4 seasons) and still now almost, erm, 25 years later rely on the skills l learnt then in business !
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Simple, because it’s a seasonal job.

So, depends on what you do in the northern summer, you’re either a lazy & low inspiring slacker. Or, if you follow the snow to the Southern Hemisphere, you’re a career minded world traveler.

Enjoy it while you can.

orange wrote:
Entirely agree, i taught FT for two years (4 seasons) and still now almost, erm, 25 years later rely on the skills l learnt then in business !

Sorry you just prove the point of the shamers. You didn’t “make a career out of ski instructing”, as the OP profess to do!

What do you have to say to advice the OP? This is just a temporary thing? He’ll soon need to go back to a real career???
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Scooter in Seattle wrote:
Curious what you say to the idiots who respond to you that way. Bigger people than me would let it go; I'd call 'em on it.


Depends on who is saying it.

If it's people just sort of laughing at me and saying it's not a proper job I'll politely inform them of how much time, effort and planning has to go into lessons etc.

If it's people being rude or aggressive then I tend to try and shrug it off and laugh about it later.

If the person seems open to a discussion I'll use the time to explain my point of view but in my experience, I've found when people do judge or shame then they tend not to be interested in hearing another person point of view.
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philwig wrote:
boarder2020 wrote:
Most of my more hardcore ski/snowboard friends look down their noses at ski instructors. They see it as a bad job because the pay is low and it means working during hours you could be skiing.
...For my "holiday skier" and non-skier friends ski instructor is considered an amazing job...
Both of those things. The OP may want to think about why this is so.

--
Check the stats yourself. The job demographics ought to be in the minds of anyone considering it as a career.
What's the average age? How many people over 30 have it as their only employment?

Beginners have a focus on learning to ski/ board, so instructing is front and centre to them.
Probably their instructors are the best people they've ever ridden with.
Beyond a certain skill level that's irrelevant: everyone "in the business" can ski and board significantly
better than tourists. What was once everything about the sport is no longer thought about,
and the association of instructing with beginners is negative.

Ski instruction is necessarily standardized, which makes it a tough business to differentiate yourself in.
Some here have done it, but the skills they used to do that are not skiing skills. These days ski
schools are run by old people, with the business run by MBAs. Entrepreneurship is a
challenge - it's easier to set up and sell an internet company than a ski school.

That may explain why others, including many "in the business", may not be quite so
enthusiastic about your chosen job as you are. I would assume that you'll want to bail
out of the job after some time, and look hard at the opportunity cost. If your alternative is
washing dishes then it's zero, but if it's a medical or engineering degree, then that
is life changing.


I have a masters in maths and physics, did some work with CERN, so have plenty of options outside of the ski world. The trouble is the majority of those options are academic-based and sadly my degree showed me I really did not enjoy that side of life. It's an incredibly hostile world in my particular field of academia, with everything you do being not good enough, or having very little impact on peoples lives.

One of the reasons I love ski instructing now is that I can see that I make a difference, in some small way.

I think you have hit the nail on the head a few times here. This shift in perspective on ski instructors is something I hadn't considered too much. You mention about teaching beginners being seen as negative, I think maybe this has to do with the fact its new instructors that tend to teach these levels. But if you ask good instructors they've always told me the best instructors are the ones who can work well with beginners, and most importantly the plough to parallel stages. Whilst the lessons themselves might need a higher skill level to deliver the best lesson, these beginners lessons are tainted by their association with being the usual lesson for low-level instructors. If that makes any sense?

The standardisation I think as well could be an issue. There is not much wiggle room. Personally I set up a website to try and help other instructors, but also to help me stand out because there is not so much you can do differently nowadays.
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orioriori89 wrote:
Very often when I tell people I am a ski instructor and that I indeed want to make a career out of it I am met with a few reactions. One is just stunned silence, they can't comprehend it, sometimes people get angry about it, they call it a waste of my education, but most often I find myself being simply job shamed. I understand that it has a lower income than many jobs, but I personally think if you work hard then the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

So my question is: why do people tell you to find a job you love and then shame you for doing it?

Would love to hear peoples thoughts, on both opinions on the whole job shaming aspect and industry workers stories/points of view on the matter.


Actually you seem to have addressed this rather neatly in your recent article on your own website

https://skiinstructordiaries.com/articles/expectations-vs-realities-life-as-a-ski-instructor

Experienced skiers know the realities you articulate and that's why they don't place instructors particularly on a pedestal or necessarily particularly envy their lifestyle choices. That doesn't make your choices wrong, yeah you could let's say be doing something more progressive and financially rewarding with a masters in quantum mechanics (sorry not stalking just had a peek at your bio) but equally few of those things have the life satisfaction of a group of stoked kids or a thoroughly shagged out beer watching the alpenglow light up the mountains.


