I started a PhD in Particle Physics, September 2018, in one of the UK's universities.
I was really excited about it because it was about a project that was going to give me experience and skills in a particular area that is very relevant to industry. My goal was clear: do this PhD to gain some experience in this area, and then find a job in industry.
Something strange happened and my supervisors changed the plan somehow. I talked to them about it, and they said that first I have to obtain results for the new project. Only then we will think about the initial plan. I understood immediately that this was some kind of "fake propaganda" to attract students. But I was really enjoying living in the UK that I didn't think much about it.
2.5 years later and I am really fed up with this PhD. I am not enjoying what I am doing. I don't find my supervisors very friendly and inspiring (some of them actually do some "indirect" bullying). I feel like a zombie PhD student. Just doing a PhD for the sake of completing it.
One of the things that Covid-19 has taught me is that we cannot waste our precious time with stuff we don't like.
I am thinking of applying for jobs and see if I get any luck. I only have the option of leaving the PhD in case I find a job because my financial situation is not the best.
Before doing this, I would like to know how the process of leaving the PhD is.
Is it possible to leave your PhD in a matter of weeks? Will my supervisors make a storm in a teacup?
Thank you a lot for your attention!
You can in most programmes immediately withdraw, but it's an impossible question as it depends on contract (if stipended, etc).
My question would be, what's stopping you applying for jobs, whilst doing the PhD? It seems much better to go from one thing to another than drop out *then* look for opportunities - and it may well sound better at interview, and on a CV too, that you're a current PhD student looking for opportunities outside academia. Is it that fees are looming? Then it is a tough issue but if you know in your heart you'll never finish and have no interest in an academic career, any fees you pay are wasted. It's just a bit risky if you're in a grim, depressing, sick-of-PhD situation to go to unemployment (which unfortunately can also be grim, and depressing) rather than jump from PhD to a job.
In the UK you can leave a job with 1 weeks notice unless it says otherwise in the contract. Though it is fairly common to give a months notice and employers understand that most people can't move jobs immediately. So I wouldn't worry about missing out on a job because of notice period as doing all the paperwork to start a new job usually takes a month or so any way.
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