PhD students don’t exactly have it easy. After all, you’ve got to somehow balance your studying with your social life, and sometimes you even need to find the time for a job. It is easy to get stressed and to lose motivation, and sometimes you might even consider quitting altogether.
Yet successful PhD students don’t seem to have this problem. They appear to be able to manage their time really well, and they seem so focused that stress is a million miles away. Indeed, it would seem as though they’re breezing through their studentships PhD.
But just what is it that a successful PhD student does differently to the rest of us? Let’s take a look.
Successful PhD Students Don’t Feel Like Failures
The most successful people on life, from entrepreneurs to top athletes, know that failure is all part of winning. They realise that failure is just something that happens, and that it’s something we should use to improve our game. PhD students who are successful also realise this. They know when starting a PhD setbacks will happen, and that it’s totally okay to reach out and ask for help.
The problem that unsuccessful PhD students have is that they are so driven by ego and perfectionism that when they suffer failures and setbacks, they take them the wrong way. They get mired in depression, from which they find it hard to recover, and they lose their way.
Successful PhD Students Embrace Business Opportunities
Anyone can work in business in 2015 – including PhD students and graduates. Successful students know that business training is just as important as forging links with businesses and business owners. It not only broadens your horizons, but it also helps to secure your future, as well as the future of your University. After all, a University is still a business and it needs business minds to keep it going. Business skills are important, so why wait until you’ve graduated to develop them?
Successful PhD Students Never Feel Out Of Control
Successful students are always in control of things. They make sure not to let graduate school control them, but instead they take the reigns and control all aspects of their lives. This includes their research, any side projects they have got going on, as well as their life in the lab. It also includes their social life, as well as any jobs they have got going on the go.
Unsuccessful PhD students, conversely, always feel as though someone else is in control. They let grad school dominate them in such a way that someone is always controlling them somewhere. Whether it be the advisers in the lab, our reviewers deciding when to publish their articles, control is often rarely in their own hands.
Successful PhD Students Don’t Feel Like Employees
A lot of PhD students continue to think that the only path to full-time employment after they’re completed their studentships PhD is to stay within their academic system. This means taking up a research position at their University. The problem is that the academic environment is inherently unstable, with too many zero hour contracts accepted as the norm.
Successful students don’t see it this way. They realise that the world really is their oyster, and because they are innovators they see opportunities lying in areas like entrepreneurship and starting up their own companies. And why not?
Successful PhD Students Don’t Worry About Getting Published
On studentships PhD’s, there is often a frantic race to get published in the high-impact journals. Many students see being published as their crowning achievements, and as such they spend a lot of time worrying and stressing about getting their work printed in journals.
But it doesn’t need to be this way. Firstly, there is nothing wrong with having your work published in a second-tier journal. Secondly, your main goal during your tenure is to network and build your knowledge. Published work is good for the ego, but it isn’t necessary for a PhD.