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Am I Unemployable?

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  • 08-08-2012 7:34pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 301 ✭✭


    Hi guys,

    I'm in the middle of a PhD in History and have decided the academic life is not for me. However, I want to complete the PhD at my own pace and in my own time. I am technically in my last year, but have decided that I would like a full-time job and do my PhD in my own time (at weekends, after work in the evenings... the busier I am, the more I tend to get done on it, to be honest).

    Anyway, I'm not sure what I'd be able to get in terms of employment. I have a BA in History and Politics (don't want to do anything directly relating to them), first class honours, numerous scholarships, good tutoring and teaching experience, lecturing experience, admin experience (6 months, though..), marketing experience and a bit of media (few months).

    I see myself working in a team-type job where I have a certain amount of objectives in a day to achieve. I would like to be assessed regularly, work in an area where there's 'structure' and a 'pecking' order, so I can move up the ladder. Money isn't 'that' important right now, I just want enough to live off of and a bit more for savings...

    This is all sounding very vague and naieve, isn't it?

    Anyway, I was considering the public service, but I don't think that is going to happen due to cuts and such. Then I was thinking a bank? But seems like they're going down the same road..

    Any ideas? Or where I should looks?

    I'm 25 and feel like I still don't know what to do and thinking that this might be a consistent thing with me...?

    Thanks!

    Ross


«13

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 567 ✭✭✭annfield1978


    You would be a perfect fit for the public service

    Interetsed as to why you did a degree subjects you had no interest in working with


  • Registered Users Posts: 301 ✭✭theredletter


    I get that question a lot and I'm surprised by it time and again.

    I was 17 doing the leaving cert. I originally was going to do journalism, then I changed my mind to medicine, then I just panicked and picked arts. I was always good at history and thought politics would be handy enough (bit of news here and there..). It turned out I was great at both of them and offered a PhD in one of them and got awards in the other (I'm not saying this to blow my own trumpet, but more so ye can get an idea of my skills and such).

    I was told by my current careers advisor that I'd 'excel' in any field you could drop me in (maybe not boxing... ha ha). This strength is also a weakness... It's leading me to more questions rather than answers.

    I also am currently doing a diploma in Irish, so I'd be happy to work though that medium if I had to...

    I thought the public service wasn't employing anymore these days? Any advice?


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,444 ✭✭✭✭Skerries


    have ya thought of the priesthood? ;)

    tumblr_m7bsw8fyZD1ra79bgo1_500.jpg&sa=X&ei=6LMiUM-8DMqAhQe3woHQAg&ved=0CAkQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNEdDmPPoYTSNqHcu26dgf160RDLRw


  • Registered Users Posts: 301 ✭✭theredletter


    *reads everything available on being a priest*

    Hmmmm..

    Actually, being a priest would be cool... but ya know, not believing in God and being incredibly angry at the church right now... That might be a hindrance?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,668 ✭✭✭Corkbah


    at the moment the only way you'll get a job with your qualification is if you know someone high up !

    ....you got any business connections ?? ...do any family members have business connections ? any friends or relations who may know someone in the public sector or private business ?

    the public sector has positions available - but not to the general public .... the posts are taken by internal staff (and maybe some relations from outside the circle).

    As you can imagine I don't have much respect for civil servants ...but I don't blame them ...its the unions I blame...encouraging work to rule and encouraging the best package for the person/people instead of the most productive package for the business !!

    I'm self employed and have to work 6 sometimes 7 days a week in order to keep my head above water ...often 15hr days....it may not be physically draining work like those on construction sites - but it takes it toll on you physically and mentally.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,014 ✭✭✭Monife


    Register on publicjobs.ie for job alerts. The odd job comes up and sometimes supervisory positions come up for which you need a degree.

    There is not much hope of promotion or progressing up the ladder in the civil service. Croke Park has basically put a halt to all promotions and no matter how hard you work, you won't be awarded for it. You are assessed twice a year although depending on what department you are in, this doesn't mean much.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,196 ✭✭✭Shint0


    How about applying to one of the large online media companies? Your general profile sounds like it could be a good match for a position in Google, Facebook etc. Or maybe firstly decide what you're passionate about and take it from there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,501 ✭✭✭✭Slydice


    Part time Teacher / Part time Archaeologist / Part time adventurer?



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,907 ✭✭✭✭Kristopherus


    Try RTE.


  • Registered Users Posts: 301 ✭✭theredletter


    Sure I'll give it a go.

    I like the idea of being a part-time explorer and part-time priest.

