I'm coming to the end of my PhD. I can state I never had an interest in, never mind passion for the topic. I did it because I was unemployed, in debt and very, very much needed the money!!! The PhD has been much less stressful than being unemployed and without money, in my opinion, but the only time I've ever thought about the PhD is when I work on it. I've never suffered from imposters syndrome, never felt guilt when not working on it and I intend to bin my hard bound copy of the thesis when I get it as I will just view it as a dust gatherer. It just isn't that important to me.
I keep reading that you need passion to do a PhD. It helps greatly if you do but in my experience as long as a PhD creates a better present than the alternative (which for me was continued unemployment) then that's enough.
For what it's worth, I've had only a limited amount of corrections to make and no rewrites and from what I can gather I'm the dream PhD student...just regret not being given the opportunity to do my dream PhD.
Whether it is a dream PhD or not, to complete one successfully only proves the fact that you are academically ready to undertake a piece of research on your own and achieve results without supervision. Now you're qualified to do that, maybe you can pursue your dream subject as a postdoc with better budget and greater independence? Good luck with all.
Is it really different than any other job? I don't think so. If you like what you are doing, job or phd, it is easier to achieve. For me my phd is just a challenging job. You proved to be a researcher by getting your phd. It really doesn't matter if you loved it or not. I wish you realize your dream, whatever it's, in the near future.
Hi Blue, I haven't finished yet but am nearing the end. I suppose the point I was trying to make is most people think you need to be passionate about a PhD in order to do one and I really don't think you do. Yes, to me, it's much like a job. I've always actually felt very detached from it. I don't love it, I don't hate it (hate the fact that I couldn't do the PhD that I wanted due to lack of supervisors and funding), don't feel much of anything for it (sadly) but just get on with it.
I had no absolutely no passion for my PhD either. Although I enjoyed parts of it, the majority of my project was a very hard slog compounded by funding issues and lots of politics that nearly pushed me to quit. In the end the main achievement for me was the fact that I persevered and soldiered on! Would have been nice to feel proud of my results and thesis but I can't say I do (it does make a good door stop though Delta!). On a more positive note, even though I didn't hold much regard for my project, it has allowed me to progress onto a number of interesting post-doc positions that I really enjoyed. I'm sure that this will happen for you and it will all be worth it in the end.
I've voted everyone a star on this thread but only some appear...strange...
Scottishkelpie, that's great to read and exactly what I'm hoping for. Strangely enough, I sometimes think had I got to do the PhD I wanted it may not have went as well. With this PhD I am keen to let it go once the funding runs out but had the situation been different I think I'd always be trying to improve my work and been constantly seeking perfection (which doesn't exist) as I'd want to put it out there. I feel very flat about this work, am keen to disassociate myself from it, feel like screaming when people assume it's where my interest is and will not feel the same sense of pride if I pass.
I can see the point you are making but I guess it does help if you are interested in your subject though by no means necessary judging by the threads here. I guess if you are detached from it you can know when to let go and move on as you suggested which is a good thing. What got me through my disaster of a PhD where I had so many problems I won't go into but namely supervisor and a very ambitious (if over ambitious) project is the fact that I like the subject and I saw it as a necessary step (evil!) to get into academia as most the research jobs I liked the look of wanted a PhD! It opens doors as Scottishkelpie mentioned which is a good thing as I am sick of looking at my thesis and want to move on! I am just glad I survived in face of such adversity as many people (other PhD students) said that they would have quit if they had to put up with what I put with all for the sake of reaching my goal! I suppose a lot of doing it depends on your motivation and reason for doing it! It was definitely character building to say the least as it was an eye-opener in many respects! Another reason I want a job in academia is that I want a job that I enjoy and stimulates me where I wouldn't dread to go to work so I would live to work and not work to live! But it's interesting to see the other side of the coin so to speak! Thanks for an interesting post. (up);-)
Sorry, Delta, but I have to say that I sold everything I had to self-fund my PhD because I was so passionate about the work. I am now totally skint, after a hitherto successful career for 35 years.
Congrats on getting there without caring, turning a hair or understanding what many of us have to go through. I strongly suspect that many of us have supervisors who are exactly as you are - smug, maybe even arrogant, and totally empty of human life experience, or compassion.
You should do very well in this world.
======= Date Modified 03 Jul 2011 22:15:19 =======
[quote]Quote From beajay:
I sold everything I had to self-fund my PhD because I was so passionate about the work. I am now totally skint[quote]
Beajay, I admire you for the choice you made and am sincerely sorry it did not work out for you. I paid a lot for a masters and got little in return and not for the want of trying and it was because I got my fingers burned at that stage that I would never fund a PhD. We live and learn but sometimes it can be costly!!!
I do hope your work continues to be well received.
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