To preface, I imagine this might come off really immature, given that I am 30 years old. I joined a university as a PostDoc after completing my PhD 6 months ago. I am yet to publish anything after joining here, I have been feeling burnt out and disorganised. I was planning to join the industry within a year of joining (It was initially envisaged as a one-year contract, but it got extended for three more years, due to my professor getting new funding, but that's beside the point). My professor is very understanding, and he is very motivated. His team is getting into theoretical machine learning and the papers he published are already making strides and catching everyone's attention.

I, on the other hand, am just starting in the area of data science. I am an average coder, and my math skills are also pretty average. If I work hard I can crank out some papers ( that is how I finished my PhD), but lately I have been feeling very unmotivated and distracted. I have a few family problems (I am gay from a conservative family), but that is no excuse for not being motivated, I know. I tried out to be a data scientist at an internet advertising firm but was rejected after the on-site interview following a Skype interview, the reason being that my practical skills were not on par (I did a mainly theoretical PhD, and my knowledge of practical algorithms is lacking).

On the other hand, my colleague who is a PhD student under my prof (only 25!) has been publishing and his works on machine learning (also theoretical), have been attracting researchers from companies like Facebook and Google, at a recent conference. As for me, the very idea of going to a conference again gives me shudders.

I am out of ideas and out of steam to be honest, but I really want to create pathbreaking research and join a top company to start my career as a data scientist. But I feel lost.

To have a good CV for an eventual job hunt, I need at least one good publication during this year of my post-doc but all the work I have done have led me nowhere to be honest.

For context: I did my PhD on random graph analysis.

I really need some guidance. I know I should have figured this out already given I am a 30 year old graduate, but unfortunately I haven't. I can blame that on my depression, but how long can I do that for? Anybody who has been in the same situation as me? Any input is welcome.

  • I don't see a clear question in here, but this seems to be a somewhat similar situation: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/89982/…
    – Mark
    Apr 20 '18 at 22:19
  • 2
    It sounds like you are on the verge of burning out. I recommend you take a complete break from work (even just a few days or a week) before you do anything else. Try to completely relax if you can. Hopefully this will help you approach the situation with a clearer frame of mind.
    – astronat
    Apr 20 '18 at 22:42
  • Have you thought about teaching? Do you find teaching rewarding? Apr 21 '18 at 3:02
  • Please, avoid cross-posting questions: workplace.stackexchange.com/q/111000
    – Massimo Ortolano
    Apr 21 '18 at 14:59
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it has been cross-posted and answered on another SE site.
    – aeismail
    Apr 22 '18 at 4:25