    Or ya know.. Job seekers is grand, like.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,502 ✭✭✭chris85


    I think you should consider not bothering with the PhD also. You seem to want to finish it, which is understandable considering the time invested so far in it, but you dont want academic life or involvment in history area at all as you mentioned. Why do you seek to achieve by completing the PhD is what you need to be asking yourself? You would be better suited using the time to get eduacated in an industry you want to be than wasting a time on a PhD which is no use to you after since you dont want to be involved in that area. Either that or you just want to be called a doctor!


  • Registered Users Posts: 301 ✭✭theredletter


    chris85 wrote: »
    I think you should consider not bothering with the PhD also. You seem to want to finish it, which is understandable considering the time invested so far in it, but you dont want academic life or involvment in history area at all as you mentioned. Why do you seek to achieve by completing the PhD is what you need to be asking yourself? You would be better suited using the time to get eduacated in an industry you want to be than wasting a time on a PhD which is no use to you after since you dont want to be involved in that area. Either that or you just want to be called a doctor!

    Sound advice.

    Nah, at first the idea of doing the PhD was appealing.. ya know, it being the highest you can go in a field... I think the reasons I did it were wrong, but I've done so much work for it now that it'd be a shame and a waste to just throw it all away.

    This is good advice though. Not sure what I should do, that's the problem.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,366 ✭✭✭king_of_inismac


    I'm going to go against the trend and suggest finishing your PhD.

    A PhD is one of the most respected degrees inside and outside academia. You've completed two-thirds of it already and you'll definitely be glad you finished it afterwards.

    There's two parts of a PhD: The first is the subject, which if you leave the area will indeed be useless to you. The second part is the ability to research, to investigate, to manage and to communicate. By getting your PhD, you are showing the world you are a self-motivated achiever (irrespective of the subject area). That is the most important part of a PhD for me anyway.

    Finally, don't think you can finish your PhD while you work. The VAST majority of people I know who try it part-time ultimately fail. It's definitely not something to do in your spare time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,950 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble


    I see myself working in a team-type job where I have a certain amount of objectives in a day to achieve. I would like to be assessed regularly, work in an area where there's 'structure' and a 'pecking' order, so I can move up the ladder. Money isn't 'that' important right now, I just want enough to live off of and a bit more for savings...

    This is all sounding very vague and naieve, isn't it?


    Naieve ... ahh, yes.

    I'm not trying to be rude or mean here, but:

    You sound like a perfect candidate for the fast-food or retail industries: They involve teamwork, structured training programmes, hierarchical organisation (in my day it was crew-trainer, shift-assistant, swing-manager, first-assistant, store-manager .. different in different places though).

    Best of all six months in one of these jobs will probably motivate you to find a job that actually makes use of your study, not some woolly "public service" (yeah, but doing WHAT) ambitions.

    Oh and unless you have expereince with quantitative disciplines outside of study, forget about banks. Even at the most basic level, they need folks who are good with numbers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,502 ✭✭✭chris85


    Sound advice.

    Nah, at first the idea of doing the PhD was appealing.. ya know, it being the highest you can go in a field... I think the reasons I did it were wrong, but I've done so much work for it now that it'd be a shame and a waste to just throw it all away.

    This is good advice though. Not sure what I should do, that's the problem.

    If you have enough done an option may be to write the work up and obtain a masters degree now instead of the PhD. Then use this and build on it by getting trained in an industry which interests you.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,770 ✭✭✭danthefan


    I know a guy who did H&P as his degree, he got a job with the Dept. of Foreign Affairs.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,226 ✭✭✭boobar


    You would be a perfect fit for the public service

    Interetsed as to why you did a degree subjects you had no interest in working with

    What area of the public service do you think he/she would be a perfect fit for?

    I'm curious myself but I think it would be useful for the OP to get some idea of a specific area within the public service.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,226 ✭✭✭boobar


    Monife wrote: »
    Register on publicjobs.ie for job alerts. The odd job comes up and sometimes supervisory positions come up for which you need a degree.

    There is not much hope of promotion or progressing up the ladder in the civil service. Croke Park has basically put a halt to all promotions and no matter how hard you work, you won't be awarded for it. You are assessed twice a year although depending on what department you are in, this doesn't mean much.

    Things have changed, in the past graduate opportunities arose and all one needed was a degree in any discipline.

    Now, Publicjobs are far more specific, when recruiting for HR roles, it's a strong HR qualification coupled with strong HR experience.

