The Sassy Scientist – Second the Best

The Sassy Scientist – Second the Best

First the worst, second the best, third the one with a hairy chest! Gemma used to chant that in the playground, but now she wonders if it also applies to PhDs.

I am not happy with my PhD. Should I do a second?

Dear Gemma,

That sounds like a great idea! Everyone who’s finished a PhD knows they could do it again in half the time, unless you had a supervisor with supernatural managerial abilities.

But hang on a minute. Let’s be rational here. You could complete your own PhD again in 12 months. That’s because you’re now the expert on your PhD. So why would you give up the amazing financial compensation (in my dreams) that doing a post-doc in your field of expertise would bring to go back to being a penniless student?

It wouldn’t be a proper PhD anyway if you weren’t out of your depth and studying a topic you feel remarkably unqualified to write a book about. Do you really want to have two books of unqualified ramblings in your name?

In the nicest possible way, I think it’s time to move on. You can vent some of your deep-held frustrations by finding some PhD students to patronise, now you’re a fully qualified post-doc. After all, you managed to survive writing a book, even if you hated every minute of it. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.

Yours truly,

The Sassy Scientist

PS: If I ever meet someone who is 100% happy with their thesis, I don’t want to go for a beer with them. They sound insufferable already.

Avatar photo
I am currently employed at a first tier research institute where I am continuously working with the greatest minds to further our understanding of the solid Earth system. Whether it is mantle or lithosphere structure and dynamics, solid Earth rheology parameters, earthquake processes, integrating observations with model predictions or inversions: you have read a paper of mine. Even if you are working on a topic I haven’t mentioned here, I still know everything about it. Do you have any problems in your research career? I have already experienced them. Do you struggle with your work-life balance? Been there, done that. Nowadays, I have only one hobby: helping you out by answering the most poignant questions in geodynamics, research and life. I am waiting for you right here. Get inspired.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>