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No Job 5 months after graduating.


User: Biomaterials - 31 December 2013 12:26

Hi,

I graduated from my PhD in July 2013. Since then I have tried everything I can to get a job or a postdoc position. I started by looking for local science jobs using websites such as indeed, totaljobs and reed. At the same time I looked nationwide for postdocs in subjects close to my own PhD subject Biomaterials. I've also used keywords related to my subject to find the few companies working in my field. I've applied directly to Astra Zeneca and Johnson and Johnson.

The closest I've had is one interview for a postdoc position but unfortunately I was unlucky. Is it just me or is it difficult to get a job after completing a PhD? During my PhD I was working in a Dental School and I've become envious of the 98% employment rate after graduation. I'm trying to think about what else I could try. Possibly, train to become a patent attorney or a science writer.

User: TreeofLife - 31 December 2013 16:45

I think this is quite normal these days. There are fewer and fewer positions due to budget cuts and more and more graduates.

Keep trying.

Maybe look further afield for opportunities? Take jobs/positions that are not directly related to your field of study?

User: incognito - 31 December 2013 21:16

Dear Biomaterials,
Join the club!!! I finished my PhD in Economics a few months ago and you can see from previous posts that I'm also unlucky. I applied to so many postdocs and jobs I've lost count. I'm still waiting on two teaching jobs and one job as a senior economist at a government institution so fingers crossed but everyone is telling me how hard it is to get jobs. What's worse, my PhD is from a top UK uni and my topic is very relevant to economic policy design and implementation.

The only thing you have to do is try: remember these are very tough times and I had to leave the UK to find a part-time teaching job at a college and even here in Canada it is very difficult to land jobs immediately after graduation. I've decided not to get stressed and depressed about it: my CV is great, I have friends around me, and I'm working on other things to improve my CV and myself as a person (publications, attending conferences, learning new skills, self-improvement in general). Have you considered volunteer work to get experience? I'm doing that on the side at the moment.

Keep in touch and don't get depressed. I don't think you need to change your field. I would consider part-time employment and volunteer work temporarily if I were you.

User: fernandolim2 - 06 January 2014 12:10

Dear friends,

I am one of the people who aims to do PhD. Try to apply for teaching positions in the international universities in Asia, e.g. China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, India, Thailand and so on.

In Asia, most of people respects the British doctoral study, because of the U.K. educational standards.

I saw plenty jobs opening in Asia.

Just try and go for it.

If you need advices, please ask me.

If you have experiences, please share with me. I want to learn many things from my new friends.

Sincerely yours,

Fernando

User: UpandAtom - 07 January 2014 00:17

Quote From incognito:
Dear Biomaterials,
Join the club!!! I finished my PhD in Economics a few months ago and you can see from previous posts that I'm also unlucky. I applied to so many postdocs and jobs I've lost count. I'm still waiting on two teaching jobs and one job as a senior economist at a government institution so fingers crossed but everyone is telling me how hard it is to get jobs. What's worse, my PhD is from a top UK uni and my topic is very relevant to economic policy design and implementation.

The only thing you have to do is try: remember these are very tough times and I had to leave the UK to find a part-time teaching job at a college and even here in Canada it is very difficult to land jobs immediately after graduation. I've decided not to get stressed and depressed about it: my CV is great, I have friends around me, and I'm working on other things to improve my CV and myself as a person (publications, attending conferences, learning new skills, self-improvement in general). Have you considered volunteer work to get experience? I'm doing that on the side at the moment.

Keep in touch and don't get depressed. I don't think you need to change your field. I would consider part-time employment and volunteer work temporarily if I were you.

I would definitely agree with volunteer work, if only for a short while - it looks extremely good on your CV. If you're lucky, this could co-incide with your career aspirations. Otherwise, it may be worth writing to interesting research groups and perhaps offer your services for a short period of time, particularly if you have any ideas for future collaborations. These 'internships' may lead to something more permanent and paid, or a co-authored grant proposal.

User: Biomaterials - 23 January 2014 10:31

Thanks for all the reply everyone. I would love to do volunteer work but I have 2 children so can not afford this option. I have kept applying locally for every science job I can find and still have not had an interview. I've also been applying nationally for my specialty and I may potentially have one interview but it is not confirmed yet. If not next week I'm going to the job centre to get any work I can cleaner, call centre etc.

User: HazyJane - 23 January 2014 11:26

Quote From Biomaterials:
Hi,

I graduated from my PhD in July 2013. Since then I have tried everything I can to get a job or a postdoc position. I started by looking for local science jobs using websites such as indeed, totaljobs and reed.
Is there a reason you're using those sites rather than specialist ones like jobs.ac.uk, newscientistjobs, naturejobs etc?

It's also worth setting up a LinkedIn profile, joining a few groups and starting to network. They will also send you alerts of relevant jobs.

It sounds like you haven't received the best advice as to how to go about this. Are you still eligible for access to your uni careers service?

User: Mackem_Beefy - 23 January 2014 11:43

Quote From TreeofLife:
I think this is quite normal these days. There are fewer and fewer positions due to budget cuts and more and more graduates.

Keep trying.

