Following on from last week’s post about my initial Research Proposal, I’d like to share this quote from Jobs on Toast.

Priority 1: Your first priority as a new researcher is to carry out your programme of academic work and complete your PhD. That’s your job, that’s what your employer has hired you to do (whether a research council or university).

Priority 2: Your second priority, if you are wise, is to undertake a programme of activity that leads you into a prosperous and fulfilling career after your PhD. You’re doing this for yourself, not for your employer.


I found this really helpful in making me define exactly what I wanted from the PhD. I’d been hesitant about applying at first, because I wanted a job, not to be “a student” again. I’d worked professionally as an archaeologist between my BA and MA and struggled a bit with going back to student mode (I wasn’t keen on resuming “homework”…). But what helped me get through the MA was just this advice – treat it like a job. I’m doing the same for this PhD – it’s a job, and I’m trying to do extracurricular stuff that is (a) fun and (b) good for the ol’ CV.