PhDs are expected to know everything. How to deal with this?

posted
07-Nov-17, 14:18
edited about 2 seconds later
by huubte
Avatar for huubte
posted about 1 week ago
So i am quite hesitate to tell people that i am doing a PhD. Majority of people who i know are expecting that i should know everything like a live wikipedia and my behaviour should be perfect. My employer also makes a joke (or not) that "you are a PhD, you should do something that my company can grow bigger" even though i work for only 2 days/week. Some of my friends are also making fun when i use swear words.

How do i deal with these?

Thanks
posted
07-Nov-17, 20:05
by Pjlu 4 star member
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 1 week ago
Try not to let it bother you and laugh it off, would be my advice. Don't tell everyone if you are worried. I often said 'completing a study' and people assumed I was doing a Masters or just didn't know enough to ask any more anyway.

Many or most people outside the world of PhDs and academia really don't understand what they are or what they involve and there are many myths about doctoral studies and doctorates. Your colleagues are probably just teasing rather than bullying and a lot of it would be 'tongue in cheek', eg-not meant personally but as a light joke. The other end of things is when people believe your PhD means that you are someone with your head 'in the clouds', who has no understanding of the practical or professional world. This myth is common for those of us who complete a PhD but continue to work in a form of professional work such as teaching (schools) or similar. It can also be common in Australia where advanced education can be perceived as elitist, which is not always celebrated in our strongly 'egalitarian' country (beyond the academy or the science lab).

What is more important is what you believe and the genuine support you get from friends or families who love you and support your growth and achievement (even if they don't always understand it very well).
posted
08-Nov-17, 10:49
Avatar for chantedsnicker
posted about 1 week ago
When I tell people I'm ding a PhD most people assume I'm doing a course and going to lectures and stuff. I've got bored of trying to explain what a PhD actually is. That said, it doesn't bother me... I mean, unless someone works in academia, why would they necessarily know anything about postgraduate courses? I've not come across anyone making fun of me though. Well apart from my other half who refers to my working from home as "having the day off", but I think that's just because he knows it annoys me!
posted
16-Nov-17, 09:55
Avatar for DocInsanity
posted about 3 days ago
Well the best way to deal with it is humility, humour and a modicum of self-deprecation!
posted
16-Nov-17, 14:29
edited about 2 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 3 days ago
Quote From huubte:
So i am quite hesitate to tell people that i am doing a PhD. Majority of people who i know are expecting that i should know everything like a live wikipedia and my behaviour should be perfect. My employer also makes a joke (or not) that "you are a PhD, you should do something that my company can grow bigger" even though i work for only 2 days/week. Some of my friends are also making fun when i use swear words.

How do i deal with these?

Thanks


I am confused. What is there to deal with? The comments are clearly offered in jest and not intended to offend. Why on earth would you then not accept them in good faith without getting upset and offended?
I have never understood why people take offence at utterly trivial things. It really is a miserable way to live.
Lighten up a bit and maybe start thinking about how to respond in a teasing manner.
For example. Your boss wants you to do something to make his company grow? Tell him your idea for that is to sack him and hire a competent manager. You might want to smile when you say that in case he has no sense of humour either.
posted
16-Nov-17, 17:00
by Trilla
Avatar for Trilla
posted about 3 days ago
Well, I already know everything. Next question?

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