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md25
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Posts: 16
Joined: January 27th, 2007, 8:17 am

Working 9-5 while finishing PhD

October 30th, 2008, 8:39 pm

Has anyone else done this? My studentship ran out while thesis.tex barely stretched twenty pages. Needing to eat I have been working in the back office of a retail bank as a low level Excel jockey for a few months, but whenever I get some face time with LaTeX I get very little done before I have to give up, exhausted, for the evening. I am lucky in that my two offices are fifteen minutes from my house but the thought of spending months upon months working a boring job during the day and surrendering the evenings and weekends is demoralising! Am I doing this the right way or what?
 
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DominicConnor
Posts: 11684
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

Working 9-5 while finishing PhD

October 30th, 2008, 9:06 pm

There do exist a very small number of jobs with mediocre pay that actively seek out people like you, and offer reasonable hours.The work is more interesting than low level Excel jockey, sometimes very interesting, though that cannot be guaranteed.Depends quite a lot on what your PhD is in.
 
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md25
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: January 27th, 2007, 8:17 am

Working 9-5 while finishing PhD

October 30th, 2008, 9:32 pm

That's good to know that there's something better out there! My PhD is in applied maths, good mix of analysis, numerics and data handling. Coding wise I've done more IDL than's healthy (should anyone actually use it in anger), I've found an excuse to write some c++ solvers and, of course, some VBA too. What kind of positions are these?
 
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resident76
Posts: 17
Joined: May 22nd, 2007, 3:16 am

Working 9-5 while finishing PhD

October 30th, 2008, 11:41 pm

I empathize...having worked as a resturant kitchen manager for almost all of my graduate school, while doing a radio show once/week and research and classes...well the PhD is a nice prize, but the agony of the thesis induces vomit every time I run MikTeX...at least the final stages are upon you...
 
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QuantOption
Posts: 269
Joined: February 8th, 2003, 9:00 pm

Working 9-5 while finishing PhD

October 30th, 2008, 11:50 pm

md25,been there. Do you still need to do some research or is your work finished and you "only" need to write-up?
 
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gSpotTornado
Posts: 6
Joined: February 9th, 2008, 7:39 pm

Working 9-5 while finishing PhD

October 31st, 2008, 7:52 am

You have to realize that sitting in front of excel all day really don't get you pumped for an late night thesis writing marathon. If any thing the opposite, excel can, like nothing else, suck out your will to live... There is a difference between being physically exhausted and mentally exhausted. Prioritise you thesis. I would swallow my pride and get another job that don't demand anything from my mind but it lets me distribute the work and get my thesis done.Personal experience:Work as hell one week and then with a clear head work on your project for one week. I worked on board Cruise ships in the Swedish archipelago. I would work one week, Monday to Sunday ~8am to ~10pm, then one week of. It pays as a "regular" job and really gives you time to pursue something else on your week of.
 
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deepvalue
Posts: 918
Joined: April 25th, 2007, 6:08 am

Working 9-5 while finishing PhD

October 31st, 2008, 8:15 am

here's the trick. when you are in the office, secretly work on your thesis. if you can sneak in about 2 solid hours of thesis research EVERY day in the office, you won't have to work at night. so, when your boss is not look (or when you are entitled to lunch or 15 minute breaks), just work on your thesis. albert einstein wrote his relativity paper in the patent office. he scribble when his boss wasn't looking.
Last edited by deepvalue on October 30th, 2008, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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phil451
Posts: 83
Joined: December 7th, 2007, 8:21 am

Working 9-5 while finishing PhD

October 31st, 2008, 9:23 am

Grow up and count your blessings!Many people would give up their right arm for your problems. Nobody is making you do a Phd or the job you are doing. You can either quit the PhD or find another job. The PhD is your choice and will substantially boost your earning power in the future which i should think is why you are doing it.Put your head down and get on with it. When its finished you will find the job you want at the salary you want and party as much as you like in the evening and the weekends.
 
