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Disability Narratives

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Interview excerpt: Stella reflects how seeking stability to help maintain her good mental health may have consequences for what jobs she can apply for.


Image representing Stella

Yeah, I guess sort of in the months after I moved here. Yeah. I mean, I think I did frame it in those terms. That it's financial cost in moving, there's also the emotional and mental cost of it. And the personal cost of it, as well. I guess - So I'm thinking towards the end of the three years, and I think my experience of being here could potentially make me more cautious about applying for a job. And would make me anxious about if I got that job, and I have to move. Yeah. Because I guess the thought process is, it happened this time so if I move it will happen again. So that might, might come into play there. Within Oxford, I'm not sure if that would, if that would play out. I think I might - you know - If a permanent lecture post came up, I might be more comfortable applying for it because it would mean I wouldn't have to move again, it would just be a new job. It wouldn't mean having to move.

But it also means - But even staying is a sacrifice. So kind of some of my friends that have done PhDs as well, you know, we talk about these things. And it's - no matter what you do, there is always a cost involved. It's possibly something that more PhD students have to be aware of. I guess I was - I mean, I didn't do my PhD here, I did it in [country]. And I guess I had a theoretical understanding that this was a difficult career to follow. That there might not be many jobs. And you might have to move about. But I don't think you realise quite what that means. So I think - Again, it's just a sort of awareness, and acknowledging what the reality of that is. That, you know, there are serious kind of I suppose life sacrifices you have to make. Yeah. So I'm afraid I'm a bit of the sort of [laugh] ghosts of Christmas future to PhD students. You know? It, again, I don't know if it's the mental health or if it's just the condition of being a postdoc is sort of going 'is this actually worth it?' Like is a permanent job going to be worth it?

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