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