Jobless Einstein

Albert Einstein was unemployed for two years following his Diploma. He was rejected from every research post he applied in Europe. He came to believe that a part of it had to do with the fact that his impudence had annoyed his thesis adviser. The rejections were tough for him to stomach because he (contrary to how he’s occasionally been portrayed in popular culture) was an excellent student.

Einstein’s letters from the time speak to his frustration, frequent disappointment and, at the same time, many bouts of optimism and self belief all at once. At his lowest point, he was so disheartened that he considered giving up his pursuit of a career in Physics for a career in Engineering at his father’s firm or even selling insurance.

Just when all hope seemed lost, his Marcel Grossman’s attempts to secure him a position as a patent examiner came through.

His Nobel prize winning papers were submitted while he was still an examiner.

This is Albert Einstein – probably the single greatest scientific mind that has ever existed – having difficulties finding a research job. Maybe we should remember that when our “plan A” doesn’t work out.

And, maybe, just maybe, when faced with plan B, we’ll remember what he did and knock the socks off our plan B.

jobless einstein

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