Perhaps this question is about leaving the academia, but hopefully it's still in the right place. Given that many people have been there before, I'll spare you most of the personal details. Late in my first postdoc doing abstract theoretical physics (related to string theory) I'm seriously entertaining the idea that I should quit. First, I doubt that I'll be competent enough to keep up with the field and do the research at the level I want. Second, although I think I should be able to continue with another position somewhere, and then again, I'll hardly get to choose the places and people to work with, but rather the other way around. I never had plan B, so I'm inventing it right now.
Sure, there are a lot of jobs you can do with good mathematical background. Although I must say I have no specific skills beyond that. My problem is that I'm utterly non-interested in most practical things. The word "industry", for example, only rings a slight aversion in me. So the most usual routes people suggest just don't click. Maybe someone knows of a more science-oriented things one can do? My dream job would be to crack an artificial intelligence on a quantum computer at google, the only problem being that I have to particular skills in these areas and turns out I'm not as brilliant as I once hoped to be. But you see the point, right? The point is that I need to be disillusioned:)
So, what are some possible jobs to take that would feel like a pure research, be paid well, but have a less competitive market then, say, string theory, but require no special skills beyond that and be just as cool? Is there a list somewhere?
Sorry for the exaggerating tone, and lots of personal details in spite of promise given, perhaps I feel a bit nervous writing this:)
Community decided that the question is too personal, and perhaps this is indeed the case. I will have no problem with closing/deleting it, but I would be very grateful for suggestions of other on-line resources I may try to consult with my questions.