You have to believe that what you do matters

Greetings friends. I hope you had a summer or winter break wherever you are. I'm back early this year because Australia, where I live, has hit the world media for all the wrong reasons. You might have seen the horrifying footage from the South Coast. My  oldest friend, who was holidaying there, sent me this photo, which … Continue reading You have to believe that what you do matters

Winding down the Thesis Whisperer?

[Edit 23/12/2019: I donated all of my Thesis Whisperer Amazon royalties (about $1000) to the NSW Rural fire service. Thanks to everyone who bought a book this year: you have made a difference. If you can spare anything else, please consider giving. The government has not funded services enough and volunteers are completely exhausted. Here's … Continue reading Winding down the Thesis Whisperer?

Keep on stepping up to the plate

Failure. The PhD makes you much better at dealing with it - at least that's the hope. I was always a pretty mediocre student, but I didn't realise just how mediocre I was until I went to architecture school. Frankly, I was bad at it - and people did not hold back in telling me … Continue reading Keep on stepping up to the plate

It all depends!

I've written before, here, about how much bad advice there is out there for PhD students. One of the reasons that advice can be misguided or inappropriate is the many differences between PhD students in terms of age, discipline and projects. Comparing yourself to other people, particularly when it comes to making progress, is a game … Continue reading It all depends!

Setting yourself free of perfectionism?

Are you a perfectionist? I always thought I wasn't, but my therapist introduced me to the idea of 'functional perfectionism' last year. This  forced a rethink, which I documented in this post where I wonder if perfectionism  is a spectrum disorder. One of the perfectionist traps I fall into all the time is unhelpful self talk, … Continue reading Setting yourself free of perfectionism?

Being in a Minority: It’s Not All Bad

Some time ago I wrote a post about what I thought was an 'anti-PhD attitude' displayed by some recruiters I interviewed for a research project. In that post I suggested that the small number of PhD graduates in the workforce led to graduates facing similar problems to other minorities who faced problems like stereotyping. After that … Continue reading Being in a Minority: It’s Not All Bad

Me, myself and I

Do you ever find yourself in conflict WITH yourself? The part of you that wants to watch Netflix might war with the part of you that wants to finish your PhD, as just one example. How do we better manage these multiple, internal voices? This post is by Michael Healy, a careers and employability educator … Continue reading Me, myself and I

Book review: two new guides to academic life

The high degree of autonomy one gets as an academic is both a blessing and a curse. Making your way up what counts for a career ladder these days is tricky. It's hardly surprising that the academic career guide is an emerging book genre with strong sales. I've benefitted from the academic guide to life genre … Continue reading Book review: two new guides to academic life

Starting a PhD… at 58 years old?

Did you know that the average age on entry to a PhD in Australia is 34 years old? Over the time I have been whispering this average age gets older and older. There are a few PhD students at ANU who enrolled in their PhD in their late sixties and early seventies. It's never too … Continue reading Starting a PhD… at 58 years old?