Time Flies After Your Dissertation

That photo was taken just over 6 months ago. It was a few minutes after I successfully defended my dissertation. It was a thrill of emotions but also a little bit of an anticlimactic moment of being done.

After the defense people told me the feelings I would feel would be all over the map. They’re not wrong.

Dissertation becomes your identity. Plain and simple. I have multiple tv shows I haven’t watched, books I haven’t read, and more. In fact, when there’s a pop culture reference that I don’t get, my go to excuse is ….. dissertation.

Carrie Phillips

Where Are We Now

Now that we’re out 6 months from defending, I wanted to share how I’ve managed the time that I found when I wasn’t working on it every night. I also wanted to offer some tips to help anyone else who is on the path toward finishing their dissertation.

Five Tips for Finding A New You

Here are my tips. This is the order I worked through them. However, I think the order can work in whatever way is best for you!

First – Take a week and just enjoy it. I had a million things printed with Dr. on them, ordered new business cards, celebrated a bit. I needed to exhale all the stress and the nervous energy.

Second – Get a plan of what to do with your research. I had a great call with the amazing Liz Gross from Campus Sonar. She helped me think through did I want to pursue writing on my own, guest podcasts, and speaking. Or would I be more suited to think of this in an academic context. Truth be told, I love the first but do have a few more academic-opportunities cooking.

Third – Marketing basic here, but trust me– it’s the best time you’ll spend. Once you know what you want to talk about and how…. develop your content plan. I knew I wanted to create small articles on my website, so I developed a timeline with 6 months of content ideas. It has definitely changed as current events and other ideas have inspired me, but it is so helpful each week to have a sense of what to talk about.

Fourth – Find time each week to do something for you. I joined a gym. I used to love going but hadn’t had time. I also found a series or two (Jag and The Crown) to watch and made myself watch an episode or two a week. These really helped me slow my brain back down from the fast pace of dissertation. I’m still not there, but this definitely helped me!

Fifth – Make sure you say thank you. I took a strong assessment of my village and owed many debts of gratitude. It took me several months of coffees, notecards, lunches, and the like to make sure I properly recognized all the members of tribe who had supported me. I had an incredible village, and I finally had some time to honor them!

What’s Next?

I’m going to try to keep following my own advice and see where we head from here. In the middle of this, I landed a great new role that I love, so that has definitely taken a bit of all that extra time I had.

Until next week! (After all, I have a content plan)

One response to “Time Flies After Your Dissertation”

  1. Great advice. Thanks, Carrie!

    Jesse Pisors, Ed.D. Vice President for University Relations & Advancement

    Texas A&M University-San Antonio One University Way San Antonio, TX 78224

    Jesse.Pisors@tamusa.eduJesse.Pisors@tamusa.edu 210.784.1109

    [Graphical user interface Description automatically generated with low confidence]https://www.tamusa.edu/strategic-plan/mission-vision-values-goals/index.html


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