How to Keep your Doctorate on Track
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How to Keep your Doctorate on Track

Insights from Students’ and Supervisors’ Experiences

Edited by Keith Townsend, Mark N.K. Saunders, Rebecca Loudoun and Emily A. Morrison

The path of a doctoral student can feel challenging and isolating. This guide provides doctoral students with key ideas and support to kick-start a doctoral journey, inspire progress and complete their thesis or dissertation. Featuring observations from experienced supervisors, as well as the reflections of current and recent postgraduate researchers, this intimate and entertaining book offers vital insights into the critical moments in any doctoral experience.
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Chapter 57: Beyond the doctorate: getting your first job

Holly Prescott


Many doctoral alumni claim that, before they started gaining experience and doing some work, they didn’t know their job was a job and that they came to it by accident. This chapter draws on the author’s own experiences and on those of some of the postgraduate researchers she has supported as a careers advisor. It highlights three instances where preparing for your first job can come unstuck, and suggests some mitigation strategies to help put you in a strong position for job hunting after your doctorate. These instances comprise being unaware of yourself and consequently making the wrong choices; being unaware of all the options available; and being unaware of the lingo, i.e. the jargon and phraseology in your field. Each instance includes the experience of a postgraduate researcher by way of illustration. The chapter ends with six key lessons for going beyond your doctorate and getting your first job.

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