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Feeling lost and depressed after thesis submission

Hi, Jesse1309

You were on adrenaline, go go go for the many months. Suddenly it's all done and you are coping with the loss of purpose and routine.

I suggest you go on a holiday to properly unwind. Then if you feel ready, plan your day. Maybe set aside x hours thinking/looking/applying for job, if routine and predictability are that important to you. Then rest for the rest of the day.

Congratulations on submitting! it is a huge milestone.

4 weeks left! Is it enough?

Hi, hatemyphd84,

I am sorry that you are feeling so awful, BUT can you even see all the accomplishments that you had overcome in your life. You juggled divorce, illness, kids, jobs and house move, all very very serious and challenging matters. I think you are awesome.

Regarding your PhD, you are so so close to the end. A week away to do your PhD thesis sounds like a great idea. Complete what you can. It will not be perfect, but as long as you submit a PhD thesis, you have a shot. You have already come this far, you might as well try to get that PhD. In the worst case scenario, you will still have a masters.

You who have overcome many challenges can overcome this one more hurdle. All the best.

Should I quit PhD and start full time job with just over 6 months left!?!?!?

Hi, highopes,

Let's analyse your situation:
- Amazing full time position in area of interest
- Job needs to start in Nov
- Third year PhD with no clear plan for data analysis and clueless supervisor
- No guarantee of PhD completion
- No guarantee of job after PhD if rejecting this one

- Will you mind possibly not finishing your PhD? What you have mentioned here with regards to your PhD study and unhelpful supervisor are unhealthy. You could be delayed significantly with no end in sight

This is my opinion. Bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

If the job does not require you to finish your PhD, take the job first. Worry about the PhD later. Ultimately, you complete a PhD so that you can have a better job and future. If this is the one, take it.

Feedback from mature student who dropped out of phd

Hi, Maturestoodent,

Thank you for sharing your experiences, I wish you the very best in your future avenues.

A PhD supervisor has the responsibility and are paid to guide the PhD students. Unfortunately good supervisors are few and far in between as they too are under the stress of continuous grant application, labwork and other admin tasks to secure their next funding and employment. And some just outright see students as numbers to prop up their career and do the bare minimum to train the students. What you are searching for, a person whom you can have many scientific discussions with is extremely rare. Supervisors are generally pretty overworked and simply don't have the time. So under the excuse that you are meant to be independent, you can be intellectually abandoned and left to your own device to sink or swim.

Leaving a PhD is a personal decision but unfortunately can be seen as failure by the academic community. Hence there will be no support and people who do leave normally do so under a lot of stress and do not want to openly discuss it. Ex supervisors never mention the student again and it doesn't get reflected in the supervisor's profile how many students did not complete.

It is actually quite refreshing that you leave very early in your PhD when you saw all the red flags and are able to reflect on your experience so rationally. Most find out too late.

Many universities do basic research due to limited fundings whereas industry has more funds to go deeper. In fact, it is hard to do good research if the environment of academia preferentially support the Profs/PIs and does not support the growth of upcoming researchers. Not great salary, limited career trajectory, no job stability and security despite lots of hard work. That's why more and more leave academia. https://www.science.org/content/article/professors-struggle-recruit-postdocs-calls-structural-change-academia-intensify?cookieSet=1

It is wonderful to hear you are in the company of colleagues who can mentally stimulate you. I hope you are happy back in industry. All the best.

Being enthusiastic/motivated towards PhD when you want a career change after

Do what you need to do to finish your PhD and get out.

You don't have to tell anyone about your plans to leave academia, including your supervisor.

Now that your are in your last year, plan your last months well. Do your week by week plan on what you need to do until you submit. Write down your essential tasks and commit to it with everything you have.

You owe it to yourself to work hard and finish the damn PhD since you are so close. Then get out with your PhD award in your hands and do something else that you love outside of academia.

There is no security in a research life in the university, living from grant to grant, and the pay is very low. Your decision to go is wise, but do not tell anyone until you leave academia.You do not want to be sabotaged (eg your superviosr takes you off first author because "you don't need it anymore", or your team treats you poorly because they won't be collaborating with you in the future)

Advice sincerely needed for the next step of my PhD

Giving up your precious limited time as a PhD student to build labs at different places for him? What madness!! Definitely the right decision to go. If this guy doesn't let you graduate with a MPhil, best you just leave because there is no way you can do your PhD properly if he continues to ask you to slave for him

Postdoctoral position: is it too late?

