Where Have All The PhDs Gone?
Hello. It’s been over two years since my last Let’s Try This PhD Thing post…but unlike this blog, I have actually managed to maintain some semblance of existence since the completion of my thesis.
My blog actually reflects a bit of a pattern here, and I’m hoping to explore it further in 2019. Namely: where do all the PhDs go?
Back when I was still studying, when I wasn’t stressing about the work already on my plate, I was stressing about what came next. I’d decided I didn’t want to stay in academia, yes. This was a difficult decision to make, but I still didn’t know what my future would look like.
While my supervisor was supportive, and I’d started to apply for a few jobs here and there, I still felt very lost and anxious. I knew I wanted to work in science communication, but I had no idea what that career would look like or how to get there.
Recently, I’ve been reflecting on this anxiety I struggled with throughout my PhD – “What am I going to do once I finish? And if I don’t know what I’m going to do, then how do I know that all this work is worth it?”. I know there’s nothing I can do for past-Chloe, I am fairly confident I’m not the only person who ever had those same concerns, and that today’s cohort of smart cookies are experiencing similar worries today.
I’ll be honest with you – I still have no idea what a typical “post-PhD career” looks like, but I do know what mine looks like. I’m only two years out, but I have learned so much about my little corner of the professional world! YES I have learned some of those things through spectacular failure, upset, disappointment, and upheaval – but I’m still here, and I’m still learning, living, and working.
Actually - we’re all still here, and most of us would love an opportunity to share our hard-learned lessons, and reassure the next generation that things aren’t all that bad.
This is why I am excited to start work on a new project for 2019. I’m chasing down those people who finished their PhDs, left academia, and didn’t fall off the face of the planet. I’m going to share their stories with all those hard working little PhD busy bees who could do with something other than doom and gloom for once.
Do you have a story to share? I wanna chat! You can contact me here, or just fill in this wee form.