I Answer the Question What Next

What do I do? I help people getting a PhD or those who already have a PhD answer the question "What next?".


I sometimes get asked "What do I do?", and to answer that question I often go into a similar kind of speel - which is basically I help people with PhDs or people who are getting their PhD to answer the question of "What next?" and I guess depending on where you are that question is a really obvious one to answer. Of course for a PhD student what next is do I go into research? or do I go into another career? And then if I'm going to research - do I go into academia or do I try and go into industry? If I'm going into another career do I look for something that makes use of my PhD skills or do I forget my PhD altogether? But if you're already in research or you already have a career outside research the question of what next is not necessarily a career one. It's more of a question of literally what do I do next. So if you are a more established researcher you might want to know how will I set up a research center around my topic of interest; how do I do that? You might be a person who is an early career researcher and you've got a number of opportunities around grants or proposals that you could write and so you're trying to think well what is the best decision for me to make in order to take advantage of those opportunities.

So the question of what next is more how do I write or a what should I write kind of question. And if you're in industry. If you're not in academic research or if you're not in research in general and you've done a PhD and you're asking the question of what next?, perhaps that is more of a career one? Maybe that could be "Do I go into academia?" You know - "How would the Academy treat me if I came back from industry?" You know - "would I be competitive in that marketplace?" And of course in the in the question; in answering the question of what next there's many things that could be done for some people. It is what next - should I join social media? And what next - how do I join social media? And so all of those kinds of questions are the kinds of things that I ask and help people with on a daily basis.