I have to acknowledge that it was been a while since I have written an article for this blog.  I am writing today to catch you up on what I’ve been up to and give you some advice about some of your options after you finish your degree.

I have had a number of PhD students who have completed their PhD and have yet to find a job. It happens. This is the advice that I shared with them that I am sharing with you today.

Before you finish your degree or afterwards you should be thinking about who you want to be and what you want to be known for.  In other words, what is your brand? How do you want to define yourself. While an academic career is expected you must consider some other alternatives.  Your academic field might not have any openings when you graduate. Nonetheless, in some academic disciplines the salary is very low. For example, back in 1997 when I received my PhD and started my job as an assistant professor in Phoenix Arizona, the bus drivers went on strike despite being paid more than an assistant professor at that time.  Nonetheless, you might have to find creative ways to supplement your academic salary. If you earned a PhD you are an expert in something. Your dissertation or research establishes you as an expert on that topic.

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Though not my official title, I am a part-time dissertation coach at the University of Maryland. On my off days, I also work with students from other universities as well. Many colleges, universities and students do not really know what a dissertationMentoring dr.holdenon coach does.  I am a mentor, advisor, therapist, friend, cheerleader, teacher, reader, editor, and advocate for the many students that I work with.  I am not the expert on the dissertation topic but, I push up my sleeves, get my hands dirty, and help out where and when a student needs and asks for my help. Some frustrated advisors send their students to me when they feel that the student’s problems are beyond the scope of an advisor. It is not a glamorous job but I like it. I have found my calling, my passion and more importantly my niche.  As we near graduation this month I am reminded that I love this job.

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PhD Completion: Why Create a Writing Schedule

To complete your thesis or dissertation managing your time effectively and efficiently is important. If you have a schedule you can enjoy the things you do because you will not be sacrificing one thing for another. You can be present in the moment and give your full attention to what is at hand.  In your […]

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How to Create Your To-Do List to Finish Your PhD

Following is a good example of a series of questions you might ask yourself to start creating a list of “to-do” tasks: Q: What needs to happen before I can finish my thesis/dissertation? A: I need to write chapters X, Y and Z. Q: Can I get those chapters finished by tomorrow? A: No. First […]

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