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StatGuy
Posts: 607
Joined: November 20th, 2007, 9:03 am

Working 9-5 while finishing PhD

October 31st, 2008, 10:16 am

Doing a Ph.D part-time is tough, and I wouldn't recommend it unless you want to be working 7 days a week most weeks for around 5 years at least. Ideally you want to position yourself in a 9-5 job that isn't very stressful and spend an extra 20 hours or so on research. However, when you get to write-up stage its very tough work and it needs prolonged periods of concentration to do well hence why some people never finish. They get a job prior to completion which could easily add a few years on the PhD completion time. SG
Last edited by StatGuy on October 30th, 2008, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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player
Posts: 2290
Joined: August 5th, 2002, 10:00 am

Working 9-5 while finishing PhD

October 31st, 2008, 3:10 pm

yes...and it is not pretty...working 9-5 rushing home and starting your phd leaves you mentally drained and pyhsically dead at the end of it...you need to start getting some mental discipline..as was said by others it sounds like you are just very lazy.....living just 15 min away from your job is fantastic...for me it was 2 hour travelling back and to work, 9-5 job and 3 hours every weekday on the phd and the weekends...Your situations sounds like a walk in the park compared to this
Last edited by player on October 30th, 2008, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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AbhiJ
Posts: 748
Joined: August 5th, 2008, 11:29 am

Working 9-5 while finishing PhD

October 31st, 2008, 4:02 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: playeryes...and it is not pretty...working 9-5 rushing home and starting your phd leaves you mentally drained and pyhsically dead at the end of it...you need to start getting some mental discipline..as was said by others it sounds like you are just very lazy.....living just 15 min away from your job is fantastic...for me it was 2 hour travelling back and to work, 9-5 job and 3 hours every weekday on the phd and the weekends...Your situations sounds like a walk in the park compared to thisLazy when compared to you but definitely not lazy when you consider in absolute terms.
 
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AbhiJ
Posts: 748
Joined: August 5th, 2008, 11:29 am

Working 9-5 while finishing PhD

October 31st, 2008, 4:03 pm

About doing PhD work in office in 1 2 hours,I don't think its possible.You can revise GRE wordlist or practise GMAT quant question.Not so sure if you can read a Journal of Applied Maths for 1 2 hours that too in several breaks
Last edited by AbhiJ on October 30th, 2008, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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AbhiJ
Posts: 748
Joined: August 5th, 2008, 11:29 am

Working 9-5 while finishing PhD

October 31st, 2008, 4:12 pm

Tornado comments does have some value.After working for 8 hours doing detail oriented job,one can feel unmotivated to read heavy journals.But whether this strategy can be adopted with job security in the long run is a question that needs to be answered.One more thing I would like to add is PhD should not be taken as means to an end, its an end itself.If the soul aim is to earn money then there are other ways also
Last edited by AbhiJ on October 30th, 2008, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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ArthurDent
Posts: 1166
Joined: July 2nd, 2005, 4:38 pm

Working 9-5 while finishing PhD

October 31st, 2008, 5:49 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: AbhiJOne more thing I would like to add is PhD should not be taken as means to an end, its an end itself.For the sake of those without any research experience reading this, I would disagree with this, very strongly. Finishing a Phd is like getting a driver's license. It certifies that you are capable of independent problem formulation and research. This is by no means an end in itself!
 
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StatGuy
Posts: 607
Joined: November 20th, 2007, 9:03 am

Working 9-5 while finishing PhD

October 31st, 2008, 6:06 pm

Everyone's circumstances are different, so you have to do what is right by you. Sure there will be a few who find a part-time PhD and working long hours a walk in the park, but I don't think this is representative. Those I know who finished a full time PhD struggled to do so in 3/4 years. Ultimately it's not just about how passionate you are about your research, but also on how supportive your supervisor is. If your supervisor is someone famous he/she may not have much time, so you have to select someone who is 1. knowledgeable and truly passionate about your research area, and 2. someone you can get along with. I echo Tornados comments, its not always easy to do other work when you have done a long day at work. SG
Last edited by StatGuy on October 30th, 2008, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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