I am facing a moral crisis, HELP🔥

Sep 11, 2019 62 Comments

I grew up in a small town in India where the educational standards were very substandard. My parents took a big career hit (and spent a ton of money) to relocate to a city with better educational resources for two years until I finished high school. They also paid for all of my college which I am very grateful for. The unspoken agreement all along was that I would get a high paying job after my education. I came to the US for PhD and moved to the industry afterwards for higher pay and to be able to pay them back (they are not broke but could be doing a bit better). However I am not passionate about what I am working on so I want to move back to academic research but that would mean I will not be able to send my parents money or fulfill their expectation that I have a six figure salary. I know it’s my life at the end of the day but my parents sacrificed a lot of their lives for me and I feel bad violating their expectations. Anyone in this situation? What do you suggest?

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TOP 62 Comments
  • Morgan Stanley ninja007
    Your research isn’t going anywhere. Parents won’t be around forever.
    Sep 11, 2019 8
    • Google BOF
      Think about what parts of your work and of your academic career appeals most to you and look for something that connects these things. Pay a career coach to figure this out if need be
      Sep 11, 2019
    • Morgan Stanley ninja007
      You don’t need more than 3 years targeted work (50k savings/year) to make sure your parents are financially taken care of - especially if they’re small town folks in India. This is at median to low salary levels.

      The 20 years can be 5 — you don’t know. And that’s a one way door. Research punted by 3 years is a 2-way door. Easy decision.
      Sep 11, 2019
  • Microsoft LowT😩
    Work for more years, make sure financial needs are taken care of for them. Then move back to your research.
    Sep 11, 2019 4
    • Microsoft LowT😩
      So, looks like OP already had decided. What's the point in asking other's views?
      Sep 11, 2019
    • OP
      Not decided ofc. Weighing what is possible and what is not and see if people have alternate solutions. Always good to talk to people
      Sep 11, 2019
  • Charter / Eng
    UPGRAYEDD

    Charter Eng

    BIO
    You see, a pimp's love is very different than a square
    UPGRAYEDDmore
    This is a very 'new generation' problem. I cant wait to get old enough to regret having kids
    Sep 11, 2019 9
    • Wayfair / Eng tAcq10
      OP I used to be like you. Young, naive, full of misguided ideas about what was really truly important in life. Then, one day I realized that nothing matters except TC, and lived happily ever after.
      Sep 11, 2019
    • Charter / Eng
      UPGRAYEDD

      Charter Eng

      BIO
      You see, a pimp's love is very different than a square
      UPGRAYEDDmore
      TC is life - amen
      Sep 11, 2019
  • Qualtrics / Other qualtricdo
    Your parents want you to be happy. They don't care about the money.
    Sep 11, 2019 4
    • M&T Bank / IT nzfX62
      I bet you'll find OPs parents want him/her to be successful, and happiness is secondary.
      Sep 11, 2019
    • Amazon pringle
      You obviously don't have Asian parents 😂
      Sep 11, 2019
  • Wayfair / Eng tAcq10
    Wtf. High TC is fulfillment. TC is love, TC is life.
    Sep 11, 2019 1
  • Google PCBro
    What makes you think academia will make you happy? Huge pay cut and no autonomy. Try Google X instead, or something similar, i.e. research in the industry, where you paid well.
    Sep 11, 2019 5
    • Google PCBro
      ^ *once you have tenure*
      Sep 12, 2019
    • Google PCBro
      @fullCircle - what about pay cut? Don't underestimate that - your lifestyle will change and be much worse. What I mean is they money matters a lot
      Sep 12, 2019
  • Amazon kgdhfh
    That's one of reasons parents shouldn't sacrifice too much for their children. That "unspoken" debt/obligation/whatever is too hard for the kids to carry around.
    Sep 11, 2019 4
    • Wayfair / Eng tAcq10
      Amazon, are you my parent?
      Sep 11, 2019
    • Kaspersky Lab / HR
      mayfair

      Kaspersky Lab HR

      PRE
      Heineken
      mayfairmore
      Oh come on, it's a circle of life, parents always have high expectations of their kids and kids always resent their parents for something. This type of a situation is a part of growing up from parent-child into partners relationship. You didn’t have a say in your parents sacrifices, it was their choice. To be or not to be in debt with them, and how to express your gratitude or not to, it’s completely your choice.
      Sep 12, 2019
  • King / Eng
    zmWY81Yp

    King Eng

    PRE
    Cisco
    zmWY81Ypmore
    Look, I am a parent. There is no way I would make my kid feel like this, no matter how many things I sacrifice for them. I am not expecting them to pay back a single cent to me. Of course I will be grateful if they help me when I am struggling in the future, but for sure they go first.
    You owe nothing to them. The only reason you feel like this is because they raised you with this kind of values.
    You have to understand your parents are probably emotionally immature as well. Like most people.
    Live your life. Parents' job is to support their kids, not to go after them asking for money or status.
    Sep 11, 2019 2
    • Charter / Eng
      UPGRAYEDD

      Charter Eng

      BIO
      You see, a pimp's love is very different than a square
      UPGRAYEDDmore
      Hopefully as a parent your child(ren) at least facetime you once a year around your birthday zmWY81Yp. It will help the last 5-25 years at a nursing home be less soul crushing knowing the abuse and neglect has to stop for the 12 minute call, and maybe you will even get bathed that week.

      It's not indian/asian/non-indian on this one. It's new age everyone's a special winner vs reality
      Sep 11, 2019
    • King / Eng
      zmWY81Yp

      King Eng

      PRE
      Cisco
      zmWY81Ypmore
      Reality is having kids is a choice. If people choose to have kids then they should not be upset because they are in academia instead of industry.
      Sep 11, 2019
  • Oracle
    not_larry

    Oracle

    PRE
    Amazon
    not_larrymore
    How much do you have to pay them for you to fulfill your obligation? Pick a number, hit that, then GTFO.
    Sep 11, 2019 0
  • M&T Bank / IT nzfX62
    Have you talked to them? Ask their advice. Tell them about this conflict you're feeling. The choice is between making lots of money or (hopefully) having enough and doing interesting, influential work, between using the education they sacrificed for and taking advantage of the opportunity they sacrificed for. You're in a tough spot, I sympathize, but I would hope you can trust your parents enough to tell you the truth about what they think. With that info I think you'll be in a better position to make a confident decision.
    Sep 11, 2019 2
    • Kaspersky Lab / HR
      mayfair

      Kaspersky Lab HR

      PRE
      Heineken
      mayfairmore
      This.
      Sep 11, 2019
    • Zyzyxtech ⚽️s
      ☝️
      Sep 11, 2019

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