Unemployed PhD


Hello there,
I know this is a common scenario, so I suppose I'm just looking for a bit of advice/support here. I got my PhD in theology about four years ago now; during and since then I have worked as a VL ('visiting lecturer' - even though I worked there for nine years!), module leader for an online course, and other academic roles. However, since my last job ended (all of my contracts have been temporary) almost a year ago I have been unable to find work. I've had countless interviews and always receive the same feedback - really good interview, great candidate, on any other day we'd have taken you. Flattering at first but not helpful when you hear it so many times. The university I taught at for almost a decade, after I decided not to put up with shitty contracts, then advertised my post as a proper, contracted position, which I of course went for, but didn't get. I'd been doing that job well for nine years and students' feedback was always positive. I've since tried to just get a retail job, and taken all of my qualifications off my CV - have had interviews but nothing ever comes of them. I've now been accepted on a high school teacher training course, but it's really not what I want to do. The whole situation is really getting to me, and I don't know what more I can do. Any thoughts/advice would be so welcome!
Thanks for reading :)


Well I don't think you should do teacher training if your heart isn't in it. And I think you just need to accept that the university was stringing you on and let it go. We are often far more loyal to an employer than they ever would be to us and universities are no exception to that rule. The casualisation of university teaching is a real issue in the sector.

Are you geographically tied? It seems a bit of a leap from lecturing to retail and so I wondered whether you might be in a small university town where those are the options. If so is there any chance of that changing? It seems to me that you need to think about what your skills are and what jobs that might lead towards and see where those opportunities are.


I don't think this is something personal - you are just going through a rough patch. If I were you - I would keep applying, applying, applying!!! Just don't loose faith - you will get something that suits your qualifications and all eventually. This is common in every field and with loads of people.



Way to be vulnerable. I went through something similar with a PhD in Biomedical Sciences. It is a long road that can be very discouraging sometimes. But the key as said above is to keep applying for what you really want to do!! Even if you take a temporary space filler position; Keep applying! Because the application process started getting discouraging as well I then started to just do Indeed.com clicks instead of the whole one hour application and cover letter process. It began to be tooo much. And ironically I landed an interview for my first job after my PhD. A job that I really like. Don’t loss
Faith. Pray and apply.