February 3, 2022
5 min read
Most people not only just say but also believe that a doctoral degree will prepare them for everything, from academics to economic issues. However, the statement might not be entirely accurate. Some issues will arise during and after completing your PhD, and you must mentally prepare yourself for such problems. Especially the economic violability you might face in the future. After you are done with your PhD, it’s not necessarily true that you will directly land in a career wholly related to the subject you earned your PhD in. Here are some reasons why PhD holders should prepare themselves for economic violability. The job market is extremely competitive and a job search can take longer than you anticipated which can start to impact your financial situation especially if you just earned your PhD and starting out or experiencing a long period of time being unemployed. Either one of these situations can cause economical struggle and hardships. It is essential to plan for economical violability. The Covid-10 pandemic is an example of why its’ important to prepare for economic uncertainty.
Being a PhD holder nowadays doesn’t mean a guaranteed job that is in the same field. Today, the competition is hard, and there is always someone who can get hired ahead of you. This is the reason why you should learn to build a buffer. Building a buffer is like having a side plan if you find yourself without a job that is related to your PhD. – it would help you keep your way straight. We are not saying that you would never find your desired job, but in the meantime, you must need some kind of job to get you going, so it’s better if you prepare yourself for such a condition right away.
The fact that there are too many PhDs today for very few tenure track jobs, and it is utterly impossible for employers to hire all the PhDs out there. This is the second most important reason why you must keep your mind ready for rejections. Once again, building a buffer can help you feel more secure. A buffer will make you feel confident; you wouldn’t feel too desperate for certain. Not showing up as a desperate candidate is actually a win-win. When you have a backup plan, you know that a rejection wouldn’t be the end but another opportunity to try again.
Most of the PhDs are usually relying on external funding to ensure the continuity of their studies. However, funding can also become an issue, that is also a major one. There have been cases where the funding was reduced even when the students were in between their studies. Moreover, it is not easy to secure a new funding source; it is a completely hectic and tiresome process that can take more time than you would imagine. This is the reason why you must have a backup plan and a prepared mind.
There is no doubt that you can ask for advice from your supervisor, but still, they cannot provide you funds right away. On the other hand, with a buffer, you can plan your career smarter. You will be able to build resilience, resulting in better coping strategies for such situations. A buffer will help you stand firm.
PhDs today are competing for people who have direct work experience and can work without any prior training. The fact that people with the same skills are leading research teams and running nonprofit organizations makes most of the PhD holders feel devastated and depressed as they are still just trying to enter the field. In such circumstances, people had already prepared themselves mentally for all the economic and mental turbulences.
Let’s be realistic! In today’s fast-moving world, would you believe that just because you got a doctorate degree, you will get ANY job you would like? Obviously, you can’t. There might be some situations where you will have to start from square one.
Being mentally prepared for all the economic instabilities you will have to cope with during and after the PhD will just help you keep your way straight and plan ahead of time. Moreover, mentally preparing yourself also keeps you from being disappointed when the time comes.
Once you have prepared yourself mentally, it’s time to plan. I would refer to building a buffer as a PhD student/holder to prepare a backup plan for any upcoming economic violabilities. As we mentioned above, there are many reasons to prepare yourself, and there’s no denying it.
Building a buffer will benefit a PhD in a number of ways. With a buffer, you will be able to plan your career and future better and brighter than ever. You will be able to build resilience against sudden economic crisis or violabilities. You will be able to help yourself out if any unexpected crisis decides to land on you.
You will feel more secure with everything planned and already thought about. When you already know what might happen, you will be more confident as you are not worried. Instead, you are ready for anything. You can improvise and can also take low paying jobs. Be persistent and focused on your job search and achieving your career goals. In a world of competition, you require strategy and experience to standout from other job candidates.
Mentally preparing yourself is kind of a favor you would be doing to yourself, as it will help you save yourself from unnecessary tension and stress. PhDs sometimes misunderstand the situation and never really think about what economic violabilities might come in their journey towards the goal. Planning for your career success both mentally and financially will help you face and overcome any economic violability.
Tina Persson, PhD, Career & Leadership Coach
Global ICF Coach | Coaching and training high-performing professionals to unlock and maximize their potential for guaranteed business success
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