I am currently working in education but also looking for job prospects in more technical/mathematical fields. I signed up to a STEM job site and I am not sure how to give a good response to the question "Could you tell me about the circumstances behind you exiting your PhD?"
Basically, I quit a PhD 8 months after starting for the following reasons:
I hadn't fully developed the soft skills needed to be able to tackle one (e.g. time management, organisation, resilience) which resulted in slow progress.
I was struggling to manage myself in a lot of ways (e.g. money, food, mental health)
The area ended up being quite a bit out of my comfort zone (i.e. more pure mathematics compared to an applied mathematical background) and was chosen more based on fanciful ideologies rather than what I was traditionally good at, and it took me a long time to do things that my supervisor thought were straightforward.
I didn't have a break before starting my PhD and felt consistently burned out/depressed having gone straight into it after my Master's degree - not the best decision to make in hindsight.
An opportunity came up to give teaching a go and I decided to try it and see if it was for me.
I know the reasons in my head for dropping out of the PhD are sound, but I am struggling to come up with a way that explains what happened without potentially giving off an impression that I made a bad decision. I want to make a transition out of teaching (having been doing it for 2-3 years) into something more technical but would appreciate some guidance on how to answer the question I've mentioned above. Any thoughts?