Job after PhD - what would you do in this situation?


Hi guys,

I haven't posted here in a while. I am really a bit of a taker on this forum and I apologise for that! I have a bit of a dilemma and I wondered if any of you guys could help me out with thinking it through.

I finished my PhD last year, had my viva in October and passed with very minor corrections. I was of course over the moon but the reality of being unemployed and constantly being rejected for jobs soon turned my high into a major low. Eventually I got a couple of months admin work at university where I have temped on and off over the years. I am extremely bored and hate being stuck in the same environment doing really basic work I could have done before even my undergrad degree. Anyway there is no casual work left but the manager has offered me a full time job there. At the same time I have been offered a research job with a government department. The salary is much higher, I would be using skills from my PhD, and the research team seemed really nice when I met them. So - what's the dilemma? They can only offer me three months contract at this stage until they get an idea of their budget but would ideally want to keep me on. No guarantees though.

What would you do in this situation?


Oops... I posted my response on another thread of yours - hope it helps.

Avatar for Noctu

Hi Slowmo,
Sorry to hear that things have been difficult for you :-(
My advice would be to take the research job. Even if it only lasts 3 months, it's something to put on your CV which will look good to prospective research employers. & you never know, it may last longer - especially if you can try and find funding yourself to continue your role. It's a foot in the door, so to speak.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.


Avatar for Mackem_Beefy

Three months in the first instance is not long. I not really sure what to advise here, however, the cushy days of PhD are over and some form of permanance at least allows some sort of planning for the future. The angle I'm taking here is perhaps taking the permanent job until something else comes along that is better and permanent.

That said, there is a possible opening here that could lead somewhere and do you turn it down when you've already had an uncomfortable spell on the dole?

It's a decision only you can make.

Ian (Mackem_Beefy)

Avatar for Pootle

Hi Slowmo

It might be interesting to add in a comparison of the two jobs from the salary point of view. You say the research job is much better paid. So three months' research job salary might equal six months at the admin rate, for example. That would mean that even if the research contract were not extended, you would have three months to network/apply for other posts before you started to lose out financially.

A bit convoluted maybe :$ but congratulations on the two offers and good luck with your decision! (up)