    So I'm afraid the OP's history qualification won't be in great demand in the civil service compared to disciplines like IT, HR, Economics, Finance.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,288 ✭✭✭pow wow


    Also be prepared for the reality that for many employers your education will make you a less favourable candidate - they will question why you went so far in a field you clearly excelled in, and now wish to work running reports or organising events? (using random examples there to illustrate the point). Think of it as overqualified in the educational sense. Whilst we know having a qualification or two in something else doesn't mean we wouldn't be great at either of these things, employers don't always share that view. In academia your degrees are the be all and end all, in the working world they are far less important.

    I say that because myself and friends of mine go through this constantly with recruiters or at interview (and we stopped short of PhDs). Plenty of us have been told more than once to take off anything beyond undergrad degrees (with FAS suggesting everything beyond LC was taken off ;)). My point is that although you may have a wealth of knowledge and transferrable research skills, unless you go into a field somewhat related, these don't really matter in employability terms, particularly at entry level.

    However, saying that you're doing a PhD part-time may well resolve the 'why would (s)he work here' issue for potential employers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 567 ✭✭✭annfield1978


    boobar wrote: »
    What are of the public service do you think he/she would be a perfect fit for?

    I'm curious myself but I think it would be useful for the OP to get some idea of a specific area within the public service.

    I was being sarcastic to be honest, the fella sounded like a dreamer

    I dont understand people doing what i deem to be a toilet roll degree with no focus of what they want as a career


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,502 ✭✭✭chris85


    I was being sarcastic to be honest, the fella sounded like a dreamer

    I dont understand people doing what i deem to be a toilet roll degree with no focus of what they want as a career

    I tend to agreed with this. I can understand a degree somewhat as get the experience of college and the fun aspect with it but a PhD is tough work, lonely at times. Personally if I was hiring someone I would not choose the OP has I would query why is even wants to finish a PhD he has no interest in. Also poor decision making is evident from actually choosing a PhD in an area the OP has no interest in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,177 ✭✭✭nyarlothothep


    Charming replies. Comparing history to a toilet roll degree displays a shocking degree of ignorance and an extremely narrowminded utilitarian mentality towards education. It's also common for PhD students to lose interest in their topics, particularly towards the end. But don't let that stop you kicking the OP down.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,502 ✭✭✭chris85


    Charming replies. Comparing history to a toilet roll degree displays a shocking degree of ignorance and an extremely narrowminded utilitarian mentality towards education. It's also common for PhD students to lose interest in their topics, particularly towards the end. But don't let that stop you kicking the OP down.

    A PhD is a hard thing and not uncommon for people to not complete them but it is uncommon for someone to drop out late in the PhD and have no desire of the area at all. Poor decision to start it. This is now the consequence. I can wrap the OP in wool if you wish.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,177 ✭✭✭nyarlothothep


    chris85 wrote: »
    A PhD is a hard thing and not uncommon for people to not complete them but it is uncommon for someone to drop out late in the PhD and have no desire of the area at all. Poor decision to start it. This is now the consequence. I can wrap the OP in wool if you wish.

    No, what you were doing is stroking your own ego, which is what the poster before you was also doing. But then a thread like this positively invites such high horse responses. It may be uncommon to want to drop out but that doesn't necessarily reflect whether the decision that was made at the time was poor or not, In addition the quality of the decision is really for the OP to internally reflect upon, random strangers don't have any particularly detailed knowledge of the conditions/circumstances and various other pieces of information which led to the decision being made. Furthermore, the thread is about what he can do if he so chooses to change direction, not about asking people to put down/ridicule/dismiss the last 3 years of what he's spent his life doing.All you've contributed is essentially the comment "I wouldn't hire you" assuming that (a) anyone actually cares and (b) that somehow being "harsh" ie issuing put downs to feed your own ego constitutes conveying the a non mollycoddled reality. This is the kind of thinking process which I hate seeing on the internet and on boards. Instead of people being misreable gits and having a go at the OP why not, oh I don't know, present some useful career advice? But that wouldn't be feeding that ravenous ego so please do go ahead and waft on the pungent odours of your smug.

    So in contrast to some of these miscreants, I will convey some useful advice, I recommend that you continue your degree unless you have something else lined up. Discuss these issues with your supervisor, it's not unusual to get sick of academia and completely normal to be bored with your topic, having invested so many years of effort into it. This may be temporary, or it may be something deeper. Careful analysis and self reflection is required. Outside of the university academy teaching may be an option to consider, many of the skills picked up in the PhD are cross transferable and your degree may be looked upon more kindly. Archiving/working in a library may be another route.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,502 ✭✭✭chris85


