Who loves ya baby? This fuzzy fuzzy blanket loves you.

Oof, I have been in a snit for the past week. All of the gung-ho “LEEEEAVVING ACADEMIA!!! LEAAAAVING ACADEMIA FORREEVVVERRR!!!’ mood which has been driving me through the past couple of months has sunk into a pit and been replaced by creeping, doomy fear and dread, and the sense that I should just hide under the duvet forever rather than trying to find a new career in the new world. LIFE IS HARD, you guys.

These are some of the things I have been grappling with, and how I am trying to get them into a headlock:

First, I have been on a course for a really interesting research technique. It was really cool! And of course Captain Worrypiglet here got all fearful that when I left academic research I would never be able to use it. This is of course nonsense – I can do interesting research with this tool, and more! if I leave as people still do this kind of work in the mysterious Outside World.

Secondly, I’ve had some really interesting conversations with people in my field which have reminded me how much I like my subject. And I do! And again, I should be able to stick with some aspect of it – if I want to – when I leave, or indeed work in one of many other interesting areas!

Thirdly, I’ve had other chats with  – and you totally will not believe this – non-academics, some of whom were younger than your fresh-faced (snouted?) piglet. And of course this leads to the major worry that they have had a decade – oh G-d – more work experience than me and thus are super-employable whereas I am not. Again, rubbish – I have a ton of useful skillz and knowledge from my time in academia; and also very few people take a linear career path TO GLORY but instead flounder around for a bit until a path (or two) (or three) emerges.

However! Hiding under a duvet is not yet an Olympic sport so I have a few things that I want to do over the next week as part of Operation Runawaaaaay. Firstly, I want to make a big list of all the things that I do – and have done – in my work to date to remind me that I am capable and not merely dumb. Then I will make a list of the people I know who I think have interesting jobs, so that I can see if they’re around for a coffee and chat later in the autumn. After all of that, if it still gloriously sunny here, I will go out and get a great big ice-cream  – any of the bottom two lines of this will do – and sit in the sun by the lake emptying my little piglet head of anything clever.

Do any of you lot get the fear? How do you manage it, or not?