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Old 21-04-2018, 03:41   #16
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Re: From physics to sailing. How?

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As a physicist your skills would be of use in the nuclear sector. Contract work in this field pays well as you are in the EU you could work in the UK. If you have any political problems with nuclear your conscience would be clear as nearly all the work is involved in decommissioning.
PM me if you would like an introduction to a leading established company.

My other thought is perhaps be content with a shire based life for a while until you have built up funds. Buy a small boat 20 to 25 feet for weekend and holiday trips.

A bonus of being a contractor is that you can take a 6 week holiday without crawling to the boss for special permission.

Just a couple of thoughts.
Thank you for your advice. Those are the type of comments I am looking for.

Yes you are right. In General, physics is used in many domains. However, being a physicist does not mean one is an expert in all fields. The reality is unfortunately the opposite, most physicists are experts in a their own small domain, very specialised. In other words, it would be impossible for me to work in a nuclear sector. Simply speaking, I just don't have any qualification to do that, nor any proper expertise in that field.

This is a general problem in fact, wenn someone from Physics, coming from fundamental research, wants to move to something "more applicable" or "more useful" like industry. Because fundamental research usually is very far away from anything useful. (As an Example, the first LASER was invented in 1960, and one of the first real massprodukts was the CD-Player - over 30 years later.) This is the huge difference between an engineer and a physicist. One works on products and applications, turning knowledge and technology into products. And the other tries to understand how something works in their inner detail, on an atomic or molecular scale. And that usually happens in one specific field, such that often even one physicist from one field has trouble to explain his work in detail to another physicist, if he comes from a different field.

The world is in fact becoming more and more complicated every day. Not many decades ago, if one could repair one car, one could most likely repair any car. Nowadays, to repair a car you need to be an electronics expert, a mechanics expert, and a computer expert, because cars have changed to much. And if you can fix a new car, you probably cannot fix an oldtimer, because it does not have a "diagnose port" to find the problem.
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Old 21-04-2018, 04:05   #17
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Re: From physics to sailing. How?

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... In General, physics is used in many domains. However, being a physicist does not mean one is an expert in all fields. The reality is unfortunately the opposite, most physicists are experts in a their own small domain, very specialised. In other words, it would be impossible for me to work in a nuclear sector ...
Ah, ‘specialization’
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Old 21-04-2018, 04:10   #18
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Re: From physics to sailing. How?

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My contract soon runs out, and the economy has changed dramatically in the past years. Some companies I spoke to receive in excess of 400 applications (!!) for one open position. I have never written so many applications in my life, and so far no success at all.
Par for the course, no?

I recommend you develop your own Five Year Plan. Set goals for your first 5YP and your second 5YP. Then consider the steps you need to take to get to each of those goals.

Positioning yourself is perhaps the first step. Take a quick look at the IMF's latest (April 2018) update to its World Economic Outlook. See: https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/...ook-april-2018

Reading Chapter 1 may be enough for you. Which economies are growing? Compare the economic growth in China (>6%) and other economies in East Asia (such as Singapore and Korea) to the economies around you at the moment.

Consider that you might need to follow the traditional route of a 2-year postdoc, with relatively poor pay. You make that sacrifice to build your network of contacts, especially to grow (if necessary) language and cultural skills (e.g. in China, in Korea, in Singapore). It's not hard to use the internet to look for postdocs in China, Singapore, etc.

China was, at least a few years back, creating 2 year postdoc positions specifically for European PhDs. Of course there're big investments for you to make to explore such opportunities (language, culture).

You should have the start of a network already. Build your own database of contacts and then take copies of your c.v. and go groom each of your contacts.

Look to your professional association and get ready to hawk yourself around.

Check out the events list at: https://www.spectroscopyeurope.com/events-diary.

Note well future events such as: https://www.spectroscopyeurope.com/e...cal-china-2018
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Old 21-04-2018, 04:41   #19
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Re: From physics to sailing. How?

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Thank you for your advice. Those are the type of comments I am looking for.

Yes you are right. In General, physics is used in many domains. However, being a physicist does not mean one is an expert in all fields. The reality is unfortunately the opposite, most physicists are experts in a their own small domain, very specialised. In other words, it would be impossible for me to work in a nuclear sector. Simply speaking, I just don't have any qualification to do that, nor any proper expertise in that field.

This is a general problem in fact, wenn someone from Physics, coming from fundamental research, wants to move to something "more applicable" or "more useful" like industry. Because fundamental research usually is very far away from anything useful. (As an Example, the first LASER was invented in 1960, and one of the first real massprodukts was the CD-Player - over 30 years later.) This is the huge difference between an engineer and a physicist. One works on products and applications, turning knowledge and technology into products. And the other tries to understand how something works in their inner detail, on an atomic or molecular scale. And that usually happens in one specific field, such that often even one physicist from one field has trouble to explain his work in detail to another physicist, if he comes from a different field.

