This Professor Shares An Important Note For Those Who Have Finished PhD

Sharing for young researchers/academics: (11092018)

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โ€œWhat should you do once youโ€™ve successfully completed your PhD study?โ€ ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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Facts:

1. Getting a PhD is not an easy task. It is not for everyone. E. g. milk is for everyone. PhD is for the select few ๐Ÿ˜‹(maybe for those who donโ€™t drink milk..he he)

2. Completing a PhD means you are entitled to use the title โ€œDr.โ€ in front of your name OR put the letter โ€œPhDโ€ after your name. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

At least, in the campus surroundings, you will be called Dr. so and so. Ourside the campus areas, youโ€™ll most likely be called โ€œPakcik, Makcik, Uncle, Auntie, Abang, Encik, Ms, Mr, Bro or Baiโ€๐Ÿ˜‰..Well, it depends where you are and how you look like.

3. You have spent at least 3 years of your precious life to chase the PhD degree and manage to catch it. Just in time. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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So, what normally happens right after you got your PhD degree?๐Ÿ˜•

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Normally you will feel really really good about yourself.

In fact, I have seen just too many PhD graduates who spoke and acted as though they are the only one who has a PhD degree.๐Ÿ˜

Actually, this phenomenon is acceptable and quite typical, for the first few weeks of you successfully completed your PhD (I went thru it just like everyone else๐Ÿ˜€). We know you are now a โ€œDrโ€ and not just any typical โ€œEncik, Puan or Cikโ€. Yes, we know๐Ÿ˜Ž.

The phenomenon is a bit chronic if one has actually graduated from faraway places like Sweden or Canada or Wakanda. Normally, this out of the world feeling will wear out in a matter of few months or shorter. Normally, after one really realized there are many PhD holders around.๐Ÿ˜ Donโ€™t worry, please enjoy it while it last.

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Okay, back to business, what should you do?

[ie. after taking time off or having a short break from everything related to your PhD thingy]

1. If you are now officially a faculty member in one of the public IHLs, you need to immediately get detail info on how to get appointed and confirmed in your position as faculty member or academic staff.

What are expected to secure your academic post? (assuming you’ve not secured it)

2. Find a mentor or get to know the senior faculty members in your Department. Build a good rapport and positive first impressions. Make friends and not create enemies. ๐Ÿ’ฅ

3. Seek your peers who are also new and struggling to get accustomed to the academic eco-system.

4. Understand your bosses. Who is your immediate boss? Dean? Head of Department.๐Ÿ‘ด

5. Get to know the support staff members in your Faculty (Administrations & Technical)๐Ÿ‘ท๐Ÿ™…

6. Maintain your contact with your PhD supervisor or alma mater and find ways to solidify the relationship further.๐Ÿ‘ฅ

7. Find ways to extract more publications from your PhD work. Maybe you can think of converting your PhD thesis into a proper book and not just left as monograph or thesis form.

8. Find a sense of purpose and raison de etre for being in an academia or IHLs.

Why you are where you are?

Why not somewhere else?

Find your purpose of being! ๐Ÿ’ž

9. Plan out your career, at least for the next 10 years.

10. Take actions now! Donโ€™t wait for anyone.

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Summary:

Somewhere down the road, you will feel frustrated and lost. You are not sure what youโ€™re supposed to do in the high pressure and KPI-oriented environment. You felt as though nobody cared about your well-being. You would hope that after completing the much sought after PhD degree, life would be easier. None whatsoever! ๐Ÿ˜“

Now, you must persevere. In order to climb the academic career ladder, you must plan and execute and take time to ponder and reconsider all options.๐Ÿ˜‡

If you have the grits and determinations to complete a PhD degree, climbing the academic ladder is peanuts. You can do it.

Remember, you are already a DOCTOR*!

Carpe Diem.๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿ’จ

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* one who knows how to diagnose and treat an illness based on symptoms.

p/s: please share if it can benefit others.

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written by:
Prof Ir Dr Mohd Rizal Arshad
eerizal@usm.my