Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Get a Job

Yesterday lunchtime, we met with one of my friends here at the "Labor Club". In the "old days" we used to hang out at the Labor Club a lot as it was on the edge of the university campus and had the cheapest beer in central Canberra. The old building has been demolished for new development and the club moved to a new location in the city centre. It is very slick compared to its previous incarnation. Very upmarket. Maybe that's representative of what has happened to the Labor Party too. The funny thing both myself, my friend, and another guy we used to hang out with there are all Liberal Party voters now (I always was). We don't like the social conservatism of John Howard but we support the generally free market approach of the party. We all have training and work in economics related areas. The absent friend likes Howard's foreign policy which we don't agree on.

These "social clubs" are very popular in Australia. They are generally organized along ethnic or sporting lines. A big source of revenue is from gambling machines - pokies - as well as bars and restaurants. The old Labor Club was dominated by a huge battery of pokies. In the new venue they are hidden away. You don't need to belong to the Labor Party, just pay $A2.20 to join the club.

Anyway, my friend wanted to encourage me to find a job. He said that government (he works for government) is short of people. He also sent me a job ad from my former university employer here. My brother also asked me when I was going to get a job. The answer is I am going to try trading for a while. Maybe up to a year. If it doesn't work out after that, I'll then get a job. Moving to Australia to follow my partner is a good reason for leaving my previous position. And likely I would be moving industry too. I've been working on academic research for 20 years since I was an undergrad (some of that work then was later published). I want to have a break and re-assess. I'm not going to completely leave the academic game in the coming year. I remain associate editor of an academic journal, will continue advising my students back in the US, and probably will submit a paper or two for publication. My dream is to be a "gentleman scholar" :) I long realized I wasn't going to be a big academic star. I do have a very good track record in publication and citation. But the key nowadays is fund-raising and I haven't had much success there. And I have a distaste for begging for money to do research when the research really doesn't need funding to succeed. So like Steven Wolfram I am going to try to find the money somewhere else.


Adventures In Money Making said...

Getting a genius grant might be a little tough, especially if you're not good at getting people to perceive you as a genius!

but the idea of a gentlemanly scholar has its merits ;-)

mOOm said...

I didn't realize he was a MacArthur Fellow. I was thinking more about his funding himself from business, which was based on his academic work (Mathematica). Though I'm thinking on a far smaller scale. My trading is based on time series methods I used in academic research.