The world is in fact becoming more and more complicated every day. Not many decades ago, if one could repair one car, one could most likely repair any car. Nowadays, to repair a car you need to be an electronics expert, a mechanics expert, and a computer expert, because cars have changed to much. And if you can fix a new car, you probably cannot fix an oldtimer, because it does not have a "diagnose port" to find the problem.
Please take the following in the spirit that is intended. It may sound and bit harsh but that is not the intent.

You may not be a specialist in the nuclear field however the fundamentals have not changed. To be honest for most of the work we do only requires 2 year degree level knowledge. I would suggest that you have faith in your own abilities and be prepared to move out of the current narrow field you appear to be In. What's the worst that can happen, you just get knocked back.

You obviously think you have the courage to face a gale mid ocean you should then have the courage to move outside of your comfort zone to find work.
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Old 21-04-2018, 05:14   #20
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Re: From physics to sailing. How?

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Please take the following in the spirit that is intended. It may sound and bit harsh but that is not the intent.

You may not be a specialist in the nuclear field however the fundamentals have not changed. To be honest for most of the work we do only requires 2 year degree level knowledge. I would suggest that you have faith in your own abilities and be prepared to move out of the current narrow field you appear to be In. What's the worst that can happen, you just get knocked back.

You obviously think you have the courage to face a gale mid ocean you should then have the courage to move outside of your comfort zone to find work.
Thanks for your comment. I take it as intended.

If you require only 2 years of knowledge, then I would assume they salary is accordingly low. Or am I wrong here? Usually salary scales with level of education or some kind of personal risk (health,law,ethics,..). That's why I did my PhD in physics, hoping it will pay off, but it seems times have changed here a lot.

In fact I am already trying to do that. I am trying to make the transition from academic fundamental research to some industrial R&D or similar, simply because there is more money. However, most employers I applied to have the choice from >300 or 400 applicants. And, I have been told, anyone will pick the one who's closest to the position. Which puts someone coming from another domain at the end of the cue.
Also, I get often told that I lack the "minimum of 2-3 years of experience in a similar position". Which is obvious when moving from academia to industry.
So, yes you are right. And a year ago I would have totally agreed and probably have told anyone the same. But the last months of writing applications, experiencing the competition, and not getting forward, are putting me back onto my feet showing that the reality is often very different from what one had anticipated. So, in deed, I know what you mean by "getting knocked back".

And I am in deed accepting to move out of "my comfort zone". But it has to pay off. For example in Germany the deductions for social and tax are around 50% for a job that has 50k annual gros, that does not leave much to save.

Getting any job and surviving from it is one thing, but it is another to find and get a highly paid job to have sufficient income to save in excess of a 100k in cash. Besides, I am not anymore in my 20s, instead I am already "over the hump" which might also make things a bit more difficult.
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Old 21-04-2018, 06:04   #21
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Re: From physics to sailing. How?

In terms of education i was talking about fundamental knowledge. You then add in life skills, organisational ability and drawing experience from past jobs (not necessarily nuclear).

Most of the work we do are feasibility studies which is something I think you could relate to.

You may want to look at the UK as the government does not want quite so much of your hard earned cash.

I work as an independent contractor associated to a larger company.

Rates are between £350 to £500 per day depending on the contract. Also as self employed you pay less tax than an employee but no sickness or holiday pay. Done it since 1993 has some down sides but you have your freedom.
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Old 21-04-2018, 06:09   #22
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Re: From physics to sailing. How?

So, you want to buy a boat but don’t have the money and your current job is coming to an end AND the thing you do best won’t get you a new job in the private sector BUT you’re also open to learning something in the Marine field so you can get a job doing “boat things”?
Go back to school and learn diesel mechanics / small engine repair and / or transmission repair.
Diesel mechanics make really really good money.
Learn a trade.
Not all of us have nice pensions, income generating portfolios, investments that make great returns or the ability to work from home writing programs. Some of us cut and nail wood together, paint houses, pour concrete, install roofing, wire homes etc. We’re not rich in money, never will be, but we’ll always eat, keep diesel in the tank and be able to make repairs.
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Old 21-04-2018, 06:24   #23
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Re: From physics to sailing. How?

I suggest you read 'a foolish odyssey ' by Neil Hawkesford.

He spent 10 years of bloody minded hard graft with minimum of income to build his dream boat. Like me you may not agree with some of his choices but they were right for him at the time and he reached his goal.
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Old 21-04-2018, 06:30   #24
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Re: From physics to sailing. How?

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Go back to school and learn diesel mechanics / small engine repair and / or transmission repair.
Diesel mechanics make really really good money.
Learn a trade.
Seems like my brother made the better choices then.

