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* Jouri Djorkaeff von der Leiden 23 May, 2008
I am tempted to disagree with the author. Whereas no new arguments are presented, the previous stereotypes of "freedom, independence" etc. are merely reiterated. Times have changed. The professors at the top of the academic pyramid might not have noticed yet, but today, the academic environment has nothing to offer to PhD graduates. Rather the opposite, the nature of academia fosters loss of work-life balance as "there is always more work to do or one more paper to read at the weekend". Finally, I wish this article was more critical and would also consider the perspective of PhD students, teaching assistants and young lecturers. Saying that the "grass is always greener on the other side" is just not sufficient.
A reader's response (not mine!) but s/he is spot on. The article is wishy washy imo. Still, Tim's got a cushy number so fair play to him.
All the best Sara, thanks to you and PC_Geek for best viva wishes, much appreciated, am sure I'll be fine. Glad you're feeling better already!
Bryony, your supervisor will understand, just be clear and honest, any delay will only increase your anxiety. It's your future, go grab it.
...So your frustration is perfectly understandable. A lot depends on where you wish to go next, but the cv won't really matter either way tbh because you'll need to be trained to do something anew, so your 4 years of experience is something for you and and not being a "Dr" will probably be favourable for you.
I loved my PhD years but I knew before and have had it confirmed since submitting (in different ways) that the PhD is pretty useless. Your health and well-being deserve far better conditions and support than the stale environment of academia and, this time to you, I wish you well in whatever you choose to do in the future.
...and don't be afraid to heavily criticise those aspects of your PhD which you have found to be seriously lacking or just run in a p!ss poor fashion. It's perfectly normal to do so and not enough of it goes on. It helps to build a picture of what you place value on and what kind of working culture and ethos you wish to develop in. I've been constantly critical of issues from funding to teaching expectations, and I've had a fairly strong go at my supervisors for lack of detailed feedback on my work. This is probably the only 'profession' I know that barely caters for the career progression of its recruits and openly gets away with it......
Sara, I only post on here rarely and browse the place only now and then.
I'll stop doing both after my viva on May 27th when I'll also be getting away from academia. There's little doubt in my eyes that academia is mostly a bag of b0ll0cks, a bland and far too serious take on itself, and there's about 1 job going per 1000 PhD candidates. I'm happy to leave people to it.
I hope your health improves and you breathe deeply on that hill. As for your cv, just be honest, put down what you've done in your 4 years and move on, trust me actually having a PhD cuts little ice within HE or in the non-academic world... (my opinion, others may disagree) ......
Given what you've said it's a no-brainer: get the appropriate footwear donned, head down, and RUN; run as hard and as fast as you can possibly manage. Arms and legs pumping for all you're worth. Don't stop. Once you reach the hills, breathe in the fresh air deeply, then exhale, and relax, for the madness will have stopped. Forever.
Good luck also in whatever you choose to do next.
I submit the job-lot in March. Can't effing wait.
Contact with supervisors in last 6 months: virtually nil.
Helpful advice/comments/feedback from all work sent: absolutely nil.
Fortunately this has always been my (sociology) baby, done my way, and I've always disagreed with the bulk of what they said in the early stages.
VIVA should be a blast "Always fight your supervisors", a great sociologist once said, "but be prepared when you do". I will be
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