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Disappointed Postdoc: Is academia really that toxic?

Hey all,

I have come to a realisation these past few months and I would like to discuss this with people who might understand the situation.

Finished my PhD, and started my PostDoc. Being proud of being a Dr. and achieving the highest qualification in my educational journey after such a challenging journey I joined the university with aspirations, dreams, and a great dose of romanticism.

Ever since I joined the university as a Postdoc, ( 2 months), I am being treated as an assistant to say the least. I feel like I am the equivalent of an undergrad in the department. I never demanded to be treated like a professor, I know my place in the ladder...but it saddens me that the human element is lost between great egos, unemotional faces, and power dynamics.

I know what I want to achieve through my PostDoc, and this is the only thing that is keeping me sane. Even though it is too early to speak, I do not like the academic culture, it is too harsh for me.

Is this it? Why?
How can one leave academia and start consulting?
What can one do in the industry?

Thank you.

Supervisor "borrows" ideas

I defended my PhD earlier this year. Suddenly, my supervisor who up until my defence had no idea on what my findings were and what I was working on submitted a research proposal for funding that quite looks similar to what my PhD was about with little subtle and diplomatic changes....What do I do? I am mad. Is this what academia is like? Is my project his now? Is this why he wanted me to put him as a co-author everywhere?

Is this the real life? Is this what an academic's job looks like?

Hey fellow PhDs.

I hope you are all well. I finished, passed and dusted my PhD a few months ago and I embarked on my pursuit for happiness..or so I thought.

I am working part-time at two universities. I am lecturing on the first one once a week, I find it enjoyable and lovely. It takes me all weekend to create my powerpoint slides and material as I had to build the module from scratch, but thank God we have the internet.

The rest of the week, I am working as a research associate/Post-doc fellow in another university. I was so excited and all but guess what. I end up doing literature reviews and working on impossible deadlines burning every single brain cell left in my head reading, and studying and reading.

I have a PhD, three master degrees and a bachelors degree. If I wanted to keep writing and counting words to reach the expected length of documents....I would had done another masters or another PhD. Guess what? Doctor squared...that would had been lovely. However I would have had to do that from a psychiatric ward, as I was going to go even more mad.

I enjoy writing papers. I already have multiple publications. I like being creative, exploring, expressing ideas in a document of reasonable length. Lit Reviews? No. I hate it.

Since i have just started my career...is this the real life or is it just fantasy? ( Praise the...Queen)

Is this what an academic's life looks like? Studying for the rest of my life? If this is the case I will attempt to go into industry and keep lecturing part-time.

The pay is low. My nervous system has collapsed. I hate my life and I have zero happiness inside me.

What other careers can one pursue with a PhD? Can I do consulting? How do I start as a consultant?

Please help me.
I am rotting,
My make-up may be flaking
But my smile or Dr.'s hat, still, stays on. Sorry too many Queen references.

Best wishes,

PhD haunted by Third class degree

That was an amazing story !! As for the interviewing the interviewer, that sounds so good !'

PhD haunted by Third class degree

Thank you so much everyone! This means a lot. I feel so guilty for not knowing better back then. My issue is that when I apply to certain institutions the HR team needs the certificates. Whenever I see my certificate I feel so ashamed

PhD haunted by Third class degree

Hi everyone!

I needed advice from people with experience in academia and in industry as my third class degree still haunts me even if I am almost ready to graduate with a PhD.

I am a former Biomedical Sciences graduate and due to past mental health issues that i was too proud to admit at the time, I ended up with a third as I was underperforming in exams which counted 80% towards the final grade. My assignment grades as well as both my research project and literature based critical study were classified as 2:1. Unfortunately module assignments are not being mentioned in the transcript so all you can see apart from the two dissertation grades is a disaster..

I was lucky to have a supervisor who provided excellent recommendations throughout the years so I managed to get an MSc in a medical field with merit and later on an MA in a related joint field (social and medical sciences) with merit. I got accepted into a PhD with scholarship and I am close to graduating with some publications and teaching experience on my back. Even though I worked hard to get away from the third class honours classification and it did not bother employers in England, I still feel uncomfortable with it because in my country the classification is one of the main questions being discussed in interviews. Mental health issues are stigmatised here and I cannot say that I have obviously screwed up. I have fully recovered from my depression and anxiety yet I made some bad choices back then and I am honestly being haunted by that classification for many years now.

I would appreciate your advice. Is there anything I can do? I considered contacting the university to see whether I could potentially retake some modules but after doing some research I found out that this is impossible.

How can I talk about this to potential employers?

Please don't tell me to get over this as I obviously need some advice and that is the reason I am posting here.

Thank you : )