Maybe look further afield for opportunities? Take jobs/positions that are not directly related to your field of study?

More precisely, there's an oversupply of PhDs to available post-doc positions and a misperception of what a PhD is in the employment market as a whole (if I could have a ten pound note for the times I've heard the remarks "overqualified" or "will move on as soon as something better comes along", I wouldn't need to work again). To be blunt, as long as PhDs are seen as cheap labour for research project to be later discarded because it's cheaper to take on another PhD candidate and the aforementioned misperceptions of what a PhD actually is persist, this situation will continue.

Ian (Mackem_Beefy)

User: littleowl - 23 January 2014 14:50

I get the impression that it's to be expected to have to wait a while after graduating before getting anywhere. I have a friend who walked straight out of her PhD into a 3-year fellowship, but she's probably the only person I know in my field (humanities/literature) who has been lucky. I'm handing in my thesis next week and have only this week already received two rejections (which hasn't put me in the best frame of mind for finishing my thesis corrections!). I have another fellowship application pending but I'm not expecting a good outcome from that either.

There are definitely too many PhD graduates for the relevant positions available. Somebody like me who has got loads of teaching experience but only one publication (despite lots of conference presentations) might as well give up going for a research fellowship at least until I can get my thesis published as a book and have some papers put out. But by then I'll probably no longer qualify for the 'early career' positions anyway!

Biomaterials, have you considered signing up with an agency? I think that's what I'm going to do post-submission, as I have some decent admin skills (and a little professional experience) so I should at least get interviews. A PhD certainly offers transferable skills in terms of showing that you are determined and hard-working, and obviously you will have decent computer skills too. Agency work can be good in the short-term and in the long-term it might even give you some ideas of where you can go if you can't find an academic opening.

User: ub40 - 28 January 2014 20:45

I am in the same position, finished in June 2013.

I look around the department I am in, and I have much better credentials than any of the permanent staff did at my age. Yet no job for me.

I came very close to landing a job in Germany, I was at the final two, but they hired the less qualified other person, who happened to be a German. Last I heard it wasn't working out with that person. What do they expect...

Same everywhere in Europe, massive bias towards the professor's former PhD students of the same nationality. I have already lived in five different countries and then you have these inbreds who spend their whole career at the same university, consistently underperforming and getting "taken care of" by their peers. The whole system is totally bent, they can hire whoever they want if the make the job description as ridiculously specific as they possibly can.

Lately I can't even get an interview... with people who had nowhere near the CV I have now when they were my age. Sometimes I feel like I should be interviewing them, and asking them what right they have to their permanent jobs when there are all these unemployed people out there who could do a better job.

I'm wasting my time, seriously.

Part of me loves doing research and teaching, the other part of me doesn't want to work in such a corrupt, nepotist, BS-filled system.

User: incognito - 28 January 2014 22:45

Quote From ub40:


Same everywhere in Europe, massive bias towards the professor's former PhD students of the same nationality. I have already lived in five different countries and then you have these inbreds who spend their whole career at the same university, consistently underperforming and getting "taken care of" by their peers. The whole system is totally bent, they can hire whoever they want if the make the job description as ridiculously specific as they possibly can.

Lately I can't even get an interview... with people who had nowhere near the CV I have now when they were my age. Sometimes I feel like I should be interviewing them, and asking them what right they have to their permanent jobs when there are all these unemployed people out there who could do a better job.

I'm wasting my time, seriously.

Part of me loves doing research and teaching, the other part of me doesn't want to work in such a corrupt, nepotist, BS-filled system.

It's not just Europe- when I moved to Canada from the UK (because I got a "lowly" part-time teaching job) I thought things are looking up especially since my PhD is from one of the UK's top two- the names that Canadian employers apparently orgasm to when they hear. Nonetheless, I'm in the same boat ub40, and I'm also multilingual. So far I've only had 1 job interview and still waiting for the outcome. Depressing times.

User: ub40 - 03 February 2014 12:09

Yup, they warned me it would be competitive when I started my PhD, and that only the top 20% proceed to further research at universities. So I took their advice seriously, worked my arse off, published in the top journals in my field, got great teaching evaluations... made sure I was in the top 20% of my PhD peers.

But their advice was bullshit, I just have to have been born in the right country. I was born in a country with a basket case economy that has no money for research.

User: Fled - 04 February 2014 10:18

To me, the most cruel caveat about being an aspiring research university professor is that if you step away from academia and go work in the industry (UN, NGO or Consultancy firm in my case) it seems like that's a big no-no and unless you stick it out, being a charity publishing machine until you get lucky, then forget about academia.

User: emaa - 04 February 2014 14:05

After reading this thead, I couldn't do anything. I feel as if all my dreams have been destroyed. :(

User: emaa - 04 February 2014 14:09

Quote From Fled:
To me, the most cruel caveat about being an aspiring research university professor is that if you step away from academia and go work in the industry (UN, NGO or Consultancy firm in my case) it seems like that's a big no-no and unless you stick it out, being a charity publishing machine until you get lucky, then forget about academia.

Hello fled, It seems your PhD is in international law. Do you know how to look for a job in the UN or NGOs? I heard about an exam must be done before applying to the UN, is it true?
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