So I’ve come at the end of my University funding and, even if I have started to write my thesis, there’s still much to do, enough to go beyond the expiry of my current funding. That of course means looking for a job, which I’ve started to do. I’m concerned about juggling working and the PhD, and especially about failing to write up and at the same time not working properly. So I have a bunch of things on my mind, and I’d like to ask for advice to my fellow Dopers.
First of all, background information. I’m in the UK, doing a PhD in Computer Science and, being Italian, luckily I have no problem with work permits. I have tons of working experience in the field, and when I submit CVs I usually get at least a few answers.
And that brings me to the first issue: what is it with recruiters and employers wanting me to drop my studies? I’m in the final stages, and I put that clearly on CVs and cover letter; furthermore, only an idiot would drop it now. And yet I still get asked “So, when are you going to drop your studies?”.
Another issue is that, after they’re made aware of it, few employers seem to be willing to acknowledge that I need time to work on my PhD, and working on it during the weekends is not going to be enough. I was hoping that at least a few would be willing to compromise on time, so that I’d be working part time until I finish, and paid proportionally less (75% work, 25% study is the usual suggestion I make). Of course I understand that an employer would prefer to have 100% availability and commitment, but prospective employers are always telling me I’m such a great asset as they tell me, that I was hoping for someone to be willing to accept that compromise. Is this an impossible thing?
Yet another problem is connected to a past working experience, in the firm I was working for before entering the University, which was my only commercial working experience in this country. Apparently there was something dodgy going on, and I found out only recently. I can’t go in too much detail, but in short the owners were not happy at all with me leaving, and shortly afterwards the firm and its owners basically disappeared, leaving behind a legal mess with taxes, paperwork and other things, so I can’t get a reference or even prove that I was employed with an existing firm, and because of the bad blood I got when I left I’m not keen on chasing them either.
Any advice would be appreciated!