(& BTW this is no slight on your abilities or dedication but yes I did look at that website and thing -hmm I wonder whether you'll be keeping it up in 2 years time and whether you'll both still be working as year round instructors in 5 years time. Just a reflection that life and opportunities can be fairly fluid when you're young)

So in short don't worry about it, in the long run we're all dust.....


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Mon 29-06-20 15:12; edited 1 time in total
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Hahaha, stalk away! It's true I could earn more with physics. I think something that shaped me was talking to a few professors at university. They were the top of their field and seemed to be stuck in a constant cycle if they didn't keep working they wouldn't be the world leaders and wouldn't be able to have the funds to live the lives they wanted, but then they couldn't live the lives they wanted because they're always working. Over time the constant pressure made the topics they loved into a prison.
One of them was a keen skier themselves and they were actually by far the most supportive of my move to ski instructing, potentially because it's something they might have wanted to do!

I'll always have the physics to turn back to, and I actually am very interested in doing research into physics in skiing, but for now, I think I'll stick with the stocked kids and beer ! Cool
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Quote:

Do the people who job shame ski instructors also job shame teachers, university lecturers or other sport coaches? It is a profession, which just like those needs skill, learning time and qualifications.


Not sure you are comparing like for like. Some of the gap year style courses in Canada require only 3 weeks previous ski experience and with 11 weeks training you complete level 2 instructor course which will get you a job. IMO not comparable to a 3 year university degree.

I don't think sports coaches are shamed, but then again how many call it a job? You have the top guys working with elite athletes who are making decent money and I think most people would consider it a good career. The majority of those with the basic qualifications are working for free, maybe doing a couple of paid training sessions a week, maybe doing kids camps in the summer. Its these volunteers that keep grassroots sport alive they are hugely important, but it's not really a career, most do it because they enjoy it and love the sport.

I would agree though that teaching does require certain skills. I used to work at a university and can tell you the top professors producing the best research are often not the best teachers. Simply being good at something doesn't make you a teacher and vice versa. Yes instructing will give you transferable skills, but so would plenty of alternative jobs.
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Quote:

Even shitter money with less ski time.


I can only go from what I've seen and from what friends who have worked in those roles have told me. I would say 75% of the time I see friends working patrol they are not busy and we go for a lap or 2 together. Of course the same is not true for those instructing. I've had a couple of friends start as instructors and move to patrol, but never vice versa. My experience is mainly BC, Canada so maybe it is different in Europe.

Quote:

Chin up, it's not all bad

On the clock


Not saying you can't have great days while working as an instructor. Especially if you are a higher level instructor working with better skiers. I'm sure there were some other instructors the day of your video that were stuck with beginner groups and wished they were enjoying the pow. I still think the majority of people would have more fun on a powder day they were not working and could do exactly what they wanted, rather than having to work with clients.

Edit:
The op themselves has an article about some of the negatives of instructing, and touches on these things so let's not pretend instructing is all great https://skiinstructordiaries.com/articles/expectations-vs-realities-life-as-a-ski-instructor
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[quote="Dave of the Marmottes"

(& BTW this is no slight on your abilities or dedication but yes I did look at that website and thing -hmm I wonder whether you'll be keeping it up in 2 years time and whether you'll both still be working as year round instructors in 5 years time. Just a reflection that life and opportunities can be fairly fluid when you're young)

[/quote]

I'm of course not 100% sure I'll stick with this exact form of instructing long term but for now, it is what I am hoping to do. I know that I am lucky to have the ability to travel and not have things hold me back, luckily my partner is also in the industry so we are able to travel together! In 5 years, I would like to hope I'd be on my way to getting some experience in a managerial role that could help me learn to set up my own ski school or something similar.

The job definitely has its ups and downs. If it was perfect everyone would do it. I'm not saying that it is perfect for everyone or that everyone has to do it forever - I guess I've just always been surprised with the strength of negative reactions to it when they do occur.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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boarder2020 wrote:

I used to work at a university and can tell you the top professors producing the best research are often not the best teachers. Simply being good at something doesn't make you a teacher and vice versa. Yes instructing will give you transferable skills, but so would plenty of alternative jobs.

As a society, we don't value teachers, of any kind.

For gaining knowledge, we can read, watch & imitate. And that actually work pretty well in a lot of skills, especially with appropriate hands-on practice.

But to gain insight of experience not easily put into words, or to apply to individual to suit their specific needs, that's TEACHING!

