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Russell - what options did you consider?
Name: Russell
PhD discipline: History
Area(s) of work: BBC archives; university teaching
Year of graduation: 1998
Date of Interview: 02/06/2008

Now Playing: Russell - what options did you consider?
Russell discusses the alternative careers that he explored, such as school teaching and journalism.

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Did you ever consider a non-academic career? 

When I was doing the PhD, yeah a little bit, I kind of thought about doing freelance kind of journalism and that kind of thing but that was an even more kind of insecure profession than academia at the time so I kind of toyed with it and didn't. And then once I'd finished my PhD and I was in the situation where I was in part-time jobs and there was just, at the end of each term you didn't know if you were going to get kept on or not and I began thinking about the old chestnuts of doing a PGCE, I think it is, teacher training, you know those kind of things as an alternative. So there's always, yeah, there was always kind of things in my head I think too adventurous and that kind of thing. Things to do with writing and teaching where what I had done before wouldn't seem like a complete waste of time. I had no thoughts, I'm going to go off and become a violinist or anything like that at all.

And why did you consider a non-academic career?

Just because the whole experience was one of insecurity where I felt I always had to be thinking of contingency plans because I could be so, I was so unsure of the future that it would be foolish not to. I had to think of what I could do if this suddenly disappears over the night, which at times it looked like it might do because, as I say, it would be coming up to this kind of year, coming up to the end of the third term and I'd, next term starts in October and I'd be coming into the summer with no clue if I'd have a job at the end of it. So you know I was constantly having to think of ideas and I think I did actually go in and talked to, yeah I did, I went into a couple of universities to talk to people about PGCE, I don't think I ever quite got round to filling in the form because I never quite had to but I had the forms. And I'd sent in letters and made contacts at local newspapers in terms of doing subediting and that kind of stuff at local newspapers as a way into that kind of work. So yeah without going to far into it, I made little forays into alternatives.

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