I am about to enter my sixth year and planned to defend in the spring/summer. I was applying to jobs now as I am interested in government and they take forever to process applicants and are highly competitive. I was aiming for a full time job that would start when I finished, ideally with a month in between defence and starting work (keep dreaming I know). The hiring happened way faster than anticipated. I ended up not scoring high enough in the entrance exam to get a full time position (which would have been very hard to turn down but starts now and I would have) but have been offered a contract starting February where I would work 4 days a week and have one for my thesis. The contract will ideally train me to do better on the entrance exam so I can get into a permanent position.
This all happened very quickly and I don't have an option to negotiate as they want me to start asap and the manager is essentially creating the position for me to help me because she wants me on the team. The salary is quite good.
In terms of progress, I have 3 chapters, I just finished the manuscript for chapter 1 and am sending for publication. I have two more left to write with an aim to publish or at least submit a second one before the defence.
My question is - is taking this contract a bad idea? Am I screwing myself from finishing? Did anyone else take a job on before they were done? I wasn't ready to start work now and have TAships lined up to cover expenses until I finish. I already work almost 4 days a week on TA stuff as it is (I am now unfunded and live in a city with high cost of living) so the shift won't be that drastic. Im just getting scared to leave my casual academic life but don't want to miss a good opportunity.
What would you do?
I had two take a time out to work full time and then went part time with my studies. I'm coming up to my end deadline and it has been tough but doable. Sill things like getting not well with the flu and tooth ache resulted in wastage of time for me. Just try to factor potential obstacles if you intend to work
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