I won't hesitate to be critical of the outdated mode of teaching going on in the current teaching profession. In this day and age of youtube, the ONLY teachers worth their pay are the ones who can tailor to individual needs!

Sadly, quite a substantial portion of "teachers" don't actually TEACH. They only read from books, or regurgitate staled materials available on other forms that can be easily read/watched, without applying much personal specifics feedbacks. That, led to some people being critical of teachers "those who can't do, teach".

Good teachers are dragged down by the mediocre average teachers. In reality, good teachers struggle to stand out in the crowd. Unfortunately, I don't think we have figured out how to reward GOOD teachers properly. As a result, a lot of teachers with good potential don't continue in the profession. That in turn, means the "average" teachers are not nearly as good as it would have been had the good ones continue on in the profession.

Specifically to skiing instructions, its large word of mouth as to who's the good teacher. And it still doesn't always translate into proper financial reward for the good instructors.
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orioriori89 wrote:


I'm of course not 100% sure I'll stick with this exact form of instructing long term but for now, it is what I am hoping to do. I know that I am lucky to have the ability to travel and not have things hold me back, luckily my partner is also in the industry so we are able to travel together! In 5 years, I would like to hope I'd be on my way to getting some experience in a managerial role that could help me learn to set up my own ski school or something similar.



Good luck with that. The ski instruction industry is ripe for some customer focused disruption but equally is tied up with impenetrable layers of regulations and protectionism. Plus y'know Brexit will hardly make life easier for UK citizens.
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Quote:

I think something that shaped me was talking to a few professors at university. They were the top of their field and seemed to be stuck in a constant cycle if they didn't keep working they wouldn't be the world leaders and wouldn't be able to have the funds to live the lives they wanted, but then they couldn't live the lives they wanted because they're always working.


I can relate to a lot of this. Was working in academia as a post-doc and made a similar realisation. You want to reach that level you have to devote yourself to work and frankly for me there are more important things in life. I also believe there are definitely some following the sunk cost fallacy (i.e. I spent so much time and effort on my PhD I don't want to leave academia even if I don't really enjoy it).

I left with the thought I might go back because there were elements I enjoyed too. Been about 5 years now and not really considered going back (also I would question how easy it is to get back, no publications or relevant job experience in the last 5 years would certainly raise eyebrows at any interview).

I was involved in multidisciplinary research. While I wasn't shamed most of the engineers couldn't understand my decision at all. The social sciences people were more understanding. It doesn't surprise my your physics friends think you have made a bad decision, to them it probably is. I suspect its not so much a problem with ski instructing but the whole idea of leaving academia for a seasonal low paid job.

I'm pretty happy with my decision. I'm living a simple life, not making much money, but spending most of the year in the mountains and just working enough here and there to get by. It has its drawbacks, sometimes I'm jealous of my friends with proper careers, but not enough to consider trying to go back. I know they are jealous of me sometimes too, but I guess not enough to change either. That's fine different people want different things.

If you are happy and your decision is not affecting anyone else (i.e. you don't have kids to support or something) I would say don't worry about what others think.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
orioriori89 wrote:


I'm of course not 100% sure I'll stick with this exact form of instructing long term but for now, it is what I am hoping to do. I know that I am lucky to have the ability to travel and not have things hold me back, luckily my partner is also in the industry so we are able to travel together! In 5 years, I would like to hope I'd be on my way to getting some experience in a managerial role that could help me learn to set up my own ski school or something similar.



Good luck with that. The ski instruction industry is ripe for some customer focused disruption but equally is tied up with impenetrable layers of regulations and protectionism. Plus y'know Brexit will hardly make life easier for UK citizens.
#



Classic Brexit
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boarder2020 wrote:
Quote:

I think something that shaped me was talking to a few professors at university. They were the top of their field and seemed to be stuck in a constant cycle if they didn't keep working they wouldn't be the world leaders and wouldn't be able to have the funds to live the lives they wanted, but then they couldn't live the lives they wanted because they're always working.


I can relate to a lot of this. Was working in academia as a post-doc and made a similar realisation. You want to reach that level you have to devote yourself to work and frankly for me there are more important things in life. I also believe there are definitely some following the sunk cost fallacy (i.e. I spent so much time and effort on my PhD I don't want to leave academia even if I don't really enjoy it).

I left with the thought I might go back because there were elements I enjoyed too. Been about 5 years now and not really considered going back (also I would question how easy it is to get back, no publications or relevant job experience in the last 5 years would certainly raise eyebrows at any interview).

