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Career orientation at end of contract, but PhD dissertation not yet finished

Is you PhD dissertation not yet finished, but are no longer getting paid for it? Are you working on temporary contract after temporary contract? Would you like to regain perspective on the future? Are you ready for career orientation?

Image: Robby McCullough

In limbo

When you are at the end of your contract, but your PhD dissertation is not yet finished, many PhDs end up in limbo. An uncertain in-between phase, of which you often don’t know how long it will last.

To still make money, the majority choose to teach temporarily. In many cases, these are either short-term, small contracts that do not cover your cost of living or longer contracts, but with no time for research.

Both situations do not contribute to the completion of the dissertation, because the time and energy to work on you dissertation are lacking. Writing a dissertation requires deep thinking and which does not combine very well with only having a short periods to do research.

Being stuck

If you have been in this situation for a long time, you may increasingly feel like you are stuck. You can’t work on your dissertation because you have other work, and you can’t advance in your career because your dissertation isn’t finished.

You are so busy trying to keep thing going that you are unable to focus on the future.

The focus on what needs to be done here-and-now, instead of what you want for the future, also hightens your feeling of being stuck. The situation persists.

You go around in circles, with no sight of a horizon, not knowing where you want to go.

Perspective on the future

Would you like to orient yourself towards the future? Are you wondering what work you want to do?

Would you like to research your next career step?

Then you can:

Can’t decide by yourself? Career coaching can help you explore these kinds of questions. If you have a long-term contract with a Dutch university, you are also entitled to career advice.