Choices choices choices… even if there’s no choice?

The last blog I wrote was about a job interview I had. Unfortunately I didn’t get the job, but I didn’t really find out in such a brilliant fashion. Basically, I heard nothing, saw the job re-advertised, and then I drew my conclusions from that.

I wasn’t very happy about the way that was handled, and tweeted about that without wanting to attack the organisation as a whole, just me being slightly frustrated with my job search, and really wanting to get started. This tweet is perhaps the best thing I’ve sent out in a while, or ever, as that tweet went on to giving me a second chance within that same organisation in perhaps (nothing is set in stone yet) a completely different role. You see, the role I applied for initially, the one I didn’t get, was perhaps not the right fit, the best place for me to develop myself, my skills and my career. I would enjoy doing that job, no doubt about that, but thinking of the future and where I see myself in 5-10 years… something more policy-related might be a much better fit and choice.

So, we’re in the process of figuring out whether this opportunity is a reality and I’ll be presenting/interviewing for this later next week.

Easy does it, just prepare the presentation, and hope all will be OK and I can finally get my career underway, right?

Nope.

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Hello September. Another month, another job interview.

It’s the first of September today.

 

“NO WAY!!!!???”

 

Way….

 

 

I just cannot believe how quickly this year is going. It was only yesterday that it was the 5th of January when I officially started the last bit of my PhD, and only 2 blinks of an eye ago that I had my viva. 1 that I had my graduation ceremony.

And in about two milliseconds I’ll have a job interview. The job interview I nearly missed out on all together as I saw the opening too late, after the deadline, but still decided to give it a try, as I felt I just had to try it. And then I got the invite. I was thrilled. Am thrilled. But I hope this is _the one_. Of course, you always hope that today’s job interview will be your last in a while, and yes, at this point I only apply for jobs that I _really_ want, because luckily I can afford myself that luxury, but this job… THIS JOB… it seems to have everything I want, can, and will do to get my career started.

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Goodbye Academia…. Hello ‘real’ world!

20155731_1461099997283692_982611095302017944_nIt’s been a while.

I’ve graduated, and am an official Doctor now (no, not that kind of doctor…..). I’m proud that I can use that title, and I have already used it on purpose (renting a car!) as well as by mistake. To tell a bit more about the latter, I blame the nerves. When my dentist’s assistant asked me whether it was Ms or a Mrs, I giggled ‘Well, actually, it’s Dr…!’ because I hadn’t been to the dentist in 7 years and was scared as hell. I was blushing when they called my name in the waiting room… “Dr Wolferink!?”. Slightly embarrassed I got up and ran into the treatment room. well, slighty embarrassed, and a bit proud. OK, very proud, but also still embarrassed, because who else but me (and my parents) really give a damn about that title?

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Passed, with minor corrections!

thesisThis Monday I had the honour and privilege to discuss my thesis with two established academics who had read my thesis. My thesis, my ideas, and two people I value have read it. Of course it was their work to do so, and part of the defense process, but still, this very substantial book that I have written is not something you put on your nightstand to read. That’s also why I want to publish smaller, readable articles, so that parts of my research outcomes (and recommendations) will make it ‘out there’, to be discussed and perhaps even taken on-board. Continue reading “Passed, with minor corrections!”

Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP! …. and Write! An ode to #SUWT

writeSometimes it’s difficult to focus. We live in a time with many (digital) distractions that we can use with the click of a mouse. And if we can resist that, there’s always some laundry, groceries or cleaning to do. And it’s not just that: sometimes wanting to do things right can be debilitating: where to start if you want to avoid making mistakes.  Don’t get me wrong, I work hard,  I always meet my deadlines, and always get things done, but it can take a lot of willpower and motivation to do so and to stay on track. And I don’t mind doing that, because I’m passionate about my work, what I want to achieve with it, and about my future career, but it’s still difficult, especially when working on something for which you are the sole project manager: a PhD. And to add to that: FROM HOME. ALONE.

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Too old at 25…? – On academic support and careers advice.

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Think of the trees…..! DOES NOBODY THINK OF THE TREES?

It is done. I have handed in my PhD thesis this morning. Next to me on the desk here are two spare copies I have. One for myself, and one for a potential mock viva (even though I’m not quite sure yet whether I want one). A fellow PhD student asked if he could have a look, and he went through the front matter, pausing at the final paragraph in my acknowledgements.

In this paragraph I thanked my undergraduate careers adviser who told me, at the age of 25, that I would be ‘far too old to be accepted into a PhD programme’ when I told him about the potential career paths and options I wanted to pursue.

Continue reading “Too old at 25…? – On academic support and careers advice.”

Can we be idealists and academic researchers?

“Well, if you have that kind of bias you won’t be able to conduct a truly objective research project”.

It was said to me today, online, when talking about research on (un)employment, the work-ethic and how I thought that we should find new ways of looking at work in relation to citizenship. I wanted to reply with “well, I don’t really believe in objective research”, but I didn’t want to make that kind of unnuanced statement without having to engage in a full-blown discussion about how I view my research practice when I have actual work to do, such as finishing that paper and getting back to my actual thesis.

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“So, what are you going to do after this?” They ask me…

When people ask me what I’m doing ‘for a living’  I tell them about my PhD, as that is what I’m doing with my life at the moment. Some people know what it is, others don’t, but not many people know what you can do after this, or wonder specifically what I am going to do after this. And I am one of those people.

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Storytelling

Finally finally finally I have gotten to the data chapters of my doctoral thesis. And it is amazing. I had been struggling a bit, I will be honest with you, with the official obligatory sections such as the methodology and the literature review, which are still in need of some serious work. It’s not that I do not want to deal with that, that I don’t see the value of it. Of course, without grounding my research properly it will have no basis, no footing, but in the end, what I want to do with my thesis, or through my thesis, is to tell stories, to tell stories of unemployment and volunteering.

Continue reading “Storytelling”