Ph.Done! … now what?!

My PhD thesis is written and I am in that awkward in-betweeny phase where I am waiting for my viva date and that oral examination which will determine whether I am worthy of the title Dr or not, and also delaying writing what will be my final PhD advice & experience blog posts while I work out what direction Soph talks science takes in the next year and beyond. So, not only does submitting that thesis mean I have entered a weird stage in my PhD journey but also in my blogging and scicomm journey too.

But I thought I would share an update as to what I am up to now because I am technically not a PhD student anymore, but I also don’t have a permanent job yet. So what have I been doing? Here’s a quick lowdown and a quick update:

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β™₯ Nothing!

So this might sound a little weird. But four years of working my ass off during my PhD left me completely drained and exhausted. So, I took some time out to just chill and relax and try and have some semblance of normality back in my life without thinking about science or lab work. I took just over two weeks culminating in a weekend away with the girls I played cricket with. Spending time catching up with friends not feeling guilty about lab work or blogging or anything mixed with swimming, walks through the woods and popping to see my family before heading back home was exactly what I needed.

It is weird to say but the last night we were there I actually had a weird warm fuzzy feeling in my stomach where I actually felt relaxed and happy. And I am ashamed to say it but I really cannot remember the last time I felt genuinely and completely at ease and happy. It really was two great weeks even if I didn’t get any actual job applications and the such done – but my excuse is that I wouldn’t have been int he right frame of mind anyway. But that leads me nicely onto my next point…

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β™₯ The job hunt!

Or more specifically a hunt for some income. I have applied for some jobs and had some writing tests and with a few interviews in the pipeline. But nothing permanent yet although I am going to write a post soon about what careers I’m considering and applying for so that you guys might find it helpful.

But I have got some money coming in! Yay! My PhD supervisor managed to secure a bursary to keep me on until Christmas. So, I have a few weeks to finish writing up my thesis into publications and getting them out there, and doing some final experiments in the lab, So, I have been doing some publication writing, but still waiting on paperwork to get back into the lab – which to be honest with you I am not complaining about because I still get to work from home. Besides that I have managed to secure a few little freelance science writing projects which will keep me ticking over too and hopefully allow me to book that little trip to Dublin I wanted to do for my birthday.

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β™₯ Wedding planning!

It’s just over 11 months now until I tie the knot! That is a scary thought. But now I have more time on my hands I’ve been starting to make some progress on things that are actually making the reality of a wedding sink in. Booking all these different venues and professionals is one thing, but actually now sending out save the dates for people to join us on our big day means it is actually going to happen and I only have a finite number of days left where I can plan up my dream wedding on Pintrest haha!

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β™₯ Full time blogging!

Okay – so I haven’t been publishing a post every day in October like I challenged myself to for Blogtober – although I’m not too far off! But I have been exercising my full time blogger status and reaching out to companies and brands for collaborations and some really exciting and educational STEM products that I am going to review and am so excited to share with you guys.

It’s been a little tough on the content side of things as I’m in that weird little phase where I don’t want to bore you all just talking about thesis tips and advice or how I’m preparing for the next stage, and I can’t talk about my PhD research in much more detail yet. So, I feel like I’m back to square one with blogging a bit. I have an amazing academic and PhD based audience but I am going to have to rebrand, adapt and reach out to a more diverse audience too – which I am worried about as I have to build again, but I am also very excited about too.

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So, there is my little life update. I’m no longer a student but kinda still unemployed … but to be honest right now I am embracing it!

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How did you deal with that awkward in-betweeny phase after your PhD? Or maybe you are having a blog rebrand – let me know what you learnt? And as always if you have any questions about what I have been up to or anything I have shared here, feel free to ask as many questions as you like.

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Science love.

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