Posts Tagged With: PhD

#14. When should I start my PhD?

It’s all about timing.

And the thing about timing is that it varies for everyone. In fact if you found someone who told you that you should do your PhD by age X or Y, run…fast. One of the key things I’m learning to do is to pace myself with myself and not with others. It is so hard to see your peers moving on to the next thing, whether it is professionally into that new job or that new position, or on to their masters, or PhD or on to having kids, first one or second, or nth…and not see the same manifest for yourself. It must be human instinct, because it causes  us to look at them and then look at ourselves and think I’m falling behind, I haven’t even gotten married and my peers are on to third and fourth child…when will I catch up. Or my peers have bought a second house and I haven’t even finished up my first degree.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven (NKJV).

I know that we often ‘get’ that, but we act like the season is global – its for everybody. So if it is marriage season then everybody must be getting married and if you’re not, then you’re off season. The truth is that there is a season for each and every one of us, and rather than trying to be in synch with other peoples’ seasons, we need to get in synch with our season.

So how do you know when you should start your PhD? What is the best time? Continue reading

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#13.Thou shalt not: 5 faux pas websites of PhD

Let’s admit it, the internet has revolutionalized how we conduct research – particularly literature reviews both peer reviewed and grey. Once upon a time, if you wanted a journal article, you had to go to the library – and here I am not talking about the online library, I am talking bricks and mortar library  – and the get the article yourself. It was actually more complicated than that. You had to climb flights of stairs, because for some reason the elevator was never working or it didn’t go to the basement. After you got there out of breath, you had to then read through rows and rows and rows and rows of dusty books, before giving up and deciding to get the call number of the journal you were looking for. If you were lucky you’d find it, and then coughing up a dustball, you would carefully remove the journal and in the process drop about 20 others, secretly stash them elsewhere (like you remember exactly where they fell from) and then you’d go to the photocopying machine. Yes, to make a physical copy. And woe unto you if your photocopy card was empty, the coin operated card machine was probably located at the other end of the library. All this just to get one article that might be pertinent to your paper.

Things have progressed significantly since those days.   Continue reading

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#5. How do you define success?

The bible calls Joseph, the dreamer, successful. In fact, he was called a success when he was a slave. That baffles me to no end. Here’s the part that really gets me: it says The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man (Genesis 39.2a).

Wow.

It doesn’t say, Joseph had tons of money and he was a successful man. In today’s money driven, overnight-success-crazed society, it is hard to imagine that one would be called a success while he was a slave. On the contrary success has become synonymous with money. Continue reading

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#2. Five reasons NOT to do a PhD

I want to first off start by saying I want as much as I can through this blog to encourage and not discourage. The inspiration for this post is seeing so many people assume that the only way “up” or to pursue their dream is through more school – this is not necessarily the case and I will explore this theme more in coming weeks.

There are several reasons why one would consider the wonderful journey that is a PhD – wanting to be challenged, the desire to teach as a professor, the desire to explore an area of study that is a passion through rigorous academic research, wanting to gain skills that you will put towards your professional work…the list is endless. However, I want go through a process of elimination. So if you’ve been thinking of doing a PhD, here are some reasons, in my humble opinion, NOT to do it:

1. Your friends/former colleagues/former classmates are doing it

Academia is often synonymous with peer pressure. Remember when the coolest gal in high school bought that pair of hightops, or got her first perm/weave, making you green with envy and you swore that the minute you had some cash on you, you would do the same thing and ‘show’ them because you too can do it…remember that? Well doing a PhD for that reason is like having a child to prove to others that you can do it….oh sorry, people are still doing that…I digress…the point I am trying to make is that you will be left with said child once you’ve proven your point and the other people will NOT be there to help you raise him/her. A PhD requires alot from you including long-term commitment. Even if half your class from your Masters is now pursuing a PhD, resist the urge to enrol in  a program purely for that reason. Because none of them will be there with you when you are doing your comprehensive exams, or defending your proposed research or doing the field research.

Do your PhD because it is something that YOU want to do independent of what others might think and of course seek God’s counsel about whether it is right for you. Continue reading

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