Managing work and PhD advise



I am seeking some advice. As background, my supervisors have signed off on 5 of my thesis chapters (Intro, 3 lit review and 1 methodology). I have a solid draft version of 3 x findings chapters my supervisors have commented on and said I am 'very close' but there is still a lot of work to do to make their suggested changes. I have not started the final chapter.

My question is that I have recently started work full time ( I have previously been part-time and working on the PhD 3 days a week) so I am unsure how to manage full-time employment AND the PhD. I was wondering how others manage it? I am planning on working Saturdays on the PhD and perhaps 2 or 3 very early mornings before work before my brain fades too much. I'm also expecting a new baby in late June.

I would love to know how others manage full-time employment and a PhD. What works for you and do you have any recommendations?

Many thanks


Well I haven't had exactly the same situation as you, but I started my postdoc whilst I was waiting for my viva. I worked full time in the day and then every evening for 2-3 hours and Saturday I worked on my PhD corrections/papers.

This was easier for me as I was working away from home and I didn't have a partner, so it was manageable, although it required motivation as it's not easy working such long hours over a long period of time.

What you're suggesting sounds sensible. Maybe find what works best for you e.g. you might have to go into your office/coffee shop to do the PhD work as it might be too distracting at home.

At least you know the end is close!


I think the question you need to ask yourself is how badly do you need the money? Working full time alongside a PhD is very stressful (I'm speaking from my own experiences here). From the beginning of my PhD I attempted to work a full-time job alongside a full-time degree to the extent that my degree really suffered, and I'm now at risk of removal.

If your supervisors are suggesting you still need to do a lot of work I really wouldn't suggest getting a full-time job and only focusing on your degree for one full day and a couple of mornings. Your PhD should be your number one priority, I really wouldn't risk any issues with it by working a lot. If you're desperate for income I'd recommend maybe a part-time job, but I'd never suggest a full-time job alongside a strenuous degree.

How much longer do you have on your course, anyway? Also are you part-time or full-time? If you're a full-time student I'd suggest unequivocally no on a full-time job. As I said, from my own experience I wouldn't recommend doing it. My supervisory team told me several times it was a bad idea for me to work a lot alongside my degree and I didn't listen, now it looks likely that I may need to start all over again because of it. Obviously different people have different experiences, but if your team is still suggesting you have a lot to do I wouldn't recommend putting less focus on your degree for a job.



I don't think working full-time and going on with your PhD is the problem? Yes, it should give you a stress but not that you cannot do it! You are not a first PhD student to do that. I believe there hundreds PhD students that are also full-time employees! Above all, i am among of them. I will full-time job (and very demanding), i am the father of two sons ( very troublesome kids) , i have my own consulting firm....and also a part-time PhD student! What i believe is that, we need to be committed, focused and determined on whatever plans we institute in our academic journey. For me, i spent at least 3 hrs a day....meaning no reading emails, blogs or youtube etc..just focus on my thesis writing! Everyone has his/her own experience, but am optimistic that we can handle this until all is well.....