Recently I've been following the narrative about working hours in academia. What we talked about on the piirus.ac.uk blog, and what you told us in the poll. What the brilliant Raul Pacheco-Vega says about over-work and how to work productively instead. How a real discussion is opening up about the realities of academic life, where long hours are necessary … [Read more...] about How I found out, how NOT to be an academic
Let’s talk about mental health in academia. I know we sometimes don’t like to talk about it much. We’d rather talk about anything else than talk about mental health - but we need to talk. Recently, a study by Lavecque and colleagues showed that: One in two PhD students experiences psychological distress; one in three is at risk of a common psychiatric … [Read more...] about Mental Health in Academia: Lets talk about it.
If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get in. You just run” This quote is by John Bingham, nicknamed ‘The Penguin’, for coming in at the back of the pack - … [Read more...] about Keep on running: what inspires PhD students to become runners?
Our regular correspondent has a fascinating and inspiring interview story to share: read on for an example of life after PhD. You might not be inspired by academia, but can you get career satisfaction elsewhere? Last October, I wrote the blogpost ‘A PhD is a rosette, not a career path’ as part of our fabulous alternative career path series. I stressed … [Read more...] about Life after PhD: a satisfying career outside of academia?
The other week, I spotted a tweet, which inspired me to write this blogpost on procrastination: It is a story that is very familiar to me: I, too, fight my tendency to set large, difficult tasks to one side whilst I get on with other stuff that is definitely lower priority. What gets me over such tendencies, is inspiration. And I often find my … [Read more...] about Are you procrastinating? Or opening yourself to inspiration…
Our correspondent in Brazil shares her experiences of relocation and offers helpful tips as well as motivational thoughts. I just recently moved to a new city again. We all know the drill of moving, right? Be it to another house in the same city, to another city or to another country: when thinking about moving we all think of work, work and more work. To … [Read more...] about Relocation, relocation, relocation : The art of moving
How many hours would you say you work a week? We've talked a lot about managing workloads lately on our blog, from imagining an alternative academic career to productivity hacks, but we all tiptoe around the topic of actual working time and the harsh realities of working flexibly. This topic holds a particular interest to me as my PhD is on flexible work, … [Read more...] about Working 5 to 9: how many hours are enough?
Researchers in popular culture have not only kicked arse and saved the world but have also worn brilliant cardigans Inspired by the 20th anniversary of the cultural touchstone that is Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and trust that the author says this in all seriousness), this post is dedicated to celebrate the awesomeness of research - and the awesomeness of … [Read more...] about A Critical Ka-Pow – Researchers in popular culture
Our in-depth interview with full time consultant and entrepreneur, Rob Johnson continues. Last week we focused on the early days of creating a consultancy company. This week, we learn more about the ingredients for success in this sector. - You often work with other freelancers and indeed with academic consultants. Can you describe the ideal … [Read more...] about Consultancy reflections: An interview with Rob Johnson, founder of Research Consulting, Part 2
Some academics do seem to be wedded to their research, but let’s leave the marriage metaphors aside. This post is all about choosing which academic work commitments you say ‘yes’ to. At the beginning of this year, I wrote a post on why it was important to be able to say ‘No’. It is a way to create some kind of balance, a way to … [Read more...] about Before you say Yes: 3 questions to ask yourself (And I’m not talking about marriage!)
Continuing the theme of consideration, self-care, and work-life balance, I would like to share with you my experience of #PhDlife overload which I encountered last term. As a PhD student with high ambitions and an equally high mortgage payment, I have tendency to say 'yes' to most things and up until now it has served me well. By saying 'yes' and having … [Read more...] about What I learned when I took on too much: I am not a PhD superhero
Last week, I wrote about two positive types of busy, but this week I am reflecting on the kind of "busy" that can really lead to problems. How do you know that you or a colleague or friend are experiencing the wrong kind of busy? Slogging busy Sometimes hardly distinguishable from the standard busy days, except perhaps by your level of motivation! It feels … [Read more...] about ‘I’m busy’ part 2: it’s a problem
Following on from Kathy's recent post on why you might have to be brave to say 'no' sometimes, I want to reflect a bit on busy-ness and how it can help if it's a good kind of busy, or if it isn't, then it leads us into needing to say 'no'. I am nearly always busy, and of course it's the standard answer these days when you ask someone how they are. They … [Read more...] about ‘I’m busy’ part 1: good kinds of busy
As we begin 2017, perhaps some of you will have taken a seasonal break from your work. Or perhaps you worked right through: it can be hard to take time out from research and academic life. Some of you might be making New Year's resolutions and perhaps one of them might be to think of your work-life balance. With this in mind, our blog is taking a look at … [Read more...] about Saying No: Why it’s important to be brave
This year has seen a lot of focus in the press on issues of precariousness in employment for early career researchers, many of whom are seeking a way out of precarity. In the last quarter of this year, our blog has looked a lot at the career options available to those who finish their PhD. Career paths are a theme close to the core mission of piirus.ac.uk … [Read more...] about Why researchers might want a way out of precarity