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MrPoliDanger

Working While Doing PhD

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im curious what people’s experiences have been working while doing a PhD. My program won’t allow outside work but I don’t know how they’d find out if I have a side gig?


I also want to hear horror stories of those that have been caught. How did they find out? What were your consequences?

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I think this needs to be carefully weighed against your programs expectations and what type of career you want to prepare for.  In my observations the PhD students who handle work better are the ones who opt for flexible side gigs like babysitting, tutoring, editing, etc.  Sometimes summer and/or winter break can be used to make extra money.  I haven't heard any horror stories.

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Some programs allow it. Mine allows you to work up to a certain number of hours a week at another job (don't remember how many, maybe 10-20?). I do know someone whose advisor didn't know he got a job as a waiter and kicked him out when she found out.. Even though it was allowed.. 

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I had campus jobs because money. 

If you receive a stipend from your program as a full time students, you want to be careful if you take a job. One thing is babysitting, another thing is working part time at a coffee shop. 

That said, I know people in my program who got really cool "side gigs" and ended up leaving the program. For one, they couldn't keep up with dissertation writing. Two, they really liked these side gigs. In all cases, these became what they actually wanted to do and the program often called them back to talk about non-academic jobs.

 

 

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We strongly discourage students from getting outside employment while in our program, but we're also sympathetic to how difficult it can be to live like a grad student.  We notice that the students who attempt to maintain outside employment are the students who struggle more in their program duties.  Aside from whether or not it violates any program policies or rules, the biggest problem will be when you start experiencing work/school scheduling conflicts.  When we get an email from a student asking the program to be flexible because they have "work commitments," we immediately address this as a professional issue (right after we say, "yeah... nope.").  

If you can do something on the side and not let it get in the way, you should be okay.

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