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Plan B?


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I am hoping this post helps me find others who are in similar situations to mine as well as some support/guidance from TGC community. 

 

Quick backstory: at the advent of this academic year, I quit my well-paying job in finance so that I could work unpaid in two labs and full-heartedly pursue my long-time dream of getting my PhD in Cognitive Psychology. I truly am happy with my decision and think it was instrumental in helping me get interviews. However, I have been primarily living off my savings for many months. I launched my own tutoring business which has been slowly developing yet great nonetheless. But, because I spend 2 days a week on campus and my clients are only on nights and weekends, I have not been able to find any other job options that would fit into my limited availability. I was a competitive athlete growing up and have worked since I was 14 so now I find myself with more free time than I have ever had before.

 

I got invited to interview at 2 schools and have yet to hear from either. I know that I should hear back soon but here I am over-analyzing. I am training 5 days a week, cooking, crafting, reading, cleaning out my closet, occasionally traveling on the weekends, and binge-watching Criminal Minds but my schedule is truly making this waiting process even more difficult.  What is everyone else doing to fill the time?

 

If I don't get in, it would be a year and a half before I would start any program. My current arrangement is unsustainable for that amount of time and I was wondering if anyone else out there is in a similar situation? What sort of plan B options are you considering? There are no lab manager positions available in my department and no other universities within driving radius. What should I do in the event I don't get any acceptances? I want to do everything in my power to get into a program no matter what it takes. However, I do not want to completely deplete my savings and I need to find something to do to fill the 9-5 void 3 days a week. I know I should stay in the labs and that is what I want to do but finance is a 70 hour a week career, not 25, so I have no idea what to do. Help! 

 

 

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I am hoping this post helps me find others who are in similar situations to mine as well as some support/guidance from TGC community. 

 

Quick backstory: at the advent of this academic year, I quit my well-paying job in finance so that I could work unpaid in two labs and full-heartedly pursue my long-time dream of getting my PhD in Cognitive Psychology. I truly am happy with my decision and think it was instrumental in helping me get interviews. However, I have been primarily living off my savings for many months. I launched my own tutoring business which has been slowly developing yet great nonetheless. But, because I spend 2 days a week on campus and my clients are only on nights and weekends, I have not been able to find any other job options that would fit into my limited availability. I was a competitive athlete growing up and have worked since I was 14 so now I find myself with more free time than I have ever had before.

 

I got invited to interview at 2 schools and have yet to hear from either. I know that I should hear back soon but here I am over-analyzing. I am training 5 days a week, cooking, crafting, reading, cleaning out my closet, occasionally traveling on the weekends, and binge-watching Criminal Minds but my schedule is truly making this waiting process even more difficult.  What is everyone else doing to fill the time?

 

If I don't get in, it would be a year and a half before I would start any program. My current arrangement is unsustainable for that amount of time and I was wondering if anyone else out there is in a similar situation? What sort of plan B options are you considering? There are no lab manager positions available in my department and no other universities within driving radius. What should I do in the event I don't get any acceptances? I want to do everything in my power to get into a program no matter what it takes. However, I do not want to completely deplete my savings and I need to find something to do to fill the 9-5 void 3 days a week. I know I should stay in the labs and that is what I want to do but finance is a 70 hour a week career, not 25, so I have no idea what to do. Help! 

 

This is my exact situation as well - living in a very expensive city, quit my well paying job to work in multiple labs, internships, etc all unpaid.  Don't want to go back to my old job, did some freelance consulting this year and could likely turn that into a business but would rather not since it isn't research.  If I don't get into a program I can't sustain this lifestyle.

 

My plan B is to get a job that's less intensive than consulting and work in a lab evenings and weekends if possible.  Possibly get a job where I'm at least building my data analysis skills (or anything relative to cog research).  My dream Plan B is to get a job that will pay for me to take additional grad classes.  

 

I've heard of some people working multiple part time research assistant jobs for a year hoping to get a publication or 2 but those jobs are few and far between (plus you'd have to be able to live on whatever working 2 part time jobs will pay).

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EMGagne it makes me really happy to hear I am not alone! I agree with all of your sentiments.This morning I got rejected from my first choice of the two schools that interviewed me so needless to say I have been sad and panicking all day today.... I feel like I really need to start solidifying a Plan B. 

 

What sort of lab were you considering that is open nights and weekends? My labs are both at UCLA, have set meeting times during the day, and I run my experiments with undergrads so its unfeasible for me to stay here and also free up my work week again. I really like the idea of some sort of data analysis position... Where are you looking? Were you thinking of leaving your research positions after this application season is over? I think I might ride out the academic year but I am afraid leaving would just look worse for me next time I interview. 

 

What are you doing to keep calm while you wait it out? The emotional and financial strain I feel right now for my future is really overwhelming. I love the work I am doing now and the idea of being glued to a desk chair, and constantly stressed out by clients is the most unappealing thing I can think of. I feel like I took this massive leap of faith and the ground is getting very close...

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