The work on satisfactory formulation of technical patents was a true blessing for me. It compelled me to be many-sided in thought, and also offered important stimulation for thought about physics. Following a practical profession is a blessing for people of my type. Because the academic career puts a young person in a sort of compulsory situation to produce scientific papers in impressive quantity, a temptation to superficiality arises that only strong characters are able to resist.
From his "Autobiographische Skizze" (18 April 1955), original German version here. Translation from Einstein from 'B' to 'Z' by John J. Stachel (2001), p. 5.