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Not all of us have nice pensions, income generating portfolios, investments that make great returns or the ability to work from home writing programs. Some of us cut and nail wood together, paint houses, pour concrete, install roofing, wire homes etc. We’re not rich in money, never will be, but we’ll always eat, keep diesel in the tank and be able to make repairs.
To clarify, it was not meant to be an offence. And I am well aware that many boaties are doing it just as you said. They are not rich in money, but they can pay their bills. However, almost all people I have personally met so far and owning a boat in the range of 11-15m have sold their house, their company or some family business. In other words, the boat is in fact worth at least 10 years of work for those people.
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Old 21-04-2018, 07:11   #25
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Re: From physics to sailing. How?

Sorry, if the following sounds silly, but it was just something I came across and I'd like to hear opinions on it.

How about buying a boat with a credit and putting it for 3 years into charter to pay for it?

I mean, a boat around 40ft cost per week in charter somewhere between 1900 and 4800 Euro, dependent on season and location. Roughly.
Let say 3k on average, and - just for the sake of computation - one full year has 52 weeks, yielding 156k per annum. Of course, its not 100% booked, and there are also costs, but over all it seem feasible to pay it completely in 3 years or so. Plus, some offer deals where you can use the boat yourself for X weeks per year.
The nice thing would be it pays for itself and after 3 years, or perhaps 5, the boat would be mine. While I could still try to save some money from my normal job for provisioning once it is all mine.

Are these companies/offers/deals a ripoff and I don't see it, or is this a model that can really work?
This could be a path worth to try, because then it comes down to finding a bank that plays along. Or would should one stay away from this kind of "business model"?
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Old 21-04-2018, 07:28   #26
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Re: From physics to sailing. How?

You're uniquely qualified to help everyone. Use your skills to perfect the EM drive.. You don't lack for money then. You could have any boat you fancy.
More seriously, l look into older 36' frp boats. These are cheap and fully depreciated. Keep the thing in decent shape.. You will make out fine.. Or... Marry a wealthy woman
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Old 21-04-2018, 08:57   #27
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Re: From physics to sailing. How?

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You're uniquely qualified to help everyone. Use your skills to perfect the EM drive.. You don't lack for money then. You could have any boat you fancy.
I'd fancy teleportation.

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More seriously, l look into older 36' frp boats. These are cheap and fully depreciated. Keep the thing in decent shape.. You will make out fine.. Or... Marry a wealthy woman
That is actually another aspect. I've heard and read many times, that older boats are certainly cheaper to get your hand on, but in most cases the required refit and updating can, overall, set you back a similar amount of money. Of course it also depends how far you go, but it is still an old boat.

I think (correct me if I am wrong) overall, one gets the best price-value-quality-comfort-ratio with a boat that's now around 10 years old. For example a 2008 or 2010 Oceanis. (Just before they all started put IKEA style interior in the boats.) The Oceanis was and is widely used, hence it should be to easy find replacement parts and pieces. Also the electronics are still in an acceptable evolutionary stage. So, it will depend on the individual model, but if the boat is not too old then it seems unlikely that one needs some major repairs, and perhaps one might get away with a paintjob and some small things. I would assume a 20 or 30+ years old boat can quickly turn into a money grave, especially when looking for a bargain deal. - However, I like the "boats for under 30k" thread posted above and I will keep looking to get a better idea.
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Old 21-04-2018, 09:25   #28
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Re: From physics to sailing. How?

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I know this website in fact. I scrolled a few times through their directory of companies to check out.

Of course I do not limit myself to them, but when looking at my specialisation it comes down to only one hand full of companies. That also tells me it is now time to make some corrections (=changes), and not to keep digging my hole deeper and deeper.
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Old 28-04-2018, 06:05   #29
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Re: From physics to sailing. How?

Greetings Zed. There are a lot of nuggets of great advice here. It seems your first issue is getting a job that pays well enough to save. It has been suggested to learn a trade. My thought is that trades (I started as an aircraft mechanic) get paid for labor with a little bonus for expertise. You won't get rich.

However, who would likely pay the most for an academic? Your skills are pretty portable and you want to get paid for your knowledge. China has opened several universities and I sense they are looking for educators. The international (secondary) school systems in Asia are always looking for academics. The pay is not great but there is often a housing stipend and in many countries living is cheap. My son was educated through international schools and I got to know many teachers - they are a somewhat nomadic lot. Many of the Asian countries are near the sea and have sailing of various qualitiy.

Secondly, you might think about your boat needs. I have always subscribed to the live life as you go along (do hobbies now) but mylife plan was always to retire onto a liveaboard. I started at $250k+ cats but as I get closer and reevaluate my needs I have been looking at 38-42' monos. Many to be had sub-$100k.

When I lived in Hawaii we used to say, "Yeah, it's expensive but the beach is free for everyone." - The guy with a $400k cat and the guy with the $60k mono have the same view off their back porch...

Thirdly, tying back to the Asia and saving theme - I would not buy a starter boat unless you have at least $300-500USD a month 'extra' to pay for it, maintain it and moor it. When I lived in Singapore there was plenty of opportunity to sail on other people's boats. You'd gain experience and get to know the life.

BTW - Singapore is another place where academics are in demand.
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