Why I Took a $300 per Month Full-Time Job

The Billfold is publishing a series of articles on the topic of ‘moving’. One of the biggest moves I ever made (alright, there have been a few) was to Kathmandu in 2013. I’d never been to Nepal before. I was leaving academia behind, and actually turned down continued teaching work at the ANU to go to Nepal. Plus, the salary was… terrible.

But, taking that $300 per month full-time job was one of the best decisions of my life. Read an extract below, and the full article on The Billfold to find out more.

“I never particularly wanted to be a college professor, but I applied to do a PhD because I’d found a topic I was very interested in, I had a strong academic record, and I didn’t really know what else to do with myself at the time. When I applied in 2008, I’d been teaching English in Japan and didn’t want to do that any more, but didn’t have any other career plans.

My fully-funded PhD came at just the right time: a couple of weeks after the beginning of the global financial crisis. For the next three-and-a-half years I didn’t have to worry about the fact that I was just another arts graduate with little to set me apart, professionally, from all the others. I was interested in the topic I was studying, it allowed me to conduct research in India, and I treated my PhD candidature like a (poorly paid) full-time job. (I was a PhD student in Australia, hence the fully-funded nature of my scholarship and the shorter duration of my program.)”

Read the full article.


  1. When I completed my university education, I had two choices: apply for a regular job in a company, or continue freelancing. I chose the later. Since I was already earning well through freelancing, I chose to become a freelancer instead of a worker in a company. Ten years later, my friends who joined the job market are earning twice as much as I am as a freelancer. Sometimes I feel like I took a wrong turn.

    1. Sorry to hear that. Perhaps it depends what you want out of life. I value the flexibility that freelancing gives me, and wouldn’t change it for anything!

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