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Finishing PhD in social sciences- HELP


User: Ericca - 01 February 2021 21:42

Hi,
I am just about to finish my PhD in social sciences, and I am not in a good place.
Due to various reasons, I did do during my PhD any tutoring, and don't have any publications. I also don't have any conference papers. In the middle of my PhD I did tell my supervisors that I want to pursue an academic career (initially I said I wasn't planning on being an academic), but unfortunately my supervisors saw it in their role description to only help me with my thesis (which I wrote very much independently), and did not offer my ANY minimal advice, not even one conversation, on what I need to do in order to become an academic (i.e. tutoring etc). I know that this may seem obvious to most of you, but I do now have people in my life that are in academia, and the environment in my school was highly competitive, so I did not interact much with my colleagues during my PhD. I will, however, as it seems, will be able to do some tutoring in this trimester.
I just passed my PhD examination, my examiners basically told me that my work is really really good.
I was really aiming to stay in academia and had a meeting with my supervisors to see if they can help me in any way gaining some teaching experience, but they basically ignored my questions and/or said they can't help me with that. So they are basically not gonna help me, which hurts.
I was considering to maybe publish topics from my PhD with scholars from my field, maybe even my examiners if they will be interested (my topic is not really the area of interest of my supervisors, and we NEVER even talked about publishing together, I'm pretty sure they won't be interested).
CONTINUE IN NEXT MESSAGE

User: rewt - 02 February 2021 22:19

Quote From Ericca:
CONTINUE FROM PREVIOUS MESSAGE
Anyways,
The point of this message is just to share that I am in a pretty bad place right now. I know this is a bit late but I am trying to think strategically on what to do next. If I decide to stay in academia, it means that I need to dedicate the next year or more of my life begging for some tutoring work, which is pretty scarce these days, and working, probably all by myself, on publications, with no guidance or supervision, and who knows how that will turn out.
My other option is to look for a job outside academia, which means that I could have looked for the same jobs even without a PhD, and so it means that I just wasted the last 5 years of my life. I am a qualitative researcher, so I cannot apply for jobs as an analyst...
This sucks, I feel lost, I feel like my supervisors have partially failed me and are more interested in representing the system than helping me. At the moment there is a hiring freeze in all the universities in my countries, but even if there wasn't- my CV is not good enough to apply for any academic jobs.
To be honest, I don't even know what it means to be an academic. I do have plenty of work experience in the real world to know that you are mostly being exploited and used and that was at least my experience in all the jobs I had so far.
So if there are maybe academic with a few years of experience that can offer their wisdom on how it's like to be an academic in the humanities/social sciences, and if I should even take this gamble and spend the next year of my life sitting in my room working on publications (without even knowing even that will pay off)- or alternatively looking for a job that will probably no be so great and maybe feel like I missed out on an academic career because I didnt even try.
Sorry this is a bit negative, but this is how I feel right now.
Hope someone can share some of their wisdom on this.
Thank you!
Ericca

Posted for ease of understanding

User: rewt - 02 February 2021 22:19

Congratulations on passing your viva Dr Ericca!
Finishing your PhD is a big achievement, so don't put yourself down. I understand you are worrying about your future but you should put your achievement in perspective. Passing your viva is not easy and you have obviously done well.

Now, sorry to be blunt, not everyone can become a lecturer. It is hard to become a lecturer and even harder being a research active lecturer. Academia is not a fairytale job and lecturers are just as exploited as industry employees. There is nothing wrong going back into the real world having gained invaluable experience, so don't be ashamed if you do. Saying that, if you are passionate about academia, there is nothing wrong trying.





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