No! I now have a type of job that my younger self (e.g. my high school self) never even knew existed. Even if I had known about research jobs, I don’t think I would have thought of them as jobs that would fit me.
The same is true for me, too: I had no idea that there were research jobs! I only really realised that when I started university. As a child (primary school) I really wanted to be an archaeologist – which in my mind had nothing to do with research: It was all about exploring temples and finding treasures!
When I was in school I wanted to be Q from James Bond. Which in my mind was all about inventing new gadgets to do cool stuff. It turns out, that if you want to do that, then physics and engineering is probably about as close as you can get. I kind of followed my gut instinct and did things that I thought sounded exciting. I don’t think ‘physicist’ is something that I would have imagined possible when I was at school.
No. I had two things in mind when I graduated university: performing as a folksinger, and writing books. I had done both by the time I was 40, but for the last ten or 15 years have been mostly writing short things. I would still like to write something that would make a bigger difference in the world.