Signup date: 23 Aug 2007 at 2:28pm
Last login: 05 Jan 2018 at 12:36pm
Post count: 1714
I'd say if you see an interesting postdoc in a location you'd like to live in for a while, go for it. Depending on the boss there, you may or may not get constant grief for not publishing, but if you can ignore that and be happy in a new location, then try it. On the other hand, as someone who has hired a postdoc in for a short term contract, I'd be furious if I ended up hiring someone who didn't give a toss about the job, as there is a hell of a lot of work to get done in a short time on many research grants, and other postdocs/early career academics very often rely on good support from co-workers to aid in publishing and developing a research group.
If you don't want to go into academia, then there's no point hanging on. For all the other career options open to you, there are hundreds of other people who have actually spent years training for those jobs too, so it's not simply a case of doing something else, you may have to take time working your way up and getting new skills to do something else, so I'd just get stuck in.
I agree that it's not likely to change any time soon...I'm a postdoc in a Russell Group uni and it's all gone mad. There are all sorts of structural and budget changes coming up and seems as though there will be a new 'performance review' system set up, whereby if you don't bring in a minimum of £150k a year you are under review. Absolute madness, how do they think scientists are actually going to have time to do the science when you have to spend half your time chasing new grants, networking, building collaborations etc?! Not to mention the paperwork, teaching, time spent marking repeats for all the students who fire out any old rubbish that you still have to grade and provide feedback on....
Seems to me there are two choices for those working in niche fields that don't attract large pots of money or who rely on long term datasets for decent papers: 1) take a job a lower ranking uni, where you'll actually have time to do science and research due to lower expectations for grants etc, or 2) Leave academia.
I'm starting to veer towards number 2...
Hi Pineapple - I just wanted to say don't pay any attention to those idiots posting negative comments - if your supervisors are truly well known then they won't be relying on your PhD for REF, as the main focus of REF is on publications and output, so your sups will only be submitting 4 papers, and I'd imagine they will have names on more than 4. Plus, unless your department is really small and has a high drop-out/late finishing rate, one PhD student won't affect REF too much. And I'm sure if you were to fail, your department/supervisors would be able to pass it off easily as a crap student who didn't bother doing the appropriate amount of work etc, it's easier to blame the student for non-submission that the department (even if that's not always the case...).
so don't you worry, you worked bloody hard and you learned a big lesson, and you deserve to be finished now.
Thanks Delta, Mackem_Beefy and Ahmadian.
It's a funny situation, as I don't work directly for this guy anymore, but I would like to collaborate with him in the future. However, it's not vital that it's him I collaborate with and if the worst comes to the worst, I can collaborate elsewhere. He was always really good during my PhD, very tough yes, but always fair and gave space/time when things got tough. However since I finished a few years ago I've heard the whole atmosphere in the lab has totally changed, which I think is partly due to it becoming more difficult to find funding, and other staff issues. I have friends in the same lab who've had to just up their workload and keep their heads down to avoid getting abuse hurled at them, it seems they are just waiting out the storm until there is plenty of funding rolling back into the lab. So, I know he's not being a twat just with me, but still it's hard to take. I also know there is more to life than work, and especially more to it than collaborations, so I'll just do what I can with my job, and work on the papers as and when I can. although I say this now, but the next time I'm having a bad day I'll probably break down again....
I've also started going to counselling which is helping a bit, I don't want to leave science and I don't want to leave my job, it's just been rather overshadowed by the spectre of the PhD which follows me around....back to my old saying then I guess, the only way out is through!
However, I do think that counselling sessions, even monthly, should be a requirement of the PhD process, same as progress reports etc, as it's such a massive deal and supervisors are often very underequipped and don't have time to deal with the pastoral side of supervision. That's my two cents anyway!
Hi Pineapple, I've not been on here in a while, just been checking up on your progress form time to time. I really hope you get it sorted soon, the wait would have destroyed me by now so you're doing well for coping! I'm sure it's all ok though.
As for the interview, I've gona to a few where I was perfect for the job, and when I didn't get it I was gutted, until I met the person or found out about the person who did got it and was even more perfect for the job than me, so you just never know. Just keep applying, keep going to interviews (as others have said, even getting an interview is a big deal these days, especially out of 300 people!) and build up your experience for the day you find that job that you really are the most perfect person for!
If you have depression, and have been behind on finishing papers from a PhD you finished a while ago and explain this to your old supervisor who is wholly unsupportive and basically says to suck it up or your career is at stake, what does one do?! This is the situation I find myself in, it was a big big step to take for me to inform my old supervisor about the reason for the delay, depression, health problems and a death in the family, and he wasn't interested. Issue is, I still need to work with him in the future through my current job and I just can't even face it. I feel like I should leave science and go work in a coffee shop. I'm just not sure what way to deal with him, if it even will be possible to work with him when he's obviously pissed at me for the delay....
Me too Delta! The two jobs I applied for in Australia were rejected, and haven't heard back from one in New Zealand, so I presume it's a no-go also. I am however thinking of heading over to Oz anyway, I'm giving myself until July - if I have nothing before then, I'm off, and shall job hunt while I'm there. I'll go mental if I stay here and keep plodding away and getting nothing, may as well use unemployment to do something good!
It's just school level biology I'm doing! GCSE and A level. It's just a matter of looking through the syllabus and some old textbooks, the important thing is being able to explain the concepts to the students and actually make them sit an learn it. I do lots of rewriting and redrawing figures and going over the same stuff repeatedly, generally making them learn the stuff. Could you do any of the sciences, or even English tuition? Still no actual real job for me though....I had a bit of a breakdown the other night at the though of having to finish writing my PhD papers, seems I managed to blank out final year quite successfully and every time I sit down to write I start freaking out, all the old panics and worries come flooding back. But I'll get there!
I have experienced a similar thing myself, and when I was a volunteer with an organisation before they explained to me why it was like that. Often these organisations/charities have to apply for funding to be able to take on volunteers, paying towards training, travel expenses etc, and they have to show that need a certain amount of money to take on a certain number of volunteers. The upshot of this is, they can't take on volunteers who offer to cover their own expenses if there are any as it would negatively impact on any future funding applications, and they have to spend every penny of whatever they do get - hence why I was treated to lunch etc and required to have expenses as a volunteer so they could use the funding up - use it or lose it it seems. It's a really crap situation as organisations who could use volunteers can't take any more on if they don't have the funding, whether they need the money or not. Also, as mentioned previously, it could simply be that they already have plenty of people, what with everyone looking to build up CVs and experience these days. Simply being able to do a job isn't enough, you have to be able to do everyone elses jobs too while standing on your head juggling and drinking water....Keep strong and keep looking. I found the tutoring has actually taken off and is great extra money, if you can do that with your qualifications...
Oooh I never thought of the proofreader bits! That's a really good idea actually, thanks Delta!
It's all a bit grim cos I'm living back at home at the moment and most of my friends are in the process of getting married, buying houses and having babies at the moment, so it's hard to veer the conversation away from those things, and most of what I tell them isn't really taken in! But that's ok, I understand it's exciting for them, I'd probably be the same if it was me! :)
How has your job search been going then Delta, any joy yet? Have you got papers still to finish too? I know I really should do them, it's time to get back to the old motivational tricks of the PhD days I guess! At least when they are done it will only be a good thing for my CV and I can really move on from it! We'll get there Delta!
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