I returned to the UK after super busy trips to Japan and Germany for the Christmas break. While unpacking my suitcase, I realised that it’s the final week of the third year of my PhD, and I want to reflect on the year.

My resolution for 2019 was to submit my thesis in December. This didn’t materialise, but I’ve reached a stage where almost all the draft chapters are done. For the next few months, I’ll be editing the first draft of my thesis, which is already a great achievement for me.

 

Nine things I achieved this year

  1. Established my analytical framework for consultation analysis by combining two existing models and considering cultural aspects.
  2. Tested my framework and wrote a couple of versions of the results.
  3. Applied thematic analysis for writing the interview data.
  4. Finished writing chapters of the findings and implications.
  5. Presented my poster at an international conference in Hong Kong.
  6. Taught Japanese classes at a university in London throughout the year.
  7. Moved to a new apartment, which was an upgrade and made my life so much better.
  8. Made trips to Japan, Hong Kong, Macao, Sicily and Hamburg.
  9. Made new friends!

 

 

Only one rule for finishing your PhD

Having completed three years of research, I am now stepping into the fourth year of my PhD, which will involve the challenges of editing, submission, PhD viva, and job searching. I am aware that this requires considerable energy, motivation and mental toughness, and I am ready for it.

The only thing I have been telling myself for the past three years is: “a tiny, tiny step at a time in the right direction”. When doing a PhD, be conscious and mindful of taking a small step at a time, and ask your supervisor whether you are on the right track. This is the only advice I can give to anyone for finishing a PhD or any other large project.

Every time I send an email to all three of my supervisors, I always double-check whether I am going well. This gives me a chance to discover their expectations of me and make a short-term, specific goal about what I need to get done and by when.

It’s also helpful to consult well-known guidebooks on doing a PhD, most of which are genuinely fantastic books. (Here’s a link to my favourite skills guides on doing a doctorate).

 

 

Planning a career after my PhD

At this stage, I am also focusing on my career. Postdoctoral research is an option, but I am envisaging a teaching career rather than a research one because I really love interactive teaching and would like to develop my skills. This is what I have discovered from analysing my own professional and personal skills for years and what excites me the most!

 

I am now spending the last three days of 2019 writing my conference proposal, hoping that I will present the findings of my three years of work at a conference next year.

 

 

My achievements in Weeks 155 and 156

  • Had a great family time in Japan!
  • Spent Christmas with my partner’s family in Hamburg, which was my first time in Germany and the very first time to see them. I really enjoyed myself and got emotional saying goodbye after spending four days together.

 

Goals for Week 157

  • Submit a conference proposal.
  • Edit Chapter 6.

 

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