Hi, Sid,

This may be hard to swallow, but you have totally missed the boat. Usually the first postdoc is obtained immediately after the PhD with help from the PhD supervisor. You have no relationship with your supervisor or colleagues, so essentially no reference. You have worked as a lab technician in a school for the last 4 years, not producing any publication or getting any grant during that time. Usually, mid career is 5 years post PhD, so you are nearly at the mid career stage already. I am sorry, but you are not competitive at all for any future grant or academic position.

Could you try exploring other non-academic options? There will be something for you, even if it's not in academia

moving from doctorate into business, mid-career

As long as you can answer the questions on why you jump around so much, that is fine.

Do employers think 40s as old? I can't speak for others, but if you are asking me to choose between two equally motivated but inexperienced people for one entry level position, one in the 20s and the other in the 40s, I will choose the younger one who will likely be easier to train and manage.

Failed my 1st year viva, Is it possible Transferring another uni?

All the best, Hana.

One more thing to consider - supervisor. If you win this case, it would be best to get a different supervisor. I highly doubt the current one will be willing to guide you to completion nor give you a good reference. This relationship is dead. And I am sure that you can read up on bad supervisor stories in this forum.

Advice sincerely needed for the next step of my PhD

Why didn't your first supervisor let you finish with a MPhil before he left? You had done two years there and had one paper. You could have gotten a Masters rather than just quit. That's so irresponsible of him.

Your supervisor B is using you as a cheap staff to set his lab up. From what you describe, the current environment is not good for you. Might be best to cut your losses and finish up with a Masters. If you do want a PhD in future, may I suggest that you take a break in between your current studies and the future. Take a job in a company in the field that you want and see if there is an opportunity to get sponsored PhD. That way, you get two things - sponsored PhD + job security. I have seen it happen to my friends and they are in a very very good place now.

moving from doctorate into business, mid-career

Whenever you change to a new career, you don't know much about it and so climbing up from the very bottom is necessary. It also means significant pay cut.

It is a big gamble as the change may not work out and you will have lost precious time while your peers continue to gain seniority and promotions because they continued to stay in the same career. This was what you saw with your marketing friends.

I would suggest you consider this your last career change. You have definitely jumped around a lot and it is absolutely essential for you to choose and stay in the same career now so you can build relevant experience and climb up the ladder. Otherwise, you will probably end up as a jack of all trade (with bits of experience here and there) but master of none.

Another thing to consider is age. In your 40s, less employers are willing to give you a chance at entry level position for a new career compared to when you are in your 20s. And your CV with many career switches will be less appealing to many employers too. Nothing wrong with changing career at your age, but know that you face significant head winds.

Lost after PhD

Write down a list of journals that you want to approach. Then on LinkedIn, see if you can find someone working in those journals and arrnage a meeting to ask them how they got in and what the criteria are.

Start from the bottom, maybe as an intern or publishing assistant. You don't know anything about the publication cycle and process and will need to learn from scratch. Apply through Job sites or through the people you talk to.

All the best!

moving from doctorate into business, mid-career

There is nothing wrong with changing career at whatever age, as long as you are prepared to start all over from the very bottom.

Why don't approach the startup company and get a full time job there? That will be a good start.

Lost after PhD

May I suggest a redirection? Have you thought about science communication, journal editorial/publishing roles, etc? If this door closes, then look at a different door. You have many skills that can be repurposed for a different role. May you be open to change.

Failed my 1st year viva, Is it possible Transferring another uni?

Dear Hana,

I am so sorry to hear of all the trials and tribulations that you went through.

No, I don't think you can transfer to another uni after failing your upgrade viva. What you can do though is finish up as a Master and use that master to apply for PhD in future, if that is what you wish.

If you want to fight your outcome, approach your students union and see if there is anything they can do for you. Maybe ask them to challenge the verdict or waive the payment.

Otherwise, all I can say is academia where the competition is strong and funding is tight has no compassion for anyone. It might be a blessing in disguise for you to get out of academia and get a job in industry in the long run.