Category: Leaving Academia

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Is a PhD Worth It?

Is a PhD worth it? I’ve seen this question lurking around the hallowed threads of Twitter lately—a place I spend more time than I’d like to confess. A few people admit to regretting their PhD. Most—myself included — said that they don’t (I wrote about

Why I don’t regret leaving academia

I never thought I would leave. I loved academia. I talk to PhD students all the time who tell me that they want to work outside of academia. I never envisioned it. I had what I call a tenure-track vision of myself. I was going

Why Leaving academia means rediscovering your purpose

There was a piece of advice that I heard again and again during my young life, long before I ever thought about doing a PhD. “Get a good job with a pension.” If there was academic advice mixed in with it, it was “study something

Why failure is one of the greatest gifts academia gave me

Early one Friday morning, I was driving into the east end of London, Canada. The sun was in my eyes as I cranked Death Cab for Cutie—Marching Bands of Manhattan, and I was shaking with a mixture of nervousness and excitement. After months of studying

This Is the Hardest Thing About Deciding to Leave Academia

I spent a few years learning about papyrology during my doctorate. For those of you who don’t know, papyrus is sort of like an ancient paper that’s mostly found in Egypt. In 2016 I went to a big conference on papyrology in Barcelona. All of

What nobody told me about building a post-PhD identity

“Do you think your PhD fucking impresses me?” I was sitting at a table in Ottawa’s prestigious Chateau Laurier for one of my worst job interviews ever. This angry little man in front of me had a PhD himself. And while ultimately I decided that

What nobody tells you about a non-academic career

One morning last October, I put on my dress pants and dress shirt and climbed onto the bus into the city. The sun hadn’t yet risen over the last of the fall leaves, and there was a light haze hanging in the early-morning glow over

Why I don’t regret my PhD

I was having lunch with a fellow PhD working outside of academia the other day, and I articulated something I’ve been thinking but didn’t quite know how to say. I don’t regret my PhD. I really don’t, even though I’m cynical about academia. Below are

5 beliefs you need to build an Amazing Post-PhD Career

As I’ve transitioned to a post-PhD career, I’ve realized something. Success is all about mindset. Now before you imagine those cheesy posters from the 90s that had motivational quotes on them (hands up if you’re old enough to remember those), let me explain. It’s super

Why can’t we stop doing PhDs?

I was raised religious, and as a kid there were two career paths that appealed to me more than any others: missionary and minister. I felt that I’d been put on this earth for some higher purpose, and what higher purpose could there be than