I've spent the last 5months working within my research fellow role following my PhD journey.
Just received some feedback on my first written report. Despite submitting a 'robust first chapter' (I've basically submitted a book on this topic!), my supervisor has 'a few broader concerns' which he wants to discuss with me in person when he sees the next draft, which has left me worried.
I'm feeling really tired and a little frazzled with the amount of work on my shoulders. Also feel demoralised and deflated considering how much work I've put into my first publication :( My other piece of work is well overdue which I need to finish asap.
I don't think I'm cut out to be in this role (and I think my supervisor and the research assistant think as well by the looks of things) :(
Maybe I just need a break.........
Yes, probably a mistake in not taking a holiday, although, I was unable to afford a holiday over the summer and they wanted me to start straight away. Really will have to take a break after Christmas (or the latter half of January).
From the comments, his ' few concerns' from my first draft probably reflect my writing style (ie using redundant words), some mistakes which I can easily correct (Harvard referencing and change to UK language spelling), some missing important issues and clarification on a few points . Some of the positive comments include 'good writing here' and 'this is a robust chapter', so at least there's some positive feedback to take on board.
He did say that he will hold off from declaring these concerns until he views my latest draft, so perhaps there's a window of opportunity to make this next draft as air tight as possible.
However, I need to stop catastrophising and believing he's going to terminate my contract as it's not helpful. He already said my job is safe and I should stop worrying!
Also need to be mindful of taking on too much.......
Ah, I see. You've basically still in write-up stresshead mode to some degree from your corrections (i.e. worrying about even the smallest things about your work, magnifying problems out of all proportion to what they really are, etc.) and yet to come down properly. That is one of the reasons it's important to take a break. You've got to come out of that mode firstly for the sake of your health (a person can take only so much late PhD stress) and secondly for the sake of the people around you (i.e. being around a stresshead - depending upon the person's basic personality - can be massively irritating). How well either part applies to you, only you will know.
I know I had people's heads done in during write-up because it was constantly on my mind. When I finished, no-one wanted to talk about it with no real celebration - it was more relief it was over.
I remember I started to come out of that mode about ten days after viva. I got a few basic minor corrections, which took a week to sort out and a few days after I offloaded the hardbound copies I was out for a walk one lunchtime and suddenly found myself thinking "Now what, what's next?" There was nothing.
As the post-doc work I was doing was nowhere near as stressful, I'd actually begun to wind down and I suddenly reached to point where I was almost back to normal for the first time in a couple of years.
I took a holiday a few months later and that properly began to settle things.
I'm in agreement with Beefy, a break is definitely in order after such an ordeal as a PhD. I just had my corrections approved six months post-viva. Thesis copies now in process of being hard-bound, so will catch the January graduation. I studied part-time so was already working throughout the closing stages of the PhD. I am in an NHS role as a cancer research radiographer and I used nearly all my annual leave up doing my corrections. I have just enough left for a few days' skiing in January but that will be it until the next leave year starts in April. Skint and leave-strapped but worth it!
Sadly, jobs in the sciences by tradition expect people to be workaholics without any respect for work-life balance. This tradition needs to change, but this won't happen overnight. In the meantime, the best advice is to take a break from it all and come back to it later.
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