Complicated post-PhD and job-hunting feels

I had a pretty rough day yesterday. Job hunting is not going well – there are hardly any entry level medical writer jobs available. All of them want  3-6 months med comms experience. Which, how the fuck am I supposed to get that without someone taking me on with no experience? I have a fucking PhD – med comms is supposed to be great for those with a PhD but no companies that I can reasonably get to are hiring. And relocating is not an option because of Squisher’s job, not unless we want to go back to long distance. Which, we don’t. We’ve only been living together for about three months!

The recruiters I’ve spoken to suggested getting an unpaid internship. Like, ahahaha no. I didn’t put myself through the agony of the PhD just so I could work for free.

On the other, more realistic, hand, I’ve only been properly looking for a med comms job for two months or so. It’s early days. I just wish I’d signed up for JSA at the start of June, not the end of it. I’m paying for gas and electric but I haven’t paid towards rent in months. Money is really tight in other words.

I need to find an interim job, possibly for several months but non-retail work is in short supply in Canterbury and the surrounding areas. Not being able to drive is also really fucking things up. I should have learned to drive years ago but it wasn’t necessary because I lived in large urban places with excellent public transport that were compact enough I could walk everywhere. Not so here. And now, when I really need to learn how to do it, I can’t afford to pay for lessons, not at £20 a go.

So that lot is getting me down.

The other thing that got to me yesterday was clearing out my university email account. A large part of my hatred of my former supervisor was caused by his awful email manner. I couldn’t tell you the specifics of why his emails had such an effect on me but my emotional response suggests they amounted to a long campaign of bullying and neglect. Just skim reading the first few lines of each email to see if it was stuff I needed to keep was enough to wound again and remind me of the old hurts and mistrust. I felt so upset, and I feel upset now just thinking about it.

I came to dread my meetings with him and have a strong aversion to checking my university email account because it was accompanied by the expectation of further punishment for what ever it was I’d done this time.

Talking to Squisher about it last night wasn’t particularly helpful. “It’s over now”, “you never have to deal with him again” etc. Yes okay, but that doesn’t undo 5 years of pain. I feel so angry about my PhD experience and I hate being angry. I can’t stand it. I don’t know what to do with myself when I feel like that. And yet I know that “negative meta-emotions” about strong emotions don’t help us endure them. I have to remind myself that feeling angry about how Mike treated me is a legit response to an awful situation. That it’s okay to feel angry and that it will pass eventually. But ugh, it is so shitty.

And, I have no idea how to finish this post off. Sorry peeps.

2 thoughts on “Complicated post-PhD and job-hunting feels

  1. Job hunting is literally the worst. I am two weeks from the end of a contract with no prospects at this point, myself. And I definitely feel you on the catch-22 of needing experience in order for people to give you the opportunity to gain experience. I think the common wisdom says that you should apply for jobs is can cover more than half of the qualifications really well, though that might be changing with applications being filtered by whether or not they contain the exact right buzzwords :/ . Good luck ❤

    • Eep, good luck to you too.
      I’ve looked at the job specs, seen I can meet most of the requirements only to be told no by the recruiters. The industry is such that entry level positions are really thin on the ground at the moment. Going to have to look at speculative applications very soon. :-/

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