This is going to be a rant
Current State of Affairs:
I am still in the process of writing on my minor amendments and while doing so trying desperately to find a part-time job—oh and of course starting up my own business and occasionally work in a call center for minimum wage (yeah that is exactly why one ventures into undertaking a PhD).
Financially undertaking two postgraduate degrees in a row completely drained my resources. Unfortunately finishing up with the PhD did not increase my chances in the job-market the least bit. A friend of mine just forwarded this post discussing eight reasons for NOT to undertake a postgraduate degree.
What shall I say? It seemed like a good idea at the time. When I set out with my PhD I was told it is the best possible time to gain a PhD in education in the UK, because there were supposedly thousands of educational researchers’ going to be needed within the next five years etc …You know the rest—financial crises—universities funding cuts—government funding cuts …
However, the one and only aspect* that ever gave me problems during the whole process of becoming a fledgling academic was the financial hardships we had to go through. Not being able to even obtain a part-time job in the last 3 months—I reached a point at which I cease to care. Normally if I could not go for lunches, cinema, pub, concerts or trips I would always make up excuses and preferred to look like a spoil sport than a pauper—I don’t really know why the one seems to be better than the other, but I guess people loose patience very quickly with persons who constantly complain about money.
Two weeks ago, when asked to go for a coffee before a meeting, I simply decided enough is enough and told the colleague that I cannot afford to go for a coffee. Today I got an email from yet another colleague considering a different issue that would require me to pay £25 and I had to let them know that this is beyond my spending ability.
Boy this is weird—people tend to react shocked initially—that just makes me furious. This is the whole attitude of universities again who seem to think that once you approach write up stage you can suddenly live of air and ink smell and cut your funding.
Where from, do people think, I get money? 19 part-time jobs in 5 years of postgraduate study and now I cannot even find a part-time job anymore…
Hence starting up my own business and showing the proverbial finger to institutionalized nepotism—oh yes, you would not believe the stories brought to me down the grapevine, after yet another rejection. I am not sure if this afterthought implies nepotism as a solution. Och well, it seems to work for others—hint, hint, nudge, nudge … ;P
* OK next to the ADD world of fun and obtaining ethics approvals