• Economic and Social Research Council Featured Post Docs

PostDoc Discussion Forum

The following thread is brought to you by our sister Web site PostgraduateForum.com. If you wish to reply or post your own thread, you will be redirected to this site.

This Category:   PostgraduateForum.com > Jobs / Postdocs


Message

unsupportive supervisors...


User: algaequeen - 13 November 2012 20:20

If you have depression, and have been behind on finishing papers from a PhD you finished a while ago and explain this to your old supervisor who is wholly unsupportive and basically says to suck it up or your career is at stake, what does one do?! This is the situation I find myself in, it was a big big step to take for me to inform my old supervisor about the reason for the delay, depression, health problems and a death in the family, and he wasn't interested. Issue is, I still need to work with him in the future through my current job and I just can't even face it. I feel like I should leave science and go work in a coffee shop. I'm just not sure what way to deal with him, if it even will be possible to work with him when he's obviously pissed at me for the delay....

User: delta - 14 November 2012 09:19

AQ, I've sent you a PM.

User: Mackem_Beefy - 14 November 2012 11:49

Quote From algaequeen:

If you have depression, and have been behind on finishing papers from a PhD you finished a while ago and explain this to your old supervisor who is wholly unsupportive and basically says to suck it up or your career is at stake, what does one do?! This is the situation I find myself in, it was a big big step to take for me to inform my old supervisor about the reason for the delay, depression, health problems and a death in the family, and he wasn't interested. Issue is, I still need to work with him in the future through my current job and I just can't even face it. I feel like I should leave science and go work in a coffee shop. I'm just not sure what way to deal with him, if it even will be possible to work with him when he's obviously pissed at me for the delay....

Algaequeen,

As someone who's career path was brought to an end by in part some strange and hostile line management in my second post-doc, I can only empathise. Whilst I'm not doing what I really want to do, at least I managed to find a job proving if a switch of career is needed it is possible.

Your (de) mentor sounds worse than mine. Ideally, I'd suggest going on the sick for a while to give yourself some space and decide your next course of action.

Would finding a couple of other people that will give you references, so you can try to look for employment elsewhere, be an option?


Ian (Mackem_Beefy)

User: ahmadian - 14 November 2012 12:30

I am in the third year of my PhD. My supervisor has never been any kind to me either, at first I thought if I published or got some results, things get better, I recently got a paper accepted in IEEE Journal and nothing changed, he is still the unsupported, bullying kind he was before. To add up to that I never received any kind of supervision or scientific help from him and honestly, this is whats killing me. He always pressures me about why I am not publishing or getting results but he never gives me any tip on how to get there. I, too, think about leaving my phd and working in coffee shop all the time. What I am trying to say is some people are just impossible to work with, they make the student feel insecure and stress all the time. I have worked with other supervisors (e.g. the one which I just published with) and I know this is not a general case, just an unlucky one. I cannot say what is best for you but to be honest I received more help from a stranger with one email than I did from him in all this time. What I can recommend for you, if I may, is to seek help elsewhere. Just do your best to find a way to not let him get you down and look for other researchers. Try researchgate.net, where you can ask stupid questions in your field.

User: algaequeen - 16 November 2012 12:01

Thanks Delta, Mackem_Beefy and Ahmadian. It's a funny situation, as I don't work directly for this guy anymore, but I would like to collaborate with him in the future. However, it's not vital that it's him I collaborate with and if the worst comes to the worst, I can collaborate elsewhere. He was always really good during my PhD, very tough yes, but always fair and gave space/time when things got tough. However since I finished a few years ago I've heard the whole atmosphere in the lab has totally changed, which I think is partly due to it becoming more difficult to find funding, and other staff issues. I have friends in the same lab who've had to just up their workload and keep their heads down to avoid getting abuse hurled at them, it seems they are just waiting out the storm until there is plenty of funding rolling back into the lab. So, I know he's not being a twat just with me, but still it's hard to take. I also know there is more to life than work, and especially more to it than collaborations, so I'll just do what I can with my job, and work on the papers as and when I can. although I say this now, but the next time I'm having a bad day I'll probably break down again.... I've also started going to counselling which is helping a bit, I don't want to leave science and I don't want to leave my job, it's just been rather overshadowed by the spectre of the PhD which follows me around....back to my old saying then I guess, the only way out is through! However, I do think that counselling sessions, even monthly, should be a requirement of the PhD process, same as progress reports etc, as it's such a massive deal and supervisors are often very underequipped and don't have time to deal with the pastoral side of supervision. That's my two cents anyway!





PostDoc Jobs
Search for PostDocs
Advertise a PostDoc Jobs
PostDoc Advice Forum

FindAPostDoc. Copyright 2005-2018
All rights reserved.