Hey guys, I know this sounds weird but I am not getting any professional job even with a PhD. I have graduated and applied for a few academic posts but I seem not to qualify because of less publications. I recently settled for a very low paying job outside my field and had to hide my qualifications coz I was desperate from a job. Maybe there's someone out there who understands.
if you want a decent job, try starting off abroad where they respect hard work. you're not gonna get your papers respected here in the UK. most people will be either jealous, angry that you have made it and they haven't and won't be able to see beyond their selfishness. my experience anyway.......
Thanks, I'm in Botswana, Africa where we still don't have lots of PhD's but surprisingly I'm still not good enough. It seems the same spirit of jealousy and politics prevails. Anyway I will keep on trying but being in a very unpleasant environment with a hard earned PhD is heartbreaking. I will keep on smiling.
Kellykel, sorry to hear you're having some job troubles at the moment. Just keep applying though. I've recently been offered a position but it took me around 50 applications and 4 interviews! I was disheartened with all the rejections and difficulties to begin with but (based on the advice of my supervisor and the helpful people here :) ) I just kept sending applications in. I went for volume rather than being too selective.
The lack of papers can be a barrier, and it's all catch 22. I came up against it in one interview. I was rejected because I didn't have as long a publication record as another applicant (as well as a few other reasons). But then how was I ever meant to get a longer record without research jobs like the one I was applying for? :S It was a bit maddening at first. All it takes is one chance though, one job.
On the hiding qualifications front my partner came up against that. She went for an interview at the place she already works for a higher position. But because she's working there along side a studying for a post grad qualification they didn't give her the job. They felt she was going to be moving on to other things because of it!
Kellykel, I actually have a rather similar experience to yours. You have to be able to look beyond the feeling of inadequacy, and to continue working on publications while you can, and as for finding work, yes, if you need to do something which requires you to hide your qualifications or downplay your degrees' existence, you might have to do that. But remember, do not sell yourself short too much because there will be a bottom which you can never hit. What I mean is, when you do not install a baseline about what you can do and won't, then it will in fact mean you can be played around with till you become the lowest of the low in terms of social denominator. With a PhD, you can still teach, even if it is not in a university, and that might stave off the anxiety about not finding your ideal job until you get to it. I have not had much luck like you in terms of finding a job here in Southeast Asia, where people look upon my PhD with a large degree of either dislike or prejudice, thinking that all we do is just to regurgitate the notes and to score the points. But still, as difficult as it is, I remind myself that I worked hard for it. No one should be given that right to deride you for that, whether or not you really find your ideal job.
That sounds like a tough position and I've got all that to look forward as I'm job hunting now too. It doesn't look good I'm afraid at the mo as I have no publications so that seems to be a bar for many jobs even ones like a 1 yr research offer where they want a PhD and publications! As for a teaching job I am trying for those but I don't have any experience teaching seminars and tutorials so I'm a bit stumped there and I'm now less competitive so I'm probably going to have trouble there.
Any suggestions on how to get a foothold in academia would be greatly appreciated. I'm working on a publication now so hope to have one by the end of the year if I can get it together or early next year.
How do you hide your qualifications? I mean how do you explain what you've been doing for the last few years if you don't put what you've actually been doing (i.e. your PhD?)
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Thanks for sharing, it's encouraging to know that we somehow go through similar post Ph.D. I finally managed to get something professional. I started a Postdoc in the same university where I did Ph.D. and what I like most about it is that the salary is same as that of a Lecturer. At least I can concentrate on publishing and other stuff for my development. My first meeting with my mentor last week was weird though because he asked me to compile a bibliography and send it to him in less than a week. I was a bit shocked because my thinking is that postdoc is very different from Ph.D. and my research is supposed to be more independent. Your thoughts or insight? maybe I'm the one who doesn't understand.
Yes, this is not uncommon. PhDs working in pizza shops are nothing new.
I was and am still in a similar situation myself, and it's unlikely to improve with the economy. I have been told that I am over-qualified (with a PhD and 2 Masters) as well as under-qualified (because I don't have a two day course certificate) by junior recruitment 'consultants'. This is despite having large amounts of work experience in my field too.
So, I have decided to open my own company. Yes, it is risky, especially in this economy. But I don't have to act dumb because of others' insecurities, I can work on my own terms and I can openly be proud of being educated. The only issue is finding customers, and I am not a natural salesperson. So I had to innovate...
Clean up your digital profile (no drunken photos on Facebook etc.) Create a home presence (i.e. website) that all conversations lead back to and where people can find you. Build useful content that shows you know what you are talking about. Then use social networking to make contact with the outside world. This strategy can be used to find work as well as find business customers.
I really struggled after my PhD a few years ago, and it was a really stormy ride. After post docing a bit, I ultimately left academia and joined a new business. Its not been easy, but in many ways its far better than academia ever could have been.
There has been a recent booklet about PhD graduates being entreprenurial on the Vitae website, and there have been several workshops and things rolled out recently. I would recommend them highly.
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