When you start college, it seems that you have ages to think about what you will do after graduation. While some students know what they want to do after college since their fresher’s week, many don’t start to make their mind about it until the final year.
Anyone who has done a PhD will tell you that it is a long and difficult journey, but it is nothing compared with the life after the PhD. You arrive at a point of a major change in your life and this time is filled with uncertainty and anxiety. You are going to embark on your first professional position and make important decisions that will shape your future.
Whether you’ve always known what you want to do after your research or have just recently started to think about it, it’s important to know the options and be mentally prepared to the life after PhD. In fact, no one really warns you or helps you to get ready for this transition, so make sure to get the most out of this post to survive your post-PhD.
Consider Where You Want to Go in Life
After several years of study, you are excited to see the end of assignments, tests and exams. Taking a job after graduation and starting to build a professional career is a logical path for most graduates. However, you need to know that there are many options facing you, from additional study to working to moving abroad.
Jumping straight into work gives you a possibility to examine your advantages and disadvantages. You will have a chance to find out if this kind of job is for you and get real life experience. Of course, after 3 years at college, you may discover that you want to develop in an absolutely different direction. Then consider choosing a conversion course to get closer to your area of interest. The end of your studying is also a great time to move abroad and have a real insight into another culture. This experience will be really prominent if you decide to return and find a new job.
As you see, there are numerous options. It is essential to determine what you want from your life and choose the path which is perfect for you. Career fairs, graduate offices, forums and guidance centers are great sources for finding useful information. You need to talk to authoritative people and ask to share their personal experience and ideas. They may help you choose the best route, for example, if you have no idea about the career options after PhD in live sciences.
Be Mentally Prepared for the Changes
You live with your research for a long time, devoting all your energy and efforts. You get used to the certain rhythm of life and your study routine. However, life after PhD is different and you should be mentally prepared to face this difference.
You have spent twenty years of your life studying and learning new things and now you approach that moment in your life when you would be able to do all those things you put off, such as having a family, buying a house, going on a holiday. It suddenly becomes a real possibility.
You also need to be ready to face the real world problems and quickly learn how to overcome the difficulties and make a living. You have to know how to present yourself to the hiring committee, how to negotiate the good salary, how to start working in an unfamiliar place. You should be ready to adjust to the new surroundings and situations that occur.
Take Every Opportunity that Comes Your Way
Although opportunities are essential to achieving your goals, they can be daunting because they come along with the idea of working more and doing your best. But nothing good in life comes easy. If you want to get ready for life after graduation, try to take every little opportunity that comes your way.
As you approach your final year, pay attention to different seminars and meetings at college. Take every chance to be introduced to the speakers, and where appropriate, acquaint them with your research and ask for their professional advice. This may set a stage for some continued dialogue in the future and lead to the job prospects after your PhD.
Really, opportunities are endless while you’re at college. You simply have to look around and take advantage of what’s presented.
Attend Professional Workshops and Conferences
There are so many ways to learn and improve the skills today: you can read articles, blog posts, watch videos and webinars right from the comfort of your own home. Why spend time and effort to visit in-person conferences and workshops?
Conferences, lectures and workshops are those events where you can meet your potential employers, therefore, don’t miss a chance to attend the ones in your field of interest. Take special note of those people you think may be interested in your research. Engage them into a conversion, share your own ideas and listen to a professional advice if they have. Ask for their email or phone number to continue the dialogue later.
You need to understand that visiting professional events is investing in yourself and your future career. There is nothing like being in a room of like-minded experts. Conferences provide the unique opportunities for networking, learning, making useful contacts and sharing the practices. Over coffee, you may find yourself sitting next to your business idol. So, don’t ignore the opportunity to visit a conference, your chances of meeting a potential employer are greatly improved when you’re sharing the same space.
Overall, life after PhD in USA is busy and exciting. No matter what, remember to take time for yourself and relax. An intellectual break is essential for both physical and emotional health. Make sure to take every opportunity that comes your way and you’ll get an enjoyable and rewarding experience!