January 2, 2014 6:31 PM Subscribe
I just finished up my third semester of a PhD program in information studies. There are parts I like, but as I get deeper into it I'm beginning to realize that those aren't in the majority to the parts I dislike. I have a masters in Library and Information Science and have been keeping an eye on job openings and it seems like there are a number that I would be a great fit for. I'm remembering how much I liked the job when I was in it, and I'd like to exit academia before sinking too much time into it. However, my GAship is providing a steady salary and health benefits. How do I do this in a way that works out well for both me and my adviser?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
- I believe that I'm funded on a contract for the rest of this year, but I don't know how realistic it would be for my adviser to keep me around if I'm not going to finish. I've been with the project for a while, and it seems like there are reasons to keep me around for consistency, but I'm not 100% sure.
- My adviser expressed disappointment in my performance this past semester. I got everything done, but definitely didn't excel at anything. I agree with his disappointment, and I think this is an expression of my overall dissatisfaction with the academic life.
- The reason that I dislike academia is mainly that I see how busy and hectic the tenure track is, and unfortunately this is the BEST case scenario. Worst case is that I graduate and go into adjunct hell in perpetuity, or get an extremely low paying post doc while having a steadily aging car that I can't afford major work on, student loan repayment, and being at the whim of the job market when all of my friends and family are here. I hate the financial insecurity, and was able to tough it out for my master's and thus far in my PhD, but the thought of 2 more years in dissertation work and then possibly 2-3 more years in job searching makes me incredibly depressed.
- Also, due to the malaise mentioned in point 2, didn't do very well in a quantitative methods class and didn't get a satisfactory grade to pass it (not failing, but not passing for a graduate level class). I'm really disappointed in myself, and this will probably only compound my adviser's disappointment in me.
- My masters is in the same department as my PhD, so I don't think I could job search and list professors as references without being completely forward about my intentions to leave. Also, I'd be sort of worried about jobs contacting people they know in the masters programs about me and that getting back to the PhD program somehow.
We have a pretty major meeting tomorrow morning to talk about this, and I'm unsure if I should pretend to be interested in the program so that I don't risk losing my current job, or if I should be honest... I know that honesty is the best policy, but a friend who was hooded recently said that he thought it was a bad idea, and that finishing this semester is the best possible course of action.
I'm keeping this anonymous mainly because I haven't spoken to my adviser yet, but can answer specific questions via memail.