Originally Posted by zissou
Thanks for the kind words, guys! It's all very exciting
The shop idea would take some time, and it's an idea that has been forming over a few years. I'll keep you all posted.
It's always hard to leave academia because of the relative security, but I have watched my GF rise to the level where she doesn't even get to do her work anymore. It's all meetings, managing other people, committees, etc. It would be relatively easy to run a shop here since rent is low, and it would essentially be an in-town workshop for me, with a focus on web sales. Goods from other artisans would be sold on consignment (at least at first), limiting the amount of stock I'd have to buy. There's even a great spot next door to the shop that sells handmade goat's milk soap. I can't imagine it being a huge money maker, so it would have to depend on a suitable consultant salary from the other half
We shall see...
I actually had this discussion with my wife, and the "relative" security is mostly illusory. Let's take a pretty typical scenario, at least in the sciences. For senior faculty at a mid tier school, $100K/y is pretty typical. (In the humanities, I know, this is a dream salary). Now, in the private sector, a person of similar qualifications can make easily $150-$200K/annum, with usually better benefits packages. On the upper end of this, this means that if you work in the private sector for 10 years, you are making 20 years worth of salary in academia.
If you have the poor fortune of being out of work after tha time, you still havea 10 year headstart on the person in academia. In other words, you could theoretically be out of work for the next 10 years, and still break even! Of course, it's not that simple, because nearly everyone lives up to their means, salaries change, etc..., thus changing the ratios. but it's still a sobering thought.
Just say you start in Academia at age 35 (pretty typical), and the same person starts in the private sector at the same age. To reach the same earnings that the private sector person gets to by age 55, an academic would have to work until he is 75. And he will have less money to invest, etc... In the "old days", when cushy pensions were the norm, the security would really be there, but these days, it's a 401K, just like everyone else.