Sometimes it’s better if you’re not…
At one point in my career I thought I needed a PHD. I had thoroughly enjoyed my Master’s degree and thought that if I wanted to set myself up for a second career, I should pursue a PHD in the same field. My last research paper was published in Proceedings Magazine (the actual printed one), and I had even garnered enough attention to warrant a public radio interview on said published article.
I obviously should keep learning more right? Furthering my education at the doctorate level was the logical next step.
But then I started researching what kind of jobs PHDs got you.
Research, teaching, and more research.
Don’t get me wrong, diving in to a problem or topic that I find interesting is one of the things I love to do. But being a “researcher” or teaching in “academia” are not careers I am currently looking for.
Before Moving Forward – Step Back
Pause a moment and consider your goals when you write something for publishing?
- Is it to teach?
- To entertain?
- Share a thought or perspective?
- Help solve a problem?
- To earn money?
Regardless of what your goal is, I have realized that the majority of what I read online is not from “experts”. I can learn just as much from someone writing about what they don’t know as what they do. My most read story on Medium is me recounting how I almost died (or could have) when climbing El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. My other articles that were picked up by Medium publications were either my perspective on career goals, or what lessons I have learned as a leader.
- Can You Really “Do Anything You Put Your Mind To”?
- If You’re Not Moving Forward, You’re Drifting Backward
- Your Goals May Be a Mirage Hiding a Cliff
No PHD required.
What it Takes
Passion is more developed than discovered.Dan Miller
I found this quote recently and love the implication behind it.
Our interests are where we dip our toes in to the water. Our passions are where we have waded out chest deep and finally dive in and start swimming for the other shoreline.
Writing skills take time to develop. Being an expert in an area can often be viewed as being seen as someone with an immense passion for something.
So remember, you don’t have to be an expert to dive in.