I was involved in multidisciplinary research. While I wasn't shamed most of the engineers couldn't understand my decision at all. The social sciences people were more understanding. It doesn't surprise my your physics friends think you have made a bad decision, to them it probably is. I suspect its not so much a problem with ski instructing but the whole idea of leaving academia for a seasonal low paid job.

I'm pretty happy with my decision. I'm living a simple life, not making much money, but spending most of the year in the mountains and just working enough here and there to get by. It has its drawbacks, sometimes I'm jealous of my friends with proper careers, but not enough to consider trying to go back. I know they are jealous of me sometimes too, but I guess not enough to change either. That's fine different people want different things.

If you are happy and your decision is not affecting anyone else (i.e. you don't have kids to support or something) I would say don't worry about what others think.



It's really interesting to hear from someone else who left the academia side! For sure sometimes I look at the jobs some of my other friends have, and some days I think oh maybe I should have done that. Especially now with a lockdown in the UK where they are still getting paid!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
boarder2020 wrote:

It doesn't surprise my your physics friends think you have made a bad decision, to them it probably is. I suspect its not so much a problem with ski instructing but the whole idea of leaving academia for a seasonal low paid job.

That's IT!

And not just a "low paid job". Physicists (who "made it") are an arrogant bunch. They even look down on people who left academia for properly paying jobs!

Part of it was just a reaction that it took so much to "make it" in the field they can't fathom anyone would toss it away.

When I was a graduate student in physics, we occasionally (or rather rarely) have seminars by alumni who gone on to work in other fields successfully. There were always one or two professors who hinted that speaker was a failure in physics, no matter how successful he became in other line of work. There's this view that physics (or math, which is the same) is the hardest field and therefore the most "honorable". So only those who couldn't make it would go on to other work.

Naturally, my view is biased as I'm one such physicist who left to work in non-academic work. Although in my case, they would have been correct. I didn't have the aptitude to be a top notch scientist. And I had correctly realized there's no place (more importantly little satisfaction) for a run-of-the-mill "average" research scientist.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Mon 29-06-20 16:44; edited 1 time in total
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boarder2020 wrote:


Naturally, my view is biased as I'm one such physicist who left to work in non-academic work. Although in my case, they would have been correct. I didn't have the aptitude to be a top notch scientist. And I had correctly realized there's no place (more importantly little satisfaction) for a run-of-the-mill "average" research scientist.



THIS is something so many people didn't seem to get. If you were good at university physics but not amazing, then there wasn't much for you.
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orioriori89 wrote:

THIS is something so many people didn't seem to get. If you were good at university physics but not amazing, then there wasn't much for you.

Not much for you in physics research.

But plenty of other opportunities, in fact wide open opportunities in other fields! The skills learned in attaining a physics degree is extremely valuable in many fields.

Majority of my class ended up working outside of physics. I'm not ashamed to admit I helped a few of them in the "getting out" process. More accurately, it's the "getting IN" to whatever other field part, which is what "getting out" of physics entails. I wish such help were more readily available for the majority of the graduates who are not destined to be research physicists. But I know how those who remained in physics, even those unhappy ones, would view my choice of career, let alone my role in "influencing" others. (in fact, one or two got aggressive towards me, I believe it's because they didn't wish to face the contrast of their unhappy work life to mine) So I don't stay in touch with the academia circle. Leaving future graduates to figure it out by themselves with little help.
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orioriori89 wrote:
boarder2020 wrote:


Naturally, my view is biased as I'm one such physicist who left to work in non-academic work. Although in my case, they would have been correct. I didn't have the aptitude to be a top notch scientist. And I had correctly realized there's no place (more importantly little satisfaction) for a run-of-the-mill "average" research scientist.



THIS is something so many people didn't seem to get. If you were good at university physics but not amazing, then there wasn't much for you.


I worked with a guy who left a career in academic physics (Berkeley so pretty successful) in his thirties to be a management consultant (in a top firm). He said that his friends who were still in academia looked down on his decision.
Think it may say more about the academic culture than skiing!

The only thing I'd add is that some people who would have loved a career in the mountains but concluded that it would be tough to support a family and save for retirement etc to the level they feel necessary may just be jealous that you came to a different conclusion!
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Quote:

And I had correctly realized there's no place (more importantly little satisfaction) for a run-of-the-mill "average" research scientist

Did you not realise that half of all research scientists are below average.
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johnE wrote:
Quote:

And I had correctly realized there's no place (more importantly little satisfaction) for a run-of-the-mill "average" research scientist

Did you not realise that half of all research scientists are below average.


Only the half that don't understand mean vs median Happy
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