#5 Finishing a STEM PhD or EngD? Here’s How to Decide your Next Steps

If you’re coming the end of your STEM PhD or EngD, you may be thinking “what next!?”. If you’re trying to figure out your next steps but feeling uncertain you’re not alone! After years of being in a structured path, it can be confusing to know what to do next. Should you leave or stay? What jobs should you apply for? Are you even good enough? (spoiler alert– of course you are!!)

In today’s episode I give you five easy actionable steps that will help you get clear if you’re coming to the end of a PhD or EngD.

I talk about…

> The one surprising thing you need to let go of to move forward

> What you need to do before you even think about writing your CV

> Why looking after yourself is KEY during this stage

Here’s some key parts from the episode…

[02:30] Why it’s okay if you don’t know what you’re doing!  – You’ve been in a structured process for a few years, so it’s normal not to have everything together. It’s also normal to question if you should go into research or move into industry.

[04:00] FEAR – you may have a background fear of waking up in 10 years thinking, what have I done with my life?  

[05:30] Why PhDs and EngDs can be a comfort bubble – If you’ve been in the same place for so long, it’s hard to imagine what’s out there for you and the idea of leaving something you know is daunting.

[06:30] You’re in a transitionary phase so it will be bumpy – You’ve been in a structured process for a few years, and now you’re entering a new phase. This can be challenging and that’s okay! There’s no “right way” to think or feel.  

[08:00] Looking after yourself is key – Things are going to be bumpy, which is extremely normal. You can’t expect things to be perfect, which means during this time looking after yourself is key.  

[09:00] Do this before thinking about jobs – It’s easy to get bogged down in the nitty gritty of your CV and job hunting, but before you even do this there’s one step you NEED to do beforehand. Otherwise you could end up living your life based on other people’s expectations of you, rather than what YOU want. 

Listen on your favorite podcast app!

Links mentioned in this podcast:

> Free Career Clarity Starter Guide – Grab your guide here

> Podcast music – Arran Oakes at FLA Production

> Podcast Episode 3 – How to Decide Your Career Direction

Other ways to enjoy this podcast episode

Prefer reading? Click here for the written version.

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