There are a number of questions on this site about lacking (good) references from people who know your work, but none seem to address a situation where you lack references because there never were any people who know your work: Due to the nature of the department and especially the projects my supervisor is responsible for, I work entirely alone. This means that after one year I have no one whom I can say “knows” what I can do. Whom do I turn to for references in the case that I work entirely alone and I’m too new for anyone to be familiar with me?

On a given job application site, for example, I have to provide not just one but three references. In my case, even getting one is uncertain because my relationship with my supervisor has deteriorated. Even so, he is only aware of my work on a superficial level. My previous degree was finished 5 years ago, so I doubt that my supervisor from back then could provide much of a reference, either. The job I held before starting was also for only a very short period, as was the one before that…

Addendum 29/10/2017: I am leaving the PhD program, so I do not have much time to cultivate any possible sources of recommendation letters; I have to make due with the relationships I currently have, which are very few.

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