I got awarded pass, subject to minor corrections (UK).
Throughout my PhD, I never got helpful opportunities (through luck, contacts or research). Nor did I get praised for my research (including my examiners). Not have I ever won anything.
No matter how much I tried, I failed. I did not benefit from a supportive environment, and I feel like this is key in helping get a foot in the door. I'm so sad that other supervisors in my department helped their students get relevant experiences (co-authorship, introduction to colleagues in their field, involvement in research projects, decent examiners etc). I got nothing of the sort. I'm on my own looking for jobs and have no one helping me.
I feel like this means I should give up. I've seen a pattern in who gets a permanent job or a postdoc. It's those with a supportive department and supervisors. I think I'm doomed.
First of all, Congratulations on getting your PhD, Dr. Jambo!!
The majority of us on here, are still only aspiring to achieve what you have achieved.
This is a massive achievement, especially with un-supportive supervisors.
As for pursuing academia;
First of all, it is possible to find meaningful and well paid positions outside academia. Academia has long hours and I think most of us on here can attest to drawbacks of the 'publish or perish' mentality and the competitiveness that goes with this.
So I think you should think long and hard, and explore options, and decide if you really want academia.
Then if you decide you want to give it a shot, why not go for it?
I will be looking for jobs soon, and I am in a similar situation.
I am focusing on making my CV look good, by getting publications and attending conferences.
teaching experience is good to have too.
If you can look like you have experience in these three areas; publications/attending conferences/teaching and you do well at an interview you have a good shot. If you choose to leave, or don't find yourself progressing down the line, you can always jump ship then.
And there is always the possibility of making your own contacts at conferences. easier said than done, I'm an introvert so i have found this difficult myself.
I know people whose supervisors favour them, are they are at a huge advantage . I'm not one of those students.
My plan is to apply for a lot of jobs, particularly jobs that match my skill-set and research experience (good fit is hugely important). I predict It will take a lot applications before i get an interview and a lot of interviews before i get a job.
I have decided I want to pursue academia. But I'm going also to explore my options outside academia and keep an open mind about tangentially related fields. It is possible I will come to find job outside academia that I prefer.
Hey Jambo! Congratulations!!!
Having not much support etc does sound dire and would make you think you didn't stand the same chances as others. But honestly, if you want to stay on in academia then you should go for it. You may end up getting a postdoc elsewhere (if moving is possible for you) and just starting anew. All you need for that is references, and the rest is up to YOU!
To be honest, I've never had help getting a job (other than references), and I don't expect it when I finish my PhD. I know that in academia knowing people, and people knowing people you know etc is a factor. But if you are determined and show passion and ability, it isn't going to matter. You have to stop believing that you're doomed, or - in my humble opinion - or you will be. I'm not in your position but there have been times where I've felt that it was unfair and that I was not getting the same kind of support/opportunities as others (it is to do with my supervisory set up/issues - as well as just to do with structural things in our research group/department that mean that some of us are sat in a different building and away from all the action). But I just told myself early on that I have to go out of my comfort zone and MAKE opportunities and good things happen - not wait for them.
It is amazing that you have your PhD more or less now. You might have to put yourself out there, make some sacrifices, and take risks, but... the world is your oyster!
I can relate to some of the things you've described. The reality is that some people do get handed a 'golden ticket' by their supervisors - I've seen people scrape through the PhD by the skin of their teeth and get handed a nice job right away - working alongside their supervisors. Academia's not any kind of straightforward meritocracy and the issues with it are well-documented. There are some things you can do to improve your chances - getting published and so on - and some things that are out of your control. With that in mind, I think you need to weigh up the different options and decide what to go for and how long to keep going for it. At the moment, I've not stopped applying for academic posts - but I only go for them if I genuinely think my skills and interests are a good fit for the post - and I'm looking at other avenues too.
What I will say is I don't think you have any reason to see your current position as a personal failure. You've achieved a PhD, with all the useful skills and expertise that go along with that. Don't let the problems of academia make you feel like you're on any kind of scrap heap - there are plenty of excellent people with the same struggles.
First of all, well done on earning your PhD! I am so envious of you!
Now, regarding your actual concern about feeling like you're doomed in academia, I think that it might be too soon to be calling that. I too have noticed that certain students are offered more opportunities than others and that can really make you feel inferior because I have been feeling that way too. There are people who simply receive offers because of who their supervisor is, not because they are really that good. Others are extremely pushy. In the long run you might need to consider looking at another university if you wish to stay in academia should your situation really turns out to be that dire.
With your PhD earned, you're already further ahead than the departmental pets who have not. Remember that, always.
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