Parenting, work, and the clinical doctorate

Your chance to ask for advice on any aspect of career development that doesn't fit in any of the above categories
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sweatered
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:44 am
Location: Sussex

Parenting, work, and the clinical doctorate

Post by sweatered »

Having recently graduated with a Psychology degree (a first!!?! ...I believe in miracles) at the ripe old age of 31, I'm carefully considering my next steps...

Right now, I'm working hard to land my first role in the field (AP, RA, etc.) while working as a care assistant at a Neuro Outpatients dept. It's chaotic, but hugely rewarding, and incredible for experience - especially in Neuropsychology. I have a vague plan to work as an AP/RA for a year or two alongside part-time postgrad study. I and my partner hope to start a family in a couple of years, by which time I'll (hopefully!) be considering applying for the doctorate. Given some health niggles, I can't really risk starting a family much later.

Of course, there's never a perfect time, and planning only goes so far! Likely, things will turn out quite differently.

Advice is very welcome, and I'm curious to hear from the mums and dads out there about their experiences with juggling work, studying, and raising children. Additionally, I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on being a parent at the point of applying for the doctorate - do you think it has an impact on getting an offer? Has anyone interviewed while pregnant, or been pregnant during their doctorate?
And sometimes,
you meet yourself back where you started,
but stronger.

YRSA DALEY-WARD
hawke
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Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:10 am

Re: Parenting, work, and the clinical doctorate

Post by hawke »

All second-hand information here...

I interviewed with someone who was visibly pregnant a few years ago, and she was offered a deferred place the following year. Lots of people get pregnant during the course, so courses are used to managing it, and it can actually be easier to be on an individualised programme tailored to your circumstances (e.g. placements prioritised near home and timed to fit around your parental leave). The parents I've known do say it is tough managing the workload alongside parenting (particularly since parenting this year involved home-schooling for a lot of the time), but in others ways it forces you to be more boundaried with your work, and study days give you a bit of practical flexibility.
Randomswirls
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Re: Parenting, work, and the clinical doctorate

Post by Randomswirls »

It may be worth looking at the life in the labrynth podcast.

I know some people who started the doctorate and a few weeks later went on mat leave for a whole year, others deferred their place. I also know people who started the course as parents or who have had children during training. So it definitely happens!
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sweatered
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:44 am
Location: Sussex

Re: Parenting, work, and the clinical doctorate

Post by sweatered »

Thank you Hawke, that's really reassuring to hear. It's always so easy to jump to the worst case scenario and imagine you might be written off! It sounds like it'll be challenging, but if others have managed it, it must be achievable.

Life in the Labyrinth is a brilliant recommendation! Thanks Swirls. Again, great to hear that courses are used to offering some flexibility in this area.
And sometimes,
you meet yourself back where you started,
but stronger.

YRSA DALEY-WARD
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