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News: Talk about how to cope with chronic illness, disability, and other health issues in the academic workplace.
 
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Author Topic: Quitting Grad School  (Read 13084 times)
nocturnal_wonder
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« on: April 21, 2012, 3:40:35 AM »

So, I'm quitting grad school. I've decided to take the terminal M.A. in my program and abandon my pursuit of the Ph.D., for a whole host of reasons. It was partly because research didn't agree with me...I'm still in love with my discipline, but I've discovered that I'd rather read the scholarship of others and learn things than come up with my own ideas; this is a bit odd, because in most areas of my life, I'm a very creative person. It was also partly because having seen how professors' lives work (SO MUCH STRESS!!), I decided that I didn't want to subject myself to that for the next indefinite stretch of time.

I am certain that I made the right choice in this, but I'm having mixed feelings of excitement and trepidation as my last quarter really gets into motion. The social science discipline that I study isn't the kind of field where you can really get a job with a M.A., unless you're in a very specialized subset, and I've already decided on a New Career Path (or actually, an old one: the one I was headed toward before my torrid romance with Current Field began) for which I am pretty well-qualified, given my B.A. double major and the addition of Tangentially-Related M.A.

But I've never tried to get a "career" before...I'm 30 and have been addicted to school (with the exception of a few-years' break when I dropped out of my first college) basically since kindergarten. I'll have my degrees, my references, even a pertinent internship, but NO experience trying to get a "real" job. Does anyone here have any suggestions on how to get in the swing of the real world? I don't even know what the best job search sites are, and of course Google turns up crap anytime you put "best" in front of anything...
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polly_mer
practice makes perfect
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Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2012, 8:00:30 AM »

A very large job search site is Monster.com.  Whether that is best for your purposes, I don't know.  Go to the career services office on your campus and start asking these questions.  Those folks will be able to help you since that's their area of expertise.  They work with a lot of people in your situation so don't worry about that.

Good luck.
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I've joined a bizarre cult called JordanCanonicalForm's Witnesses.  I have to go from door to door asking people things like, "Good evening, sir!  Do you have a moment to chat about Linear Transformations?"
nocturnal_wonder
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2012, 3:26:10 PM »

Hmm. Career Services, huh? Of course! As ridiculous as it sounds, I would have never thought of that. I'm glad I posted here. Thanks, Polly!
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polly_mer
practice makes perfect
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Posts: 37,440

Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2012, 6:54:42 PM »

You're very welcome. 
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I've joined a bizarre cult called JordanCanonicalForm's Witnesses.  I have to go from door to door asking people things like, "Good evening, sir!  Do you have a moment to chat about Linear Transformations?"
marigolds
looks far too young to be a
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i had fun once and it was awful


« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2012, 8:36:19 PM »

Check out the website The Versatile PhD. (It sounds as though there are a fair number of job possibilities for people with any kind of stats training at all, especially.)
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They are our servants.  They are like dogs.  Sometimes, they think they remember being wolves, but they are only dreaming.
books4jocks
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2012, 5:20:17 PM »

Congrats. Good move. There are lots of us blogging about post-academic life. We're all in the same boat. Good luck. Check out: Leaving Academia, Your Barista Has APhD, Unemployed PhD for Hire, Mama Nervosa.
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anisogamy
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2012, 5:43:36 PM »

Yes, check with career services.  If you're considering the non-profit route (which is not really a bad idea post-social sciences), you might find idealist.com more useful than Monster.
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A little compassion is better than kicking people when they are down, regardless of who has suffered more and longer or whose bad job market has the biggest dick.
merinoblue
That's not screaming; that's rock and roll
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2012, 6:01:05 PM »

While you're at Career Services, sign up for any CV and cover letter writing workshops they offer.   The most important skill sets for landing an interview are being able to identify your transferable skills on your CV and write cover letters directly for the position that you're applying for, using the language in the posting.  Also: sign up for interviewing workshops.  If you've never had experience getting a real job, you're going to need to practice your interview skills.
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Defender of whimsy
Sangria knows no borders.
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