    No, what you were doing is stroking your own ego, which is what the poster before you was also doing. But then a thread like this positively invites such high horse responses. It may be uncommon to want to drop out but that doesn't necessarily reflect whether the decision that was made at the time was poor or not, In addition the quality of the decision is really for the OP to internally reflect upon, random strangers don't have any particularly detailed knowledge of the conditions/circumstances and various other pieces of information which led to the decision being made. Furthermore, the thread is about what he can do if he so chooses to change direction, not about asking people to put down/ridicule/dismiss the last 3 years of what he's spent his life doing.All you've contributed is essentially the comment "I wouldn't hire you" assuming that (a) anyone actually cares and (b) that somehow being "harsh" ie issuing put downs to feed your own ego constitutes conveying the a non mollycoddled reality. This is the kind of thinking process which I hate seeing on the internet and on boards. Instead of people being misreable gits and having a go at the OP why not, oh I don't know, present some useful career advice? But that wouldn't be feeding that ravenous ego so please do go ahead and waft on the pungent odours of your smug.

    So in contrast to some of these miscreants, I will convey some useful advice, I recommend that you continue your degree unless you have something else lined up. Discuss these issues with your supervisor, it's not unusual to get sick of academia and completely normal to be bored with your topic, having invested so many years of effort into it. This may be temporary, or it may be something deeper. Careful analysis and self reflection is required. Outside of the university academy teaching may be an option to consider, many of the skills picked up in the PhD are cross transferable and your degree may be looked upon more kindly. Archiving/working in a library may be another route.

    Stroking my ego?? You must be trolling mate. I dont need my ego stroked thanks.

    I have given helpful, logical advice already. You failed to see that did you? I also gave opinion which is what happens on a forum. I give my opinion, you give yours, we all get along in the end!

    I have already suggested the OP retrain in an industry which he wants to be in rather than completing a PhD in an industry which he has no interest in. A PhD pidgeon holes people in industries very often and thus can be difficult to be employed in another area. Thats a fact.

    OP could write up a masters now and then use the time saved to retrain in an area of interest.

    it begs the question why was a PhD choosen in a field the OP had no interest in? But what is done is done.

    I will not be personally insulting to you in this but easy to be insulting to me via the interweb so will leave you to a little rant or so. Doesnt bother me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,177 ✭✭✭nyarlothothep


    chris85 wrote: »
    Stroking my ego?? You must be trolling mate. I dont need my ego stroked thanks.

    I have given helpful, logical advice already. You failed to see that did you? I also gave opinion which is what happens on a forum. I give my opinion, you give yours, we all get along in the end!

    I have already suggested the OP retrain in an industry which he wants to be in rather than completing a PhD in an industry which he has no interest in. A PhD pidgeon holes people in industries very often and thus can be difficult to be employed in another area. Thats a fact.

    OP could write up a masters now and then use the time saved to retrain in an area of interest.

    it begs the question why was a PhD choosen in a field the OP had no interest in? But what is done is done.

    I will not be personally insulting to you in this but easy to be insulting to me via the interweb so will leave you to a little rant or so. Doesnt bother me.

    Well that's great, that's good advice. I just didn't see the need to say I wouldn't hire you, that just makes the situation more hopeless than it need seem to be.


  • Registered Users Posts: 301 ✭✭theredletter


    ... wow.

    A lot of these comments are utter rubbish and don't justify me engaging with them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27 tdawg


    Hi OP,

    I think you should reconsider focusing on your PhD, you clearly have a talent for that area and there must have been a solid reason for you to have followed this path this far. Everyone who has ever attempted a PhD has doubted their decision at some stage, you just need to rediscover your passion for the subject.

    Equally from the perspective of people hiring you, there would be questions marks over how you can spend so long in such a specialised area only to change your goal to something extremely vague, I don't think it would inspire confidence despite your academic achievements. From my own experience it is not uncommon for hundreds of people to be applying for 1 job, there is going to be lots of people who have targeted their whole education on the job that company is offering- competition is stiff, I don't see any easy option for you if you truly have lost all interest in your PhD.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,502 ✭✭✭chris85


    Well that's great, that's good advice. I just didn't see the need to say I wouldn't hire you, that just makes the situation more hopeless than it need seem to be.

    Ok well i more meant I, like many employer, will question this. The OP needs to consider this as most employers would ask this question to him if in an interview. He needs a good answer for it. Can be a hard sell as a PhD into an unrelated field.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 567 ✭✭✭annfield1978


    The reality is that the OP's qualification should lead to a career in teaching, a role within a political party/ lobbyist or research group. Failing that he could work in sales.

    What jobs within the public service would be apt, working in a museum/ library or admin assistant which would'nt require a PHD

    Happy hunting

    http://localgovernmentjobs.ie/search/SearchResults.asp

    A quick search of the above site indicate that if the OP can swim, he should think about becoming a lifeguard or a documents officer


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