Let’s get personal

I don’t know what to say today. The ‘purpose’ of the blog is sorta fulfilled. I wanted to tell about my short summer journey, and now its over. But here I am in a new country, unemployed and alone. So I guess I should say what my ulterior motive was for starting this blog:

I want to write. I want to tell the world what I’ve learned and how I’ve suffered. I want to give back to the community that I’ve been reading online that got me through some of the darker parts of the past couple years. But to do that I have to go back to a question I asked a few weeks ago. Who am I? Most tie this answer to their job. I always tied it to my education since that was where I was. I took refuge in quotes like this:

“I like him,” said Lord Henry. “A great many people don’t, but I find him charming. He atones for being occasionally somewhat over-dressed, by being always absolutely over-educated. He is a very modern type.”

Thats a quote from one of my favourite books–the quote usually attributed to Oscar Wilde is

“You can never be over-dressed or over-educated.”

but, now I disagree with that. Both are very possible. The first quote shows that one can atone for one such social faux pas with cultivated intelligence. The man in question is quirky, and Lord Henry wants to hang out with him–but as he admits, most don’t like him. So perhaps forgo the gown and PhD.

But, this is from The Picture of Dorian Gray, (and if you haven’t read it you should) which is based around the upper non-working class. How to fill your days with entertaining things, not get bored, that is the point that I am except I’m not fabulously wealthy nor inclined to the level of debauchery these guys get up to.

Perhaps as a member of that upper class over education wasn’t an issue. Educate yourself if you have no need for a real-world job. But I was silly. I got my PhD. The last job I applied for was basically to photocopy documents for people. So what went wrong? Nothing really. I decided I didn’t want to be in academia (although it was mutual–okay, a mix of too much reading, rejection, waking up crying and then realizing it was mutual), and now I have to pay the price of not having real world experience and being in my late 20s. It could be worse. I have a husband who supports me, emotionally, mentally and financially.

So what do I do all day? (Upsettingly, people ask me this all the time now) I read a lot. These guys are all amazing, although some stop writing:

The professor is In

Sell out your soul

Jobs on Toast

Pan kisses Kaftka

Versatile PhD

From PhD to Life

and this is not an exhaustive list. If you are in the same position as me, I recommend them. But the problem is, now that I know the answers how do I implement? So, starting from scratch is rough. I’ll try and document this now. My rejections, my newest flights of fancy: one day I swear I will be an editor, then a social media expert, then a researcher. On my best days I feel like I’m 5 years old and I still get to choose what I want to be when I grow up and ANYTHING is still an option. On my worst days, I cry that I ‘wasted’ almost a decade with education and learning when people are both unimpressed and repelled by my qualification.

This post is perhaps more suited towards Livejournal levels of wallowing, but for those who type into Google: “Why did my PhD make me unemployable”, “Unemployed PhD with no prospects” and the like, I can’t say it gets better yet. But life does go on. Hang on to the good days. Write something or create something. Read something. Then repeat it tomorrow.


2 thoughts on “Let’s get personal

  1. Leaving academia can be frustrating (I’m graduating soon and entering the real world.. yikes!) so I think many people can relate to your situation. It’s interesting to see how different people approach this situation. I wish you luck with your search! And I look forward to seeing how it goes.


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