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This is a journal of experiences when Caius and Xiao choose a new way of life. We are two particle physicists, both ex-academics from Caltech and Cambridge that fled the pending doom that was facing high energy physics to try our hand at something else.

While not excited about the idea of working in the corporate world I felt that I should at least experience it once so I can talk with authority about choosing to work for corporate america. So I got a job in big Pharma in a kind of consultant role. My concerns about working for big corporate companies were well founded.

Before was able to actually construct an exit strategy, the company’s 4th quarter earnings were released. It had missed tis targets by a fraction of 1% (i.e. it had made a ludicrous amount of money instead of a mind-numbing ludicrous amount of money). The resulting panic among the higher management meant the laying off of 1000’s of people at the bequest of senior shareholders. Our department was considered ‘too out there’ (thats a direct quote) to be part of the company’s new focus (read ‘old methods’). Basically the problem was that we were trying to do very new things, things that were outside the conventional Pharma thinking. As a result, my department was let go.

At the age of 29, I had my first layoff and no idea what to do. What an excellent position to be in. I had some money, time and lots of ideas. I was faced with some chooses. I could go back to particle physics, I could get another job at another big company or I can do my own thing.

This log is about that choice and its consequences, it also has random thoughts about what I experienced and still do. I will admit that this is largely self indulgent, but the act of writing it down has helped me form a clearer idea of what I want